Best Mountain Bike Helmets: Safety Meets Performance In 2024

By Scotty Newkirk

Have you been searching for the best mountain bike helmets for 2024?

With the variety of different mountain bikes out there, safety should be your #1 concern.

Therefore, I’ve created a top 10 list after researching mountain bike helmets.

Before exploring the best mountain biking destinations and planning your next adventure, you must check out this list beforehand.

Here at Thebikr, we take bike safety very seriously, and you should also.

Mountain biking can be pretty aggressive and hazardous without the proper equipment.

Therefore, I’ve spent hours researching various features to see which helmet would suit you.

I’ve compiled this information based on the following:

  • Safety rating
  • Price
  • Comfort & fit
  • Presentation

Table of Contents

Why It’s Important Always To Wear A Helmet

Mountain biking is an exhilarating sport that combines the thrill of off-road cycling with the challenge of navigating through diverse terrains.

A crucial aspect of this adventure sport is safety, making a mountain bike helmet an essential equipment for every rider.

Bike helmet safety is crucial when tackling the trails and preparing for your next adventure.

These helmets protect the cyclist’s head from impact and offer comfort and ventilation during vigorous rides.

With technological advancements, mountain bike helmets have evolved significantly, providing enhanced protection and features tailored for the trails.

Features such as increased rear-head coverage, adjustable visors, and action camera mounts cater to the specific needs of mountain bikers.

A lightweight helmet with a snug fit can prevent distractions and discomfort, allowing the rider to focus on the joy of the ride.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to focus on your surroundings and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Several vital factors need consideration when shopping for the best mountain bike helmets.

They are as follows:

  • Safety Certifications
  • Fit
  • Weight
  • Ventilation
  • MIPS technology

A commendable helmet is a confluence of safety standards, comfort, and utility, ensuring that every ride is as safe as enjoyable.

Our comprehensive approach to evaluating mountain bike helmets involves the following:

  • Rigorous testing
  • Comparison
  • (Taking into account) Real-world usage
  • Expert opinions
  • Buyer reviews

We dedicate ourselves to finding options that meet the highest standards for safety and performance.

By doing so, riders can confidently make a well-informed decision.

Continue reading, as I’ll cover these mountain bike helmets in detail.

Best Mountain Bike Helmets


Safety and comfort take the lead when choosing the fitting mountain bike helmet.

We’ve sifted through numerous options for durable, ventilated, fit helmets.

Our selection meets industry standards and includes the latest technology to protect your head in the event of a fall.

We’ll guide you through our top picks that cater to various needs and budgets, ensuring you find the perfect helmet for your off-road adventures.

We recommend this helmet for its advanced safety features and comfortable fit; it is perfect for all mountain biking enthusiasts.

Pros

  • MIPS technology adds an extra layer of head protection
  • Excellent ventilation keeps you cool during rides.
  • The universal fit design ensures a snug and comfortable fit for a wide range of head sizes.

Cons

  • The visor is not adjustable, which can be inconvenient.
  • The strap design might feel awkward for some.
  • Limited color options may not appeal to all tastes

After a challenging trail ride, the Giro Fixture MIPS Helmet stood out for its comfort.

The internal channeling of the 18 Wind Tunnel vents kept our heads cool, even on long summer climbs.

Its MIPS system, designed within Giro’s renowned helmet test lab, gave us peace of mind, knowing we were wearing a helmet geared towards superior protection.

One of the first things we noticed was the universal fit.

It accommodated varying head shapes without that dreaded pinching sensation.

Adjustments were a breeze, creating a snug fit out of the box.

This immediate comfort is crucial for those impromptu trips to the trails.

However, as we set off on a dusk ride, we did notice the visor’s limitations.

The inability to adjust it meant we couldn’t tailor the sun’s glare, which was a slight nuisance.

Despite this, the helmet’s low profile and matte finish gave it a sleek, unobtrusive look – something we appreciated during the ride.

While some riders may find the strap placement less than ideal, this didn’t compromise the overall security of the helmet on rough terrain.

This helmet is an excellent choice for both seasoned riders and those new to mountain biking.

