A helmet is crucial for on-track safety but buying one can get tricky. Manufacturers all over the world produce helmets in various designs and styles, it is almost impossible to choose one. Generally, these are considered unisex but there is little to no difference between a mens mountain bike helmet and a women’s helmet. Following are some important factors which you should consider before getting yourself a new headgear.
- Part1: Construction
- Part2: Ventilation
- Part3: Fit
- Part4: Extra Features
- Part5: Helmet Recommendations
- Part6: Frequently Asked Questions
The main purpose of a helmet is to keep your head protected during a crash. Therefore, the construction and protection rating of a helmet is an important thing to consider when buying one. Over the years technology has evolved in a manner that manufacturers can produce stronger, lightweight, and better-quality helmets that can keep you safe in the worst of all situations. Globally, helmets are constructed using polystyrene foam coupled with a thin layer of polycarbonate that helps them to absorb shocks and insulate the force generated upon impact. The commonly used failure threshold is set at 300Gs, make sure that your helmet has a protection rating above that.
Owing to technological advancements, rotational impact protection systems have become an industry standard for mens mountain biking helmet. Multi-directional Impact Protection System or commonly known as MIPS uses a low friction liner inside the helmet that helps to reduce the impact of rotational forces. The plastic frame can slip and rotate within the helmet to reduce the g-force directed towards your brain. Companies like Giro, have further developed MIPS technology by introducing a ball and socket MIPS construction which not only allows for greater rotation but more insulation from the rotational forces. Having an eye for MIPS while buying your new helmet can help you to achieve the extra protection you always needed.
A great amount of heat energy can dissipate through your head while riding. Therefore, you need an adequate volume of airflow to keep your head cool. Ventilation ports are for drawing in and channelling air through the helmet. A simple understanding is, that the larger the ventilation ports, the greater the airflow and the more effective the helmet would be. However, this might not always be the case. Vents has two categories, airports and air channels. Airports are large cutouts in the outer shell that allow air to contact your head and cool it off. On the other hand, Air-channels ensure that air enters from the front and exits from the back creating a cooling effect.
The thickness and density of the foam liner inside the helmet also affect the ventilation of a helmet. What you want from a helmet is that it is ventilated enough to keep your head cool without compromising on the protection it should offer.
Needless to say, the fit of the helmet is the most important thing. If you are not wearing a rightly sized helmet, it won’t protect you. Your head should completely fit in and the helmet should be snug. While manufacturers use a variety of shells, almost all helmets are produced in three standard sizes, Small, Medium, and Large. Finding the perfect fit is all about personal preferences but the following are some rules that might help you navigate through the process.
- The inner part of the helmet should be in complete contact with your head. This essentially means that your entire head should touch the inner surface of the helmet at all times.
- The helmet should sit right above the eyebrows, not too low but close enough that won’t affect your vision.
- The straps when tightened should not move from their position.
- The helmet should not move more than an inch if any pressure is applied directly on the helmet or the straps.
A good fitting helmet would enable you to adjust the inner circumference of the helmet cage as well as the height of the helmet in a manner that comfortably fits around the head. In addition to this, the inner foam or gel pads would be assorted in a manner that they are evenly spaced and spread the weight of the helmet to maintain a balance.
Part4: Extra Features
Extra features act as a cherry on the top. While companies usually use them as a marketing tool to generate sales, they also increase the utility of the customer. Some additional features can transform a great helmet into the perfect helmet that you have been looking for.
To begin with, removable paddings are a blessing in disguise. No one appreciates a stinking helmet. With removable paddings, you can always have yourself a fresh and good smelling helmet before every ride. Similarly, light and camera mounts are a feature that adds to your riding experience. Features like an adjustable visor and removable chin bar also do come in handy during various riding situations.
Following are some of the best mens mountain bike helmets that would not only protect you but enhance your riding experience so that you can ride longer and faster.
Part5: Helmet Recommendations
1. Giro Manifest:
Since its release about a year ago, Giro Manifest has developed a fan following of its own. As a company, Giro has risen to fame by producing one of the best men’s mtb helmet lineups available to riders throughout the world. All in all, Giro Manifest can help you achieve the ultimate riding experience without compromising on safety, comfort, or style. It features an advanced version of MIPS that uses a ball and socket construction for greater rotation as well as more shock absorption. Manifest also has another safety feature named as AURA arch. It is a plastic semi skeleton used for both, reinforcement and shock absorption.
