This is a glossary of terms cyclists use. Some might call it cycling slang, or the vocabulary of a cyclist. Either way, if you're getting into the sport and want to know what people are saying, being familiar with these words will help. Have fun! Example: "I really gave it all in the last kilometers, although I didn't think it was possible until I crossed the line.
Protecting your head is vital in the rough and tumble world of mountain biking, where crashes can be an all-too frequent occurrence. Stacked with features, the 4Forty is pretty affordable. The large vents mean it has impressive airflow over the top of the head to help reduce heat buildup on long climbs. We found its shape is well-suited to those with rounder he and the fit system is easy to adjust with an indexed dial on the back of the lid.
The Tyrant helmet from Giro represents a new-school attitude to trail riding where more protection is a must-have at the expense of a little weight and heat dissipation. It uses a MIPS Spherical system to help protect your brain in a crash and offers lots of low-down protection at the rear thanks to its de.
Using a plastic liner inside the helmet, the MIPS system reduces the rotational forces that can cause brain injuries. Elsewhere, the Stego has a squared-off profile that might not be popular with some, but it does give plenty of coverage to your temples and the back of your head, making it ideal for anyone looking for a lighter trail lid with a little extra protection. The fully in-moulded shell also means that it puts up with the rough and tumble life of mountain biking very well too. Like the Giro Tyrant, the Fox Dropframe is another example of the new-school open face, extra-coverage trail lids that look similar to full-face helmets with the chin bar removed.
The Fixture is a bit of a bargain, considering the amount of tech on offer.
The best mountain bike trail helmets manage to balance the often-competing needs of protection, ventilation, comfort and weight. Helped by the rise in popularity of enduro racing, many open-face lids now offer greater coverage around the back of the head and the temples than cross-country or road-style helmets, helping to boost protection.
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Unless you care about every single gram or really want ultimate cooling, that makes them a sensible bet for the majority of riders. Most bike helmets use some form of expanded polystyrene, or EPS foam, formed around a core of another, tougher material to provide cushioning in the event of an impact.
One such technology is MIPS multi-directional impact protection systemwhich uses a floating plastic liner between the head and the EPS structure, which reduces the amount of rotational force transmitted to the brain during a crash. Rotational force is responsible for a large of injuries, including brain damage, so while it makes manufacturing, and thus retail, prices more expensive, many manufacturers now incorporate MIPS into their helmets. Most bicycle helmets now have a hard plastic outer moulded to the EPS structure.
This is known as in-moulding and provides protection against minor bumps and scratches that would otherwise damage the EPS. On cheaper helmets, this tends to be limited to the top and sides of the helmet. More expensive, fully in-moulded helmets extend the plastic protection down and around the rim, making it much more effective at fending off damage.
How well a helmet fits will depend on the size and shape of your head.
Many people tend to get on with certain brands that use a particular shape, but finding the right one is very much a case of trial and error. If possible, bearing in mind the latest Covid guidance, go to your local bike shop to see how you get on with different lids or ask your friends if you can try theirs.
The main thing is to ensure you can get the helmet sitting securely on your head so there are no pressure points or undue movement. Most helmets will have a retention system of some kind to allow you to adjust how tightly it fits onto your head. Many of these will tighten and loosen around the circumference of the head, although some also adjust in other ways. Check that the peak can be adjusted so that it keeps the sun out of your eyes without getting in the way or flapping about when you ride. If you like to ride wearing glasses, make sure they fit comfortably with the lid.
A of helmets on the market now come with a chin guard that can be removed.
This is largely in response to the growth in enduro racing, where long climbs benefit an open-face lid to help you breathe and stay cool, while gnarly descents mean the additional protection from a full-face-style lid is desirable. The compromise is often weight because, if the helmet has full ASTM downhill certification so it can be used as a DH race helmetthere needs to be extra protection built in. Not all of the convertible helmets meet this standard, though.
These allow a secure fitting for your camera, but also mean you can go back to having an unfettered helmet when you want to.
Best mountain bike helmets
Many enduro-style lids also allow you to use goggles to provide almost impregnable eye protection. Look for helmets with a peak that lifts up high enough for you to be able to fit the goggles underneath and a strap of some kind at the back to keep them secure. This article has been updated since it was first published so some comments below may be out of date — last updated 12 May Alex started racing downhill at the tender age of 11, later going on to compete internationally representing the UK.
At 19, he moved to the Alps to pursue a career as a bike bum clocking up moon-mileage riding the famous tracks in and around Morzine, France. In that time, he broke more bikes than he can remember.
Since working for MBUK, Alex's focus has moved to towards bike tech and he now wants to find out what bikes and components represent the best value for money regardless of discipline. Riding since the age of 13, Technical Editor Tom has ridden hundreds of bikes over the past few years, from aero race bikes to EWS-ready enduro rigs, with a fair few others in between.
Most likely found in the woods practicing his scandi-flicks. Home Advice Buying Guides Best mountain bike helmets. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our opinion.
Latest deals. The coverage offered by the lid is quite extensive. Andy Lloyd. The Stego impressed us when we first tested it in Since then, it has remained unchanged.
Scott Sports. The low weight is thanks to, in part at least, the 23 vents and deep internal channelling.
Robin Weaver. Some helmets, such as the Switchblade, have removable chin bars.
In open-face mode, the amount of coverage coupled with the MIPS liner should keep your bonce well-protected. Alex Evans Technical Editor. Tom Marvin Technical Editor. Daily Deals. Order your copy of the only Official Tour de France race guide today! Castelli des its best-performing bibs ever. Review Osprey Raptor 10 hydration pack. Get offer. You may also like.
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