Thanks to its combination of comfort, adjustability, and safety features.

Pros

  • Impressively lightweight, enhancing comfort for long rides
  • Superior adjustability with a convenient dial retention system
  • It comes with a removable visor, providing flexibility and excellent visibility.

Cons

  • The aesthetic may not appeal to everyone
  • Limited visor movement
  • It may not fit as snugly for all head shapes.

On our latest ride, we took the Exclusky MTB Helmet for a rigorous test on the trails, and it made a marked impression on us.

Its lightweight design was hardly noticeable, allowing us to focus on the terrain without feeling weighed down.

The inner padding seemed to whisk away moisture effectively, keeping us cool as we climbed and descended.

During our journey, we valued the easy-to-adjust retention system that let us find the right fit with a simple twist.

A snug, secure fit is paramount, and the Exclusky helmet is delivered, staying stable over rough patches.

The visor also came in handy, shielding our eyes from the sun’s glare, though we noticed it had limited upward movement when we needed to stow it away.

After a full day of riding, we appreciated how the helmet’s aerodynamic design seemed to guide airflow, keeping us cool even when the sun was relentless.

While the helmet’s style might not turn heads, its functionality stood out, proving that safety and comfort need not come at a steep price.

Exclusky has considered the key elements that make a ride enjoyable and safe.

For mountain biking enthusiasts, the SMITH Engage MTB Helmet offers reliable protection and comfort on the trails.

Pros

  • Superior protection with Koroyd and MIPS technologies
  • Twenty vents ensure optimal airflow to keep you cool
  • Easily adjustable for a personalized and comfortable fit

Cons

  • Limited to adult sizes, not suitable for younger riders
  • There are only three reviews, so less user feedback is available.
  • Higher price point compared to some other options on the market

Taking the Engage MTB helmet out on the trails, we immediately noticed the sturdy construction that Smith is known for.

The combination of MIPS technology and Koroyd coverage gives us the confidence to tackle challenging terrain, knowing our heads are well-protected.

The comfort level is impressive.

After adjusting the fit with the intuitive dial system, it snugs securely without feeling restrictive.

The adjustable visor also offers handy shade from the sun and is an excellent shield against low-hanging branches.

A standout feature for us is the ventilation system.

Even on long, strenuous rides, the helmet’s fixed vents keep air flowing to prevent overheating.

The anti-odor lining keeps things fresh, a big plus on hot days and during back-to-back use.

While testing the SMITH Engage MTB Helmet, we appreciated the commitment to detail.

From its lightweight design to the single-layer webbing that reduces bulk.

This helmet is a top-notch choice for discerning mountain bikers aiming for performance and protection.

We believe the SMITH Engage MIPS Helmet is a prime choice for riders seeking safety features and comfort in their mountain biking adventures.

Pros

  • Equipped with MIPS technology providing advanced head protection
  • Exceptional fit adjustment with VaporFit for a secure and customized feel
  • Remarkable ventilation with 21 fixed vents for improved airflow

Cons

  • The visor has limited adjustability.
  • It might be less suitable for extreme enduro riders looking for full-face coverage.
  • The price point may be higher than some competitors.

When I first put on the SMITH Engage MIPS Helmet, it struck me how snug and comfortable it felt.

The lightweight design meant I barely noticed it during my ride, yet I was confident in its protective capabilities.

Thanks to the MIPS system and sturdy construction.

At one with the bike, the airflow through the helmet kept me cool even on those grueling ascents.

Adjusting the fit to my head shape was a breeze.

The VaporFit system let me fine-tune it on the fly, ensuring the helmet stayed in place without any uncomfortable pressure spots.

That secure fit didn’t fade even as I bounced along the trail, a testament to its design.

The helmet pairs superbly with my Smith eyewear, completing a seamless kit that didn’t fog up, maintaining my vision clear through various conditions.

Although the visor’s positions are fixed, it shaded my eyes just enough without hampering my line of sight.

After trying it, we must say that the Engage MIPS is more than just protective gear; it enhances the mountain biking experience.

The OUWOR MTB Helmet gives us the protection and comfort we need when we hit the trails.

