MTB helmets - proper off-road protection
MTB helmets are an absolute must for mountain bikers on every mountain bike tour. Because only those with brains wear them! Mountain bike helmets offer reliable protection in the event of a fall and prevent head injuries. When biking off-road, MTB helmets also offer protection against branches. A modern mountain bike helmet impresses with its low weight and good ventilation.
Which helmet is best for mountain biking?
Basically, MTB helmets are divided into three categories:
· Half-shell helmets
· Open face helmets
· Full face helmets
Half-shell helmets often differ depending on the discipline. Racing bike and cross-country helmets are very lightweight and usually not equipped with a visor because of better aerodynamics. They also have a lot of vents. Trail helmets are characterised by a more closed shape along the back of the head and on the back. Enduro half-shell helmets provide significantly more protection for the head, are closed along the forehead and at the back of the head and offer protection from the sun and rain thanks to their visor.
ION Bike relies on the MIPS Brain Protection System. "MIPS" stands for minimised rotation affecting the head in the event of an impact. This reduces the stress on the skull and cervical spine. The MIPS system consists of a film located between the EPS foam and helmet padding.
Due to their more robust design, open face helmets allow less freedom of movement but provide increased protection. They are usually equipped with numerous vents to ensure sufficient air circulation even in high heat.
Full-face helmets or integral helmets are most similar to motorcycle helmets because they completely enclose the head and have a chin guard. However, they differ compared to motocross helmets due to their construction (more vents for optimal ventilation and cooling) and weight.
However, since this type of mountain bike helmet is not suitable for riding uphill, they are often worn when bikers tackle the summit on the way down, after having taken the lift. Full face helmets are designed for speed enthusiasts and are used if you're a bike park, downhill or enduro rider.
Frequently asked questions
Do MTB helmets have to be tested and are they certified?
In order to meet certain safety standards, mountain bike helmets have to undergo tests in Europe in order to be approved. MTB helmet shells are therefore put through tests and evaluated for their damping properties as well as simulating the impact on angular objects such as rock edges, etc. Only those that remain intact over the course of these tests and achieve good results receive certification.
Do I have to change my helmet after a fall?
In the event of a fall on the head, we strongly recommend contacting the manufacturer (link to MET) and having them check your helmet, as the EPS foam inside could have become deformed; in this case, the protective performance will no longer be the same. Also keep in mind that even with good care, your helmet will age over time and can usually be used for two to five years.
How can I find the best helmet for me?
Choosing which type of MTB helmet is best for you certainly depends on your area of use. In any case, it is important to take your time when choosing a mountain bike helmet and to ensure that it fits perfectly. MTB helmets for men and women should be comfortable, fit well, not slip and properly envelop your head. To determine your correct helmet size, simply measure the circumference of your head from the back of your head along your forehead and making one complete circle. Normally adults measure between 49-64cm.
How can I make fine adjustments?
ION Bike features the "FIT" closure system for half-shell helmets, which is used for individual adjustment. Fine tuning is carried out using an adjustment ring with rotating wheel at the back of the helmet. By using this wheel, the circumference of the helmet can be fine-tuned by several centimetres. Some ION bike helmets feature the magnetic Fidlock fastener to adjust the chin strap, which makes it easy to open and close the fastener even when wearing gloves.
How do I know my helmet fits properly?
Once the helmet is on your head and the chin strap is fastened, the distance between your eyebrows and the helmet shell should be between one to two fingers. Using your hands - by tugging sideways and pushing forwards and backwards - you can determine whether the helmet fits perfectly. If an MTB helmet can be moved and slips even with the slightest effort, it means the helmet is too big.