Mountain bike helmets - life insurance on the trail
These days, mountain bike helmets are an indispensable part of the sport of mountain biking. This all for the right reasons, considering at what breakneck speed mountain bikers ride on rocky and root-heavy trails. Depending on the recommended use, different versions of helmets exist: Shell helmets for race- and all-mountain-driven bikers, integral helmets or full face helmets for Downhill and Freeriders and special helmets for Dirt bikers and BMX riders. Common to all is an essential characteristic: Their standard-tested and thus reliable shock absorption in case of falls. The differences lie in the design and special features offered.
Mountainbike helmets for every recommended use
Apart from the use of an approximately similar sporting equipment, the ambitious Up Hill Racer and Downhill rider have little to nothing in common. Logically as a consequence the head protection for these differ greatly. Classic mountainbike helmets for race- and all-mountain-driven bikers come in a shell structure, which are similar to that of a road bike helmet. They are usually made with full attention on weight saving and cover only the skull. The inner shell made of foam ensures reliable cushioning on impact when a fall occurs. An important aspect in shell helmets like those of Giro or Lazer, is a sufficient number of vents that guarantee the supply of fresh air on strenuous tours. A detachable splash guard provides protection from rain and low hanging branches. Shell helmets for mountain bikers are compatible with bike glasses for protection against insects and sharp wind. Flat seamed bike caps fit under the helmet and protect your head and ears from getting cold.
In addition to protectors, the integral helmet is part of the essential equipment of Downhill mountain biking. Full face helmets from POC or Bell provide not only shock absorption for the skull but also protection for the facial area. The outer shell of the bike helmet covers the entire head and only leaves room for a viewing window. Just so that the eyes are also protected from dust, stones and mud, one wears a full face helmet with goggles. A tightly screwed visor protects against low branches and brushwood. The comfort of a full face helmet is decided on its weight and ventilation. Since it can quickly get very warm under such a helmet, a functioning system of venting slits is advantageous. Outer shells made of carbon give the bike helmet a low weight and high stability.
Special helmets also exist for Dirt Bike and BMX riders. Half-shell helmets provide a compromise between enhanced head protection and ventilation. For city riders, so called city helmets exist, which are similar in structure to the shell helmets for mountain bikers.
What to consider when buying mountainbike helmets?
As generally applies to functional equipment in the sports sector: insufficient functionality without optimal fit. A mountainbike helmet that does not slip into the face or presses unpleasantly on the head should be chosen. In addition, substantially above the wearing comfort, are the weight of the bike helmet, the quality of the chin closure and the effectiveness of the ventilation system.