This makes it a solid choice for both seasoned and new riders.

Pros

  • Exceptional ventilation keeps us cool.
  • Easily adjustable for a snug, comfortable fit
  • Versatile design suitable for road and mountain biking

Cons

  • Visor detachment can be finicky
  • Style may not appeal to everyone
  • Limited color options

After spending some time on rocky trails, the robust build of the OUWOR Helmet instills confidence.

Our heads felt well-protected thanks to the integrated molding technology.

And even as the path winds and the elevation changes, the helmet stays securely in place.

Thanks to the courtesy of the adjustable straps and rear dial.

We noticed the helmet’s weight—or rather, the lack of it.

Even during the most grueling climbs, it wasn’t even there.

That, paired with the 16 vents, allowed for a breeze that kept us cool, which is vital for those long summer rides.

If there’s one thing that can be troublesome, it’s the detachable visor.

We had some issues while trying to snap it off and on, but nothing would deter us from bringing this helmet on our next outing.

Removing the visor transforms it into an urban-friendly accessory once we’re off the trails and heading into the city.

If you’re looking for a mountain bike helmet within your budget and passing all the safety regulations, I’d highly recommend the OUWOR MTB Helmet.

After first-hand experience with the ILM Lightweight Bike Helmet, we believe it’s a high-value choice for cyclists valuing comfort and adjustability.

Pros

  • Adjustable fit dial for a snug feel
  • Effective ventilation system for cooling
  • Removable sun visor and liners for versatility

Cons

  • The one-size option may not fit all.
  • Packaging for delivery is sometimes inadequate.
  • The minimal design may not appeal to everyone.

During our rides across rugged trails, the adjustable dial of the ILM helmet was remarkable for getting just the right fit.

To be honest with everyone here today, it felt like the helmet was tailored for our heads.

The quick-release buckles were smooth to operate, allowing us to gear up and hit the trails promptly without any fuss.

What stood out was the strategic placement of the ventilation.

Even in the heat of a rigorous ride, our heads stayed remarkably cool, a testament to the effective 21-air vent design.

We appreciated each breath of fresh air that flowed through, especially on those uphill grinds.

The simplicity of removing the sun visor and liners made cleaning a breeze.

This also enabled us to customize the helmet’s look and functionality for different riding conditions.

However, we did find that some fellow riders with unique head sizes struggled with the XX-Large size.

Moreover, while the helmet’s minimalistic design is sleek, it may underwhelm those who prefer a more flashy look.

Our advice?

If the size and style suit you, awesome!!

Also, if you’re looking for a helmet with excellent adjustability and ventilation, the ILM Lightweight Bike Helmet is a strong contender.

See more about this mountain bike helmet below!!

For avid mountain bikers seeking a dependable helmet with advanced features, the SMITH Forefront 2 is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Comprehensive protection with MIPS technology
  • Enhanced breathability with a fixed ventilation system
  • Tailored fit via the VaporFit adjustable dial

Cons

  • Premium pricing may not suit all budgets.
  • Limited color options for style variety
  • Visor adjustability could be more intuitive

After strapping on the SMITH Forefront 2, we immediately felt the precision fit that the VaporFit system provides.

This helmet is engineered for enthusiasts who realize that safety and comfort are paramount when tackling rugged terrains.

It’s not just about the snug fit; it’s about the peace of mind that comes with the MIPS technology, designed to reduce rotational forces upon impact.

We noticed the incredible airflow offered by the 20 fixed vents.

On long, arduous climbs under a baking sun, a sweat buildup often leads to foggy lenses, but not with this helmet.

The ventilation worked seamlessly, keeping our view clear and our heads cool.

The Ionic+ lining proved its worth by activating its odor-fighting properties as we powered through challenging trails.

Even amidst the dense forest tracks, the Forefront 2 felt at one with us.

The lightweight design meant we could almost forget it was there, allowing us to focus purely on the ride.

The visor, adjustable to three positions, provided enough clearance for our glasses and shielded our eyes from low-hanging branches.

Our experience with this helmet on the mountain was nothing short of exceptional.

