Mountain Bike Helmet Buying Guide

A mountain bike helmet provides essential protection whatever your riding style. Your mountain bike helmet has to fit well, perform flawlessly and look good. At Halfords, we can help with all three.

If you’re new to mountain biking or looking for an upgrade on your existing mountain bike lid, then our mountain bike helmet buying guide is for you.

Mountain bike helmet features

Mountain bike helmets are designed for the challenges – and dangers – of off-road riding. On the outside of the helmet is a sturdy plastic shell. Inside is a layer of material that will soak up the impact of a crash or fall.

Mountain bike helmets provide greater protection for your entire head than road helmets. Trails helmets are larger, extending further around your head. They cover your temples and vulnerable bits at the back.

Mountain bike helmets have a rigid and robust structure to protect against damage if you fall. The foam inside compresses, taking the impact. Modern mountain bike helmets can also have improved safety features, such as a Multi Direct Impact Protection System (MIPS) liner that can help soak up shocks caused by a crash.

You’ll also find that unlike road helmets, mountain bike helmets have a peak, to help shield your eyes from the sun and protect you from the rain. They also have more ventilation holes to help wick away sweat and keep your head cool.

Mountain bike helmets can be a little heavier and hotter than your typical road helmet, but that’s the price you pay for all-round better protection.

Do I need a full-face mountain bike helmet?

Full face helmets provide the ultimate in protection, but they are bulky and can take some getting used to. Full-face mountain bike helmets are usually worn by riders who take risks, such as downhill bikers.

If you’re a beginner, a typical trail rider or ride within your limits, you should be fine riding with a conventional mountain bike helmet. While full-face mountain bike helmets might look similar to a motorcycle helmet, they’re very different. So never wear a motorbike helmet on your bike!

How to choose a mountain bike helmet

You can pick up a mountain bike helmet for as little as £25, or at the top-of-the-range, you can spend hundreds. So how do you choose?

The good news is that every mountain bike helmet that we sell at Halfords conform to all the current standards. That means that even our lowest priced helmet, the Halfords Descent U Helmet, is tested to perform and will provide adequate protection in a crash.

If you spend more, you can find helmets with additional safety features, such as MIPS. MIPS helmets have a brain-protecting system located inside the foam that provides extra shock absorption which protects your brain in the event of an impact.

One of the benefits of MIPS is that it provides protection from all angles, which is particularly beneficial for mountain biking, where no crash is ever normal.

So, you’ve narrowed down your search and bottomed out your budget. The final, and most important consideration, is finding a mountain bike helmet that fits.

You can read all about how to fit a bike helmet in our detailed guide. Measuring your head will give you a rough guide, but it’s no substitute for fit and feel that you get while trying a few on.

Best mountain bike helmets 2020

Here is a selection of our favourite mountain bike helmets for all budgets and all bikers.

Super starter - Halfords Transfer Helmet

The Halfords Transfer Helmet is a perfect entry-level helmet delivering exceptional all-round performance at a price you’ll like. We still don’t know how we do it so cheaply, but we do.

Performance Upgrade – Lazer Coyote MIPS Helmet

Coming with a full MIPS system, the Lazer Coyote is a stylish helmet that boasts some superb safety credentials. Reviewers love it, and you will too.

ABUS MonTrailer-MIPS Helmet

If you’re a downhill daredevil, it’s sensible to invest in the best possible helmet you can, and there are few better than the ABUS MonTrailer-MIPS. As well as looking awesome, it’s got all-important MIPS protection too.

Safety-first - Giro Chronicle MIPS Dirt/Mountain Bike Helmet

Stay safe and seen with the fluorescent Giro Chronicle MIPS mountain bike helmet. It’s a full MIPS lid that’s super-comfortable as a result of its extra-plush Coolmax padding. A superb investment in your cycling safety.

Need a new mountain bike helmet?

If you’re looking for a lid for your mountain bike, we’ve got a superb selection at Halfords. Alongside our own-brand favourites, we’ve got models from the likes of Bell and Giro, packed full of safety performance features. Shop online or drop into your nearest Halfords to see our full selection.

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