Mountain bike helmets provide protection for your body’s more important part – your head. Would you drive a car without a seat belt? Neither should you ride a mountain bike without a helmet. A high-quality mountain bike helmet provides protection without getting in the way your biking enjoyment. Here are some considerations when purchasing mountain bike helmets.
Impact resistance – Mountain bike helmets are designed to provide impact protection. Check impact ratings before buying a helmet.
Ventilation – Proper ventilation of a bike helmet provides coolness and sweat control. Vents on the front of the helmet allow air to flow through and keep your head cooler. If sweat drips into your eyes or you have to wipe sweat out of your eyes, an unsafe condition is created by lack of sweat control. A front brow pad or sweat band can reduce this risk.
Retention – Try on several mountain bike helmets to find one that retains its position. The helmet should be level on your head while being in contact with your head all around. It should be comfortably snug without being too tight. While strapped, the helmet’s movement should be less than one inch in any direction.
Weight – Since almost all mountain bike helmets are relatively light, weight is of concern only to serious mountain bikers. Generally, lighter helmets, like mountain bike frames, cost more.
Helmet design – Mountain bike helmets can include full-face protection or a visor. A helmet visor can shield your eyes from the sun. It adds a small amount of weight and cost to the helmet, but may be worth it in during a sunny ride. Also, determine if the helmet can support a video camera mount or light mount.
Consider other safety biking accessories, especially for kids’ mountain bikes: neck protection, upper body armor, lower body armor, padded mountain bike shorts, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, wrist protection, knee braces, ankle protection, and lights.
Mountain bike helmets have become more affordable, light weight, and comfortable, making it hard to have an excuse to not wear one. So hit the trail – with a mountain bike helmet.