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10 Best Mountain Bike Helmets Under $50 (Review Sep, 2020)

Mountain biking, as a sport, demands a high level of performance from all of the rider’s individual gear, including helmets. MTB helmets need to be imparted with certain properties that set them apart from other kinds of helmets. Among these, the most important ones have more head coverage at the back and sides. They also have a lower number of vents to prevent snagging and an adequate visor/peak to protect the eyes. This makes MTB helmets pretty costly. However, we understand that not everyone can afford to spend upwards of a hundred bucks on a helmet alone. Therefore, we have decided to prepare a list of the best helmets that are suitable for mountain biking and that are less than $50.

Cheap helmets are not always recommended for any type of off-road cycling. But after carrying out exhaustive research for prolonged hours, we have been able to identify the best helmets under $50 with decent quality that will get the job done for you. It will surely be a difficult task for you to browse through the enormous amount of options and determine which are the best choices for you. This is why in this article, we have included detailed reviews for each helmet and a table comparing all the products. Additionally, you will find a useful buying guide where we have discussed the factors that you should consider while purchasing an MTB helmet.

Every helmet that we have selected in this list is an excellent choice at the price of $50. Despite that, out of all the products, we have concluded that the PHZ. Adult Bike Helmet stands out with the best value for the money. Therefore, it has been entitled as our ‘Overall Best Choice’. However, don’t forget to check out the other helmets as well.

PHZ. Adult Bike Helmet

Multipurpose Helmet with Rechargeable USB Light and 3-Way Dial | Overall Best Choice

The PHZ Adult Bike Helmet is a versatile helmet that can be used for almost all types of cycling. The adoption of specialized aerodynamic design and substantial ventilation allows you to increase speed while staying cool. This helmet is lighter than a lot of other helmets and complies with international helmet safety standards. Even though the name has ‘Adult’ in it, this helmet is suitable for people with a wide range of head sizes including youths.

Unlike other helmets, the dial on the back is an upgraded 3-way regulator with up and down adjustment function for better fitting. The LED backlight has 3-modes and it can be fully charged in 40 minutes. Because of having 3-4 hours of battery life, the backlight can provide extra nighttime visibility. However, the light itself is not too bright and is lacking in terms of quality.

  • Type: Mountain/Road/Triathlon bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 21.3-24 inch (54-61 cm)
  • Construction: PVC and polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 284 grams
  • Safety Standard: CPSC and CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 23 vents
  • Colors: Black, Carbon Black, Green, Purple, White

 

A quick view of our selected best mountain bike (MTB) helmets under $50:

HelmetWeight (grams)Our Rating
PHZ Adult Bike Helmet28490
Kingbike Ultralight Bike Helmet22278
Atphfety Mountain Bike Helmet29081
JBM Adult Cycling Helmet39980
Tommaso Ombra Cycling Helmet24082
GoMax Aero Bike Helmet25088
Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet36172
Mokfire Adult Bike Helmet28078
Tommaso Sporco Multi-Use Helmet26084
Bell Richter Youth Helmet31785

10 best mountain bike helmets you can buy under $50

Check out the comparison table below to get an overview of our selection of products. We have also done a detailed breakdown of each helmet. Keep reading for the full reviews.