But even with all of this, Giro Manifest is super light and comfortable. Ventilation is important for a comfortable ride hence Manifest uses a total of 19 airports and air channels that make it super breezy and contribute to weight reduction. It has a great fit and comes with magnetic buckles. With all the features, Giro Manifest can easily be considered a market leader but it is a pricier option when it comes to budget. Priced at $260, it can get a little expensive for beginners as well as riders that don’t ride that often. Other than this, Manifest without a doubt is a real winner.
2. Troy Lee Designs A3:
Another pricier option on the list, Troy Lee Designs A3 is one of the best mountain bike helmets for men. It is a perfect representation of the Troy Lee legacy and its design philosophy. A simple glance would be enough for you to distinguish it from other helmets out there in the market. Borrowing its comfortable and all-around grip from its predecessor and having a deeper coverage, a height-adjustable spin wheel that allows you to control how the helmet fits as well as a more curved silhouette makes A3 an ideal choice. It features a blend of foams for paddings that allow for both high and low-speed crash protection. The pads are easily removable and quick to wash so that you can wear a clean helmet every time.
Let’s be real, who doesn’t want a fresh helmet. It goes without mentioning but the helmet also has MIPS. Alongside this, it has a mega adjustable visor that ensures that your eyes are protected from all angles and magnetic Fidlock buckles keep the helmet in its place even at high speeds. Alike any other Troy Lee helmet, it is easy to wear and has a seamless fit. It is a bit warmer and heavier fit when compared to Manifest but gets the job done equally well. Priced at $220, Troy lee offers a wide array of colorways for you to choose from.
With each passing year, helmet prices is rising. In a case as such, it gets extremely difficult for riders to find a helmet that is not only safe but is comfortable and not heavy on the budget. Smith Convoy is an option worth considering if you are someone who is looking for all the things mentioned above. For a price as low as $75, there are a ton of features that can make this a great purchase. First and foremost, MIPS. While it might be a standard option in the case of other costlier helmets but in a budget like this, it is a great feature to have. Moving on, it is completely adjustable both vertically and horizontally so that you can make it fit perfectly. Additionally, it has a great ventilation mechanism.
There are a total of 20 vents on the helmet which constitute more than a decent amount of airflow reaching your head. This also means that it riders can use in hot climates as well. It has a simplistic design and some basic color options which are explainable due to its price. If you are someone who does not ride more often or go on long rides, Smith Convoy is a helmet that you can trust.
If you are someone who loves speed, Speedframe is the helmet you need. With speed even its name, it is for going fast. It has a mean and sharp look which is enough to give all the other riders a signal, speed is here! It uses a multi-position mechanism that is 360-degree adjustable so that you find yourself the fit you like. This means that wearing riding goggles won’t be a problem anymore. Moreover, it also has an adjustable visor that you can fix at three different positions as per your need. With MIPS protection, it can be a riding companion of yours through every thick and thin.
All this fast-paced mountain biking comes with heavy sweat. Keeping that in mind, fox saves the day by using a washable moisture-wicking liner that is removable, so no more stinking here. Fox as a brand has been popular for its unique and exquisite color designs, the color pallet for SpeedFrame is no different. Priced originally at $109.95, Speedframe is a piece of performance equipment ready for thrilling adventures whenever you are.
Enough with the recommendations, let’s now answer some of your questions.
Part6: Frequently Asked Questions
How are MTB Helmets Different from Road Helmets
The obvious and most visible difference between an Mtb and a road helmet is the design. Mtb helmets allow for greater coverage, are bulkier, and provide better protection when compared to a standard road helmet. Road helmets also don’t have a visor. Other than this, road helmets don’t have additional features that are helpful on track such as mounts and adjustable grips.
Can You Use a Roadside Helmet for Mountain Biking
In terms of functionality both helmets serve the same purpose of protecting your head but as mentioned above a road helmet cannot protect as an Mtb helmet would do.
Which Color Mountain Bike Helmet is Best
Usually, there is no fixed rule for choosing the color for your helmet. It entirely depends on your personal preference. However, experts suggest buying brighter color helmets as they are visible from far and reduce the chances of collision with other people on the track.
Do more Expensive Mountain Bike Helmets Protect You Better
This question does not have a definite answer. A common perception and a rule of thumb for most people is that the more expensive the helmet is more features it will have. But if you can find a cheaper option with the same level of protection, who doesn’t want to save some extra bucks.
To conclude it all, helmets are a vital piece of equipment that riders need to wear both on track and off track. Helmets not only protect your head but help you ride better without getting stressed about things going south.