This helmet is a smart choice for riders valuing safety, comfort, and convenience during their cycling adventures.

Pros

  • Integrated USB rechargeable light enhances visibility for safer rides at night.
  • The exceptional ventilation system keeps us cool, even on longer journeys.
  • The helmet’s magnetic goggles provide great eye protection and are incredibly easy to attach.

Cons

  • The size may not fit perfectly for everyone despite the adjustable strap.
  • Goggles might create a slightly narrow field of vision
  • Limited color options may not appeal to all personal preferences.

Riding through rough trails, we appreciated how the rechargeable LED light of the VICTGOAL helmet made us visible in fading light.

The steady, fast flashing and slow flashing modes are particularly useful for signaling our presence to other cyclists and motorists during dusk or dawn.

Feeling the breeze through the 21 breathable vents, we were impressed by the helmet’s ability to let airflow over our heads.

Especially during those grueling uphill climbs where overheating usually becomes an issue.

The lightweight nature of the helmet ensured we weren’t weighed down.

The adjustable fit lets us dial in the right snugness for a secure feel.

Meanwhile, the detachable magnetic goggles shielded against the glaring sun and unexpected headwinds.

Cycling through different terrains, these goggles remained securely in place thanks to their magnetic design.

A neat feature that made them incredibly easy to remove when unnecessary.

Stepping onto the trail with the Troy Lee A1 MIPS Helmet gave us confidence, thanks to its blend of safety features and comfort.

Pros

  • Exceptional comfort with adjustable fit
  • Enhanced head coverage for safety
  • Efficient ventilation for cooler rides

Cons

  • Adjustment takes a bit of time initially
  • Visor repositioning is somewhat cumbersome
  • May find better value for lower budgets

When we hit the trails, we first noticed the plush comfort liner.

It sat snugly against our heads, wicking away sweat and keeping us dry, which was crucial during long rides.

The helmet’s extensive coverage is reassuring; it cradles the head well, envelopes the sides, and extends down the back.

We sense that extra protection, especially when navigating more treacherous terrain.

Adjusting the retention system was key to getting the right fit.

Although it took some fiddling to customize, once we dialed it in, the helmet felt secure even as we bobbed and weaved through obstacles.

The feeling of the helmet is almost unnoticeable despite its solid construction, which speaks to its balance of safety and comfort.

If you’re seeking robust head protection with a dash of style for mountain biking, this helmet stands out as a solid choice.

Pros

  • Impressively lightweight yet feels sturdy
  • The adjustment dial makes fitting a breeze
  • Large visor provides ample protection from elements

Cons

  • It may not fit snugly with thick winter gear underneath.
  • It takes a moment to get used to the weight.
  • Appeared slightly bulkier on the head at first.

Having just returned from a trail ride with the BATFOX Mountain Helmet, I can confidently speak to its comfort and functionality.

The helmet’s in-mold construction struck me as a balance of sturdy protection without weighing me down.

Which is exactly what we need when navigating the unpredictable terrain of mountain trails.

Its 18 air channels were quite effective in keeping my head cool during the exertion of the climb.

A feature I particularly appreciated was the removable padding.

After an intense ride, we’re often left with a grimy helmet.

But in this case, cleaning was made hassle-free.

The big visor provided an excellent shield from the overhead sun, adding comfort as we zipped through the forest canopy.

Securing the fit was a painless affair with the dial adjustment.

With just a few twists, I achieved a snug fit that felt bespoke.

For those who cycle in cooler climates, consider the space needed for winter gear beneath the helmet, as it does fit quite closely to the head.

Overall, this helmet leaves us feeling secure and stylish, ready to tackle the next biking adventure confidently.

It may take a short ride or two to adjust to its distinctive feel if transitioning from a lighter helmet.

However, the reassurance of safety is well worth the switch.

Buying Guide


Key Features to Consider

When we are selecting a mountain bike helmet, there are several key features to consider:

1) Safety Certifications: Ensure the helmet meets safety standards such as CPSC or CE EN 1078.

2) Fit and Comfort: Look for adjustable straps and retention systems that provide a secure and comfortable fit.

3) Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is crucial to keep our heads cool during rides.

4) Weight: A lighter helmet can reduce neck fatigue on long rides.

5) Durability: Materials and build should withstand regular use and occasional impacts.

Helmet Type


Depending on the type of mountain biking we do, the helmet style is important:

  • Cross-country (XC) Helmets-Usually lighter and more ventilated.
  • Trail Helmets: Offer more coverage and protection.
  • Full-face Helmets: Best for downhill or aggressive riding, providing complete face and head protection.

Sizes


Proper helmet sizing is paramount to our safety.

We can measure our head circumference and consult size charts to find fit.

Head Circumference (cm)Helmet Size
51 – 55Small
55 – 59Medium
59 – 63Large
63+Extra Large

Adjustability


To refine the fit, we should look for:

  • Retention Systems: Dial or slider-based systems for circumference adjustments.
  • Strap Dividers: Allow fine-tuning around the ears.
  • Adjustable Visors: Can shield our eyes from the sun and debris.

Construction Materials


The shell of a mountain bike helmet is typically made of:

  • Polycarbonate: for the outer shell.
  • EPS Foam: for impact absorption.

Additional Features


Some helmets offer added features, such as:

  • Integrated Camera Mounts: For those of us wanting to record our rides.
  • MIPS Technology: Reduces rotational forces on angled impacts.

Frequently Asked Questions


This section covers crucial mountain bike helmet safety and design aspects, focusing on what differentiates various models and price points.

What factors contribute to a mountain bike helmet’s protective quality?


The protective quality of a mountain bike helmet hinges on materials, construction, and fit.

High-grade materials like EPS foam and a polycarbonate shell absorb and distribute impact forces efficiently.

A secure fit ensures the helmet stays in place during a crash.

How do the safety features of high-end mountain bike helmets compare to budget options?


High-end mountain bike helmets typically incorporate advanced safety features like MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) and additional coverage around the temples and occipital lobe.

Budget options may lack these enhanced safety mechanisms but should still meet minimum safety standards.

How do full-face mountain bike helmets stack up regarding safety and comfort?


Full-face mountain bike helmets offer superior facial, jaw, and head protection and are integral for downhill and aggressive mountain biking.

They are designed to be comfortable with adequate ventilation, although they may be heavier than standard helmets.

Which mountain bike helmet brands are known for their combination of safety and affordability?


Brands like Giro, Bell, and Specialized balance safety and affordability, providing a range of helmets with essential safety features within a moderate price bracket.

How does helmet design impact the prevention of concussions in mountain biking?


Helmet design can significantly mitigate the risk of concussions.

Features such as MIPS reduce rotational forces on the brain, while ample rear coverage and energy-absorbing materials limit direct impact trauma.

What are the key features to look for in a mountain bike helmet aimed at advanced riders?


Advanced riders should seek helmets with the following:

  • Extended head coverage
  • Innovative safety features (MIPS, SPIN)
  • Enhanced ventilation systems for rigorous riding
  • Comfort-enhancing fittings (IE, adjustable visors, fit retention systems)

Best Mountain Bike Helmets Conclusion


As we wrap up our exploration of the best mountain bike helmets for 2024, it’s clear that the industry continues to push the envelope in safety, comfort, and performance.

From innovative MIPS technology to enhanced ventilation systems and lightweight materials.

There’s never been a better time to invest in a helmet that can keep up with the rigors of modern trail riding.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a weekend warrior, choosing the right helmet is a critical decision that should be made with careful consideration of your riding style and personal preferences.

So, gear up with one of these top contenders and confidently hit the trails, knowing you’re wearing some of the finest protection.

Ride on, and let the thrill of the ride be your only concern, as your helmet takes care of the rest.

I hope this comprehensive list of the best mountain bike helmets has opened your eyes to the many available helmets.

Questions, comments, or something you’d like to add?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

I’ll get back to you with a detailed reply.

Have you purchased a helmet from the ten featured ones above?

If so, how was your experience?

I’d love to hear about it, and I’m sure other fellow bikers would also.

Until next time.

Cheers, your friend, Scott.

~AKA thebikr~

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