HelmetsPreviewTypeWeightFit SystemSafety StandardVisorVentilation
PHZ Adult Bike HelmetPHZ. Adult Bike CPSC Certified Helmet with Rechargeable Led Back Light/Detachable Visor Ideal for Road Ride Mountain Bike Bicycle for Men and Women …Mountain/Road/Triathlon bike helmet284 gRear dial adjustable systemCPSC and CE.EN1078 certificationDetachable23 vents
Kingbike Ultralight Bike HelmetKINGBIKE Ultralight Specialized Bike Helmets CPSC&CE Certified with Rear Light + Portable Simple Backpack + Detachable Visor for Men Women(M/L,L/XL) (Titanium, L/XL(59-63CM))Road/Mountain bike helmet222 gRear dial adjustable systemCPSC and CE.EN1078 certificationDetachable24 vents
Atphfety Mountain Bike HelmetAtphfety Mountain Bike Helmet,MTB Road Bicycle Cycling Helmets with Camera Mount for Adult Men/WomenMountain/Cross-country/Road bike helmet290 gRear dial adjustable systemCE.EN1078 certificationDetachable15 vents
JBM Adult Cycling HelmetJBM Adult Cycling Bike Helmet Specialized for Men Women Safety Protection CPSC Certified (18 Colors) Black/Red/Blue/Pink/Silver Adjustable Lightweight Helmet with Reflective Stripe and RemovalMountain/Road bike helmet399 gRear dial adjustable systemCPSC certificationDetachable14 vents
Tommaso Ombra Cycling HelmetTommaso Ombra Lightweight Cycling Helmet Removable Visor Road & MTB Bike Adjustable Fit 4 Colors Black,Matte Black,White,Titanium Certified Safety Protection - Matte Black - S/MMountain/Road bike helmet240 gRear dial adjustable systemCPSC and CE.EN1078 certificationDetachable20 vents
GoMax Aero Bike HelmetGoMax Aero Adult Safety Helmet Adjustable Road Cycling Mountain Bike Bicycle Helmet Ultralight Inner Padding Chin Protector and Visor w/Rear LED Tail Light Adjust (Shiny Black, XL)Mountain/Road bike helmet250 gRear dial adjustable systemCE.EN1078 certificationDetachable22 vents
Lixada Mountain Bike HelmetLixada Mountain Bike Helmet Ultralight Adjustable MTB Cycling Bicycle Helmet Men Women Sports Outdoor Safety Helmet with 13 VentsMountain bike helmet361 gRear dial adjustable systemCE.EN1078 certificationFixed but adjustable13 vents
Mokfire Adult Bike HelmetMOKFIRE Adult Bike Helmet with Rechargeable USB Light, Bicycle Helmet CPSC Certified for Men Women, Road Cycling & Mountain Biking Helmets with Removable Visor and Lining, 22.05-24.41 Inches (Black)Road/Mountain bike helmet280 gRear dial adjustable systemCPSC and CE.EN1078 certificationDetachable22 vents
Tommaso Sporco Multi-Use HelmetTommaso Sporco MTB, Road Cycling Helmet Removable Visor, Adjustable Fit, 4 Colors Matte Black, White, Titanium, Yellow, Fully Certified Safety Protection - Yellow S/MCross-country/Mountain/Road bike helmet260 gRear dial adjustable systemCPSC and CE.EN1078 certificationDetachable24 vents
Bell Richter Youth HelmetBELL Youth Richter Helmet, Black Riot, Model Number: 7049692Youth bike helmet317 gSelf-adjusting True-Fit systemCPSC certificationDetachable16 vents

1. PHZ Adult Bike Helmet: Multipurpose Helmet with Rechargeable USB Light and 3-Way Dial | Overall Best Choice

PHZ Adult Bike Helmet

  • Type: Mountain/Road/Triathlon bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 21.3-24 inch (54-61 cm)
  • Construction: PVC and polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 284 grams
  • Safety Standard: CPSC and CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 23 vents
  • Colors: Black, Carbon Black, Green, Purple, White

Features & Considerations
  • Multi-functional: This helmet is suitable for various forms of cycling, including city, road, triathlon, or mountain biking.
  • Great Comfort: The lightweight construction along with 23 air-flow vents will feel great on your head.
  • Upgraded Regulator: While most helmet dials are 2-way, this helmet has a 3-way regulator adding an up and down adjustment function for better comfort.
  • USB Backlight: The rechargeable rear LED light comes with 3 modes – constant light mode, flashing mode and tour mode.
  • Removable Visor: Comes with a visor that can be easily attached or unattached to the helmet as per your requirement.
  • Detachable Liner and Insect Net: The removable liner is very easy to take down and wash and the built-in insect net prevents the insects from coming into your head while cycling.

Some Weaknesses
  • The brightness and quality of the backlight are not that great.
  • There are complaints about the backlight that it falls off easily.

 

The PHZ Adult Bike Helmet is a versatile helmet that can be used for almost all types of cycling. The adoption of specialized aerodynamic design and substantial ventilation allows you to increase speed while staying cool. This helmet is lighter than a lot of other helmets and complies with international helmet safety standards. Even though the name has ‘Adult’ in it, this helmet is suitable for people with a wide range of head sizes including youths.

Unlike other helmets, the dial on the back is an upgraded 3-way regulator with up and down adjustment function for better fitting. The LED backlight has 3-modes and it can be fully charged in 40 minutes. Because of having 3-4 hours of battery life, the backlight can provide extra nighttime visibility. However, the light itself is not too bright and is lacking in terms of quality.

PHZ Adult Bike Helmet

PHZ Adult Bike Helmet

2. Kingbike Ultralight Bike Helmet: Ultralight Helmet for Cycling with a Portable Backpack

Kingbike Ultralight Bike Helmet

  • Type: Road/Mountain bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 22-25 inch (56-62 cm)
  • Construction: In-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 222 grams
  • Safety Standard: CPSC and CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 24 vents
  • Colors: Black (Matte), Black & Titanium, Black & Green, Black & Red, Green, Titanium, Titanium Black, White, White & Black, Red

Features & Considerations
  • Ultra Lightweight: At 222 grams, this is the lightest helmet in the list. So, there is no chance of it being a burden at all.
  • Superb Comfort: Other than being lightweight, this helmet can also fit a wide range of head sizes. Additionally, the 24 cooling vents will keep you fresh and dry.
  • Portable Bag: It comes with a simple bag making it easier to carry the helmet around with you anywhere.
  • Detachable Visor: Comes with a visor that can be easily attached or unattached to the helmet as per your requirement.
  • Rear LED Light: Provides extra safety by keeping you visible in low light conditions.

Some Weaknesses
  • The battery for the rear LED is non-rechargeable and replacing it is difficult.
  • Due to its especially lightweight construction, this helmet is not recommended for extreme off-road biking.

 

The Kingbike Ultralight Bike Helmet does indeed live up to its name. It weighs only 222 grams, making it barely noticeable on your head. Combined with plenty of ventilation, you get a very comfortable helmet. The portable pouch bag that comes with it allows for easy carry of the helmet. There is also a detachable visor included.

There is an integrated rear LED light with 3 modes that work alright and are bright enough. However, the battery is not rechargeable, and accessing it for replacement is quite a task. This helmet is CPSC and CE.EN1078 certified. It can be used for road and mountain biking.

Kingbike Ultralight Bike Helmet

Kingbike Ultralight Bike Helmet

3. Atphfety Mountain Bike Helmet: Multipurpose Helmet with a Built-in Camera Mount

Atphfety Mountain Bike Helmet

  • Type: Mountain/Cross-country/Road bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 21.6-24 inch (55-61 cm)
  • Construction: In-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 290 grams
  • Safety Standard: CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 15 vents
  • Colors: Blue, Dark Green, Gray, Orange, Red, Yellow Green

Features & Considerations
  • Built-in Camera Mount: You can attach a camera or a light on the top of the helmet for hands-free filming.
  • Multi-functional: This helmet is compatible with a wide variety of cycling disciplines.
  • Detachable Visor: A large sun visor can firmly be held in place by screws on either side that can be easily removed by hand.
  • Lightweight: The lightweight but durable PC shell and EPS foam make the helmet only 290 grams.
  • Cool and Comfortable: Can be easily adjusted to fit for a wide range of head sizes and well-designed ventilation keeps you cool.
  • Insect Net: Inner pads also have an insect net to prevent bugs from getting in your hair.

Some Weaknesses
  • This helmet does not include built-in lights.
  • Removing the visor is not as easy as other helmets with snap-on visors.

 

The Atphfety Mountain Bike Helmet features a built-in mount on the upper surface mainly for the purpose of attaching an action camera, allowing you to record your cycling adventures with free hands. You can also choose to attach a mountable light instead of those who enjoy riding at night. This helmet is suitable for almost all types of cycling such as a mountain, XC, road, enduro, etc. Men, women and even youths can use this helmet because it has a dial adjustable retention system as well as many colors to choose from.

It has a lightweight design with 15 air-flow vents to keep you cool and soft inner pads for comfort. However, safety is not compromised as it is durable and CE certified. The large sun visor will keep the glare and rain out of your eyes. Moreover, if you want you can detach it by removing two breakaway screws on either side of the visor. The helmet also has an inner mesh that acts as a net to stop insects.

Atphfety Mountain Bike Helmet

Atphfety Mountain Bike Helmet

4. JBM Adult Cycling Helmet: Adjustable Helmet Available in Multiple Colors

JBM Adult Cycling Helmet

  • Type: Mountain/Road bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 22-25 inch (56-63 cm)
  • Construction: PVC and polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 399 grams
  • Safety Standard: CPSC certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 14 vents
  • Colors: Black, Black & Blue, Blue, Dark Blue & Orange, Pink & Black, Red & Black, Silver, Yellow & Black

Features & Considerations
  • Removable Visor: Can be easily snapped on/off and protects the eyes against rain and glare from the sun.
  • Great Price: Perfect for those who are on a tight budget. This is one of the least expensive helmets on our list.
  • Aerodynamic and Ventilated: The design of this helmet allows you to ride at higher speeds without feeling too hot.
  • Multiple Colors: Large choice of colors leaves an option for almost anyone including men, women and youths.
  • Comfortable: The dial adjustable retention system and soft inner foam lining makes this helmet pleasant to wear.

Some Weaknesses
  • This helmet does not include built-in lights.
  • Straps are not great as they do not remain in place and need to be adjusted from time to time.

 

The JBM Adult Cycling Helmet is a good choice for you if you are on a budget. It is one of the cheapest helmets out there. You can use it for recreational and commuting purposes, but also for road and mountain biking. It uses a tough and durable PVC and PC shell with EPS foam and is CPSC certified. The adjustable dial system and multiple choices for colors make it a unisex helmet.

This helmet comes with a detachable visor that can be easily snapped on or off to shade your eyes from the sun. There are plenty of vents to allow airflow and it has an aerodynamic design allowing you to increase speed. Due to the low price, the side and chin straps have rather low quality and need to be adjusted frequently.

JBM Adult Cycling Helmet

JBM Adult Cycling Helmet

5. Tommaso Ombra Cycling Helmet: Ultralight and Comfortable Cycling Helmet

Tommaso Ombra Cycling Helmet

  • Type: Mountain/Road bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 21.2-24.4 inch (54-62 cm)
  • Construction: In-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 240 grams
  • Safety Standard: CPSC and CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 20 vents
  • Colors: Matte Black, White, Titanium

Features & Considerations
  • Lightweight Construction: This is achieved by using an in-mold micro shell technology with EPS liner which is both light and strong.
  • Detachable Visor: Comes with a visor that can be easily attached or unattached to the helmet as per your requirement.
  • Well Ventilated: Contains 20 cooling vents allowing air to flow seamlessly over your scalp and keeping you cool.
  • Multi-functional: Can be used by riders of various disciplines such as mountain bikers, road cyclists, commuters, etc.

Some Weaknesses
  • This helmet does not include built-in lights.

 

The Tommaso Ombra is a versatile helmet that can be used for many purposes including mountain biking. It is designed to be extremely lightweight by using premium in-mold micro shell technology, which is attached to EPS foam. This also makes it tough and durable at the same time. With a lightweight design,20 airflow vents and an adjustable dial system; the Ombra is an incredibly comfortable helmet. Additionally, a visor is included to shield the eyes and can be taken off easily if you need it.

Tommaso, a US-based company; manufactures its own products and directly sells them to its customers. This allows their products to have lower prices while maintaining great quality. This makes the helmet an excellent choice if you are looking for a high-quality helmet with a bargain price. This helmet meets both CPSC and CE safety standards.

Tommaso Ombra Cycling Helmet

Tommaso Ombra Cycling Helmet

6. GoMax Aero Bike Helmet: Multipurpose Lightweight Helmet with a LED Taillight

GoMax Aero Bike Helmet

  • Type: Mountain/Road bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 21.2-25 inch (54-63 cm)
  • Construction: In-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 250 grams
  • Safety Standard: CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 22 vents
  • Colors: Shiny Black, Safety Orange, Black & Orange

Features & Considerations
  • Multi-functional: This helmet is suitable for various forms of cycling, including city, road or mountain biking.
  • LED Light: The dial at the back also acts as a taillight with 3 modes to ensure you remain visible to others on the road.
  • Detachable Visor: The visor is a snap-on type and is useful for shielding the eyes on sunny days.
  • Lightweight and Comfortable: Weighs very little and comes in different sizes for the perfect fit.
  • Well Ventilated: 22 vents will let airflow over your scalp unobstructedly and keep your head cool on hot summer days.

Some Weaknesses
  • The backlight is non-rechargeable and can become loose if not handled with care.

 

The GoMax Aero is a lightweight road or mountain bike helmet that can also be used by casual riders due to its low price. It is tough while weighing only 250 grams because it is manufactured using advanced in-mold technology with PC shell and EPS foam. This helmet comes in three sizes and the rear dial used for adjusting the size makes it available to users of all age ranges. A removable visor is included for shade during sunny days.

A rear LED light is integrated with the dial system, providing additional safety in low light conditions, which is a bonus. It has 3 flashing modes. On the downside, the battery is not rechargeable and needs to be replaced from time to time. Also, be careful while turning the dial as the light itself might come loose. However, this helmet is compliant with CE safety standards. It is comfortable, very well ventilated and has moisture-wicking pads to keep you feeling dry and fresh.

GoMax Aero Bike Helmet

GoMax Aero Bike Helmet

7. Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet: Specialized Helmet built for Mountain Bikers

Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet

  • Type: Mountain bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 22-24.4 inch (56-62 cm)
  • Construction: In-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 361 grams
  • Safety Standard: CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Fixed but adjustable
  • Ventilation: 13 vents
  • Colors: Matt Black, White, Blue+Yellow, Yellow+Black+Red, Blue+Red+White

Features & Considerations
  • Superior Protection: Specialized for mountain biking or trail cycling and has more head coverage and fewer vents for better protection.
  • Comfortable: Has soft chin guard and inner padding that absorbs shock upon impact and extra sweat. Additionally, 13 vents provide enough air-flow to keep you cool.
  • Adjustable Visor: Visor can be set in two different positions according to your needs.
  • Great Build Quality: Polycarbonate exterior integrally molded with EPS foam making it shockproof and is also highly resistant to heat and water.
  • Versatility: Even though this is a mountain bike helmet, it can be used for other forms of cycling.

Some Weaknesses
  • This helmet does not include built-in lights.
  • The visor is not detachable.

 

The Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet is designed specifically for mountain biking and trail cycling. It is made of an in-mold PC shell with EPS liner and has inner padding that absorbs shock and extra sweat at the same time. There is more head coverage for better protection since accidents are more likely during mountain biking. The 13 air-flow vents work surprisingly well. There is even a soft chin guard that is removable.

There have been some complaints that the helmet is more round-shaped and may not fit more oblong heads. So, take that into account. Although the visor is not removable, it is uniquely adjustable with two different settings and is quite large to offer your eyes with the protection from rain, sun and low-hanging branches. Therefore, the Lixada helmet may not be perfect for road biking but is a superb choice for mountain bikers due to the specialized design. This helmet is CE.EN1078 certified.

Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet

Lixada Mountain Bike Helmet

8. Mokfire Adult Bike Helmet: Multipurpose Helmet with USB Safety Light, Portable Bag, and 2 Inner Foam Linings Included

Mokfire Adult Bike Helmet

  • Type: Road/Mountain bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 22-24.4 inches (56-62 cm)
  • Construction: In-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 280 grams
  • Safety Standard: CPSC and CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial-adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 22 vents
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Red, White

Features & Considerations
  • Durable and Lightweight: Constructed from in-mold polycarbonate shell and EPS foam, it is both durable and lightweight.
  • Rechargeable Rear Light: The LED backlight is fully waterproof and USB rechargeable.
  • Portable Bag: It comes with a bag for you to carry the helmet around easily.
  • Well Ventilated: Unobstructed air-flow is achieved by 22 vents to keep your head cool on hot summer rides.
  • 2 Inner Linings: Every helmet includes one normal lining and one mesh lining which is useful for preventing insects from entering the helmet.
  • Multi-functional: Can be used by riders from different disciplines such as mountain bikers, road cyclists, commuters, etc.
  • Detachable Visor: Protects the eyes against rain and glare from the sun. Moreover, it can be easily taken off when not required.

Some Weaknesses
  • Some people find that this helmet does not fit perfectly, but that depends on individual head shape and size.

 

The Mokfire Adult Bike Helmet is an all-round great helmet at this price. It has a lightweight construction with in-mold technology, PC shell, and EPS liner. It is CPSC and CE certified. Not only mountain bikers, but almost all cyclists can use this helmet due to the design. The package includes a removable visor to secure eyes from rain and the sun, a portable bag to carry the helmet around with you, and two types of inner foam lining; one is a normal lining and the other comes with a mesh to stop insects from entering the helmet.

As an extra safety feature, there is a built-in LED rear light to ensure you remain visible to others at night. It is USB rechargeable and fully waterproof. The light has 3 modes that are constant glow, slow flashing and fast flashing. The battery life is also excellent with 5-7 hours of backup and it takes about 2 hours to get fully charged.

Mokfire Adult Bike Helmet

Mokfire Adult Bike Helmet

9. Tommaso Sporco Multi-Use Helmet: Versatile and Lightweight Bike Helmet for XC, MTB, Road, etc.

Tommaso Sporco Multi-Use Helmet

  • Type: Cross-country/Mountain/Road bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 21.2-24.4 inch (54-62 cm)
  • Construction: In-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 260 grams
  • Safety Standard: CPSC and CE.EN1078 certification
  • Fit System: Rear dial adjustable system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 24 vents
  • Colors: Matte Black, Matte Yellow

Features & Considerations
  • Lightweight Construction: This is achieved by using in-mold microshell technology with EPS liner which is both light and strong.
  • Detachable Visor: Comes with a visor that can be easily attached or unattached to the helmet as per your requirement.
  • Well Ventilated: Contains 24 cooling vents for amazing airflow and ensuring you never get too heated.
  • Multi-functional: Can be used by mountain bikers, road cyclists, trail cyclists, commuters, etc.
  • Comfortable: Has soft chin guard and inner padding that absorbs shock upon impact and absorbs extra sweat.

Some Weaknesses
  • This helmet does not include built-in lights.

 

The Sporco Multi-Use Helmet is another product by Tommaso. As the name suggests, it is a very versatile helmet. Originally designed for XC and trail riders. It has 24 cooling vents for seamless air-flow, removable soft moisture-wicking chin guard and inner padding that absorbs impact. It is made of an in-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam. These features make the helmet extremely light while ensuring that it is tough and durable. This helmet meets international safety standards with both CPSC and CE certifications.

The Sporco is also a very comfortable helmet to wear. It fits very well on most adult head sizes, thanks to the dial adjustable retention system at the back. A detachable visor is included to shield your eyes from sunlight, rain, and low-hanging branches on trails. The helmet has good head coverage at the back making it ideal for mountain biking. However, the other properties mentioned also make it suitable for virtually any form of cycling.

Tommaso Sporco Multi-Use Helmet

Tommaso Sporco Multi-Use Helmet

10. Bell Richter Youth Helmet: Stylish Bike Helmet for Young Adventurers

Bell Richter Youth Helmet

  • Type: Youth bike helmet
  • Head Circumference: 21.2-22.8 inch (54-58 cm)
  • Construction: Polycarbonate shell with EPS foam
  • Weight: 317 grams
  • Safety Standard: CPSC certification
  • Fit System: Self-adjusting True-Fit system
  • Visor: Detachable
  • Ventilation: 16 vents
  • Colors: Black Riot, Black/Orange Rooster, Black/White, Blue/Black/Silver, Blue/Dark Titanium, Silver/Mint, Solid Silver, Solid Titanium

Features & Considerations
  • Style and Design: This helmet is available in various stylish designs and color combinations compared to other helmets, which adds personality to it.
  • Pinch Guard: The buckle has a patented pinch guard that ensures pinch-free buckling.
  • True-Fit System: This is Bell’s own adjustment system which allows for the rider to get the perfect fit before every ride with just one simple adjustment.
  • Detachable Visor: Can be easily snapped on or off and protects the eyes against rain and glare from the sun.
  • Good Ventilation: There are 16 airflow vents to keep you extra cool on rides during hot days.
  • Great Price: This helmet is the least expensive out of all the products on this list.

Some Weaknesses
  • This helmet does not include built-in lights.
  • Since it is designed for kids, it will not be a good fit for people with large head sizes.

 

The Bell Richter Youth Helmet was designed for children aged 8 to 14 years old. However, adults with a smaller head circumference may also use this helmet. This helmet can also be thought of as an ideal choice for young people who are mountain biking beginners. The removable visor protects the eyes against rain and glare from the sun, while 16 vents ensure a steady flow of air to cool you down. There is also a patented pinch guard on the buckle that allows buckling with no pinching.

There are two things that are unique about this helmet. One is the True-Fit adjusting system which is Bell’s own design. With this system, all you have to do is make sure the chin strap is tight enough. The side straps are fixed permanently in the right place and instead of a rear dial, a self-adjusting elastic belt is used. This makes the process of fitting the helmet much simpler. The other thing is that this helmet has a low profile and is available in various stylish designs and color combinations for great looks.

Bell Richter Youth Helmet

Bell Richter Youth Helmet


Buying Guide for Mountain Bike Helmets

Helmet Categories: XC, All-Mountain/Trail, and Downhill

Cross-country cycling or XC for short is a sub-discipline of mountain biking. It is defined by the type of terrain which is usually a mix of smooth fire roads, rough forest paths, and singletrack and paved paths connecting other trails. XC riders usually travel long distances and pedal through both uphill and downhill tracks. Therefore, they require more lightweight and airy helmets that are somewhat similar to road bike helmets. Most of the products we have listed are very well suited to XC biking.

All-Mountain or Trail riders have to navigate through more difficult and rough terrain, littered with sticks and rocks. Hence, helmets for this are designed to be sturdier and provide better head coverage around the sides, temples, and the back of the head. They even have fewer vents to make sure they do not snag on sticks and branches. This upgraded protection makes the helmets slightly heavier than XC style helmets.

Downhill biking is a more extreme sport where riders are usually trying to go down a rough mountain trail in as little time as possible. Most professional downhill helmets are full-face helmets that can protect your entire head, including your face. These also have very little ventilation and can bake your head if you want to pedal a lot. Unfortunately, there are no downhill helmets on our list since they are very expensive.

Watch the following video to get a good idea of all the different MTB helmet categories:-

Helmet Weight

A lightweight helmet can greatly enhance the experience of cyclists. The lighter the helmet, the less you notice it and the more you can enjoy the actual ride. Surprisingly, lighter helmets are more expensive. This is because manufacturers have to come up with better designs to ensure that they are still able to provide the same or almost the same level of protection. However, if a helmet is too feathery it will compromise a bit on safety since the number of actual helmets is relatively less. This is fine for triathlon or road bike helmets but is not recommended for mountain biking.

Ventilation

Any kind of bike helmet will require good air-flow over the scalp to keep you cool. However, ventilation is not as simple as having more numerous and larger vents. The positioning of the vents is also important. Moreover, the visor, retention system, and inner padding need to be integrated into the ventilation design since they are possible obstructions to the flow of air. A well thought out helmet will work as a system to let cool air enter in through the front and let hot air exhaust from the back. Ventilation is always at odds with safety because the more vents there is, the less material there is to cover the head. In general, mountain bikes have fewer vents due to the higher risk of accidents.

Helmet Fit

As we have discussed in previous articles, finding the right fit is the single most important step when buying a helmet. You do not want a helmet to be loose and flopping around on your head, else it will come off fairly easily during a fall leading to injury. It is also not a great idea to buy one that is way too tight unless you want a headache after the ride. Fortunately, modern helmets have advanced fit systems that can accommodate a wide range of sizes. Most of these are retention systems consisting of a ratchet dial or knob at the back which you can slowly turn for a precise fit.

Another factor is the size of the shell. Some models come in 2 or 3 different sizes while others are of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ type. The latter is fine for most forms of cycling. Although, if you are planning to push yourself and demand high performance, then we recommend going for a shell size close to your actual head size.

Gender-Specific Helmets

Similar to most helmets out there, the products that we have chosen can be worn by both men and women and can be considered to be unisex. However, there are some that are marketed as only for women. These can be differentiated by smaller sizes, certain color options and overall design. A few helmets even have additional space for ponytails, which can be very useful. Nevertheless, the fit should always be the top priority. First, find out which size range is compatible with you and then decide whether to go for unisex or gender-specific helmets.

Helmet Construction and Safety

At the core of a helmet is the liner which is made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. This layer absorbs the brunt of the impact by collapsing and causing a slower deceleration of the head. Basically, it acts like the crumple zone of a car. The density of EPS can be tuned according to the type of helmet.

Helmet Construction and Safety

The outer layer is a thin shell usually made of polycarbonate (PC) plastic. This material has many useful properties such as moldability and toughness. Although in most helmets the EPS liner is molded to this thin shell using in-mold technology, some cheaper helmets may have the shell glued to the EPS liner. The outer shell is not only used for better appearance, but it also serves the purpose of letting the helmet slide on the ground instead of snagging during a crash.

Helmet Construction and Safety

The innermost layer consists of removable soft padding usually made of low-density polyurethane. Its main purpose is to provide comfort for the user. In some helmets, they also act as moisture-wicking pads or are used to adjust the fit of the helmet. Since this padding is removable, it can be cleaned by using mild soap and water.

Helmet Construction and Safety

Additional Safety Features

More expensive helmets have an extra protective layer. This layer provides extra protection from rotational or angled forces and is a relatively new development. There are a number of different technologies, the most common one being called Multi-directional Impact Protection System or MIPS. There are others such as WaveCel, SPIN, etc. Unfortunately, these technologies cannot be found in this particular list of products due to their high cost. However, prominent safety standard certifications such as CPSC and CE.EN1078 does not require helmets to have this layer, so it won’t be much of a problem.

Additional Safety Features

Mountain Bike Helmet Convenience Features

There is a general rule among cyclists that mountain bike helmets must have a large visor/peak, whereas it is not necessary for road bike helmets. Visors act as a shade covering the eyes from bright sunlight. They can also be useful in shielding from rain and low-hanging branches. You should check whether the visor is detachable or adjustable, which creates better customizability.

Goggles might also be considered an important requirement by some users, as they give extra coverage and protection. All helmets are not compatible with them, so make sure to check if there is enough room for goggles if you use them. There are some helmets in the market that come with magnetic goggles in the package. These can be easily attached or taken off as per your requirement.

Accessory mounts are often included on the top of mountain bike helmets. Action cameras can be attached to the mount and offer a fun and interesting first-person perspective. Many mountain biking adventurers might find this to be a must-have feature. You could also choose to mount a light instead to see where you are going during nighttime rides.

F. A. Q.s

1) Are cheap bike helmets safe?

Ans: Regardless of the costs, every single bike helmet sold in the United States and Europe have to be labeled with CPSC and CE.EN1078 certifications respectively. This means that these helmets undergo thorough testing to ensure they can provide safety during impacts. It has been seen that the test results of $20 helmets and $200 helmets are virtually the same. The difference is that more expensive helmets are lighter in weight, more comfortable, and may have additional features. However, the level of protection is the same. You can watch the following video if you still need convincing:-

2) What’s the difference between men and women’s helmets?

Ans: Women’s bike helmets are practically identical to men’s bike helmets. This is why you will find that most helmets are labeled as unisex. Men typically have on average larger heads than women. Thus, all you have to do is find the right size and you are good to go. The only differences in a women-specific helmet are the color options and maybe a specialized port to make space for ponytails.

3) Why do MTB helmets have visors?

Ans: One of the main reasons is that a visor shields the eyes from the glare of the sun. They also serve to keep rain and sprayed up mud out of your eyes. Mountain bikers may often encounter low-lying branches on a trail and a visor does well to protect against those as well. It may be true that visors make a helmet-less aerodynamic. However, this is an issue with road biking and does not concern mountain bikers.

4) How often should you replace your helmet?

Ans: Always replace a helmet if it has been involved in any significant crash or impact even if there are no visible signs of damage. There might be microfractures or tears in the EPS foam and hence, won’t be effective the second time around. Take it as a fact that helmets cannot withstand more than one blow. As for lifespan, we recommend changing helmets every 3 years. Manufacturers may advertise a longer life, but safety should never be compromised. There is guaranteed to be wear and tear or UV degradation, especially if you are a daily user.

Conclusion

Reading the entire article thoroughly should give you a complete idea of how to buy a mountain bike helmet and what features to look for while spending as little as possible. You are now prepared to make an informed decision based on your specific requirements. There are cheaper helmets out there, but for the purpose of mountain biking, a minimum level of safety, functionality, and comfort must be maintained. Therefore, this is as low-budget as it gets. Nonetheless, we can guarantee that if you pick from the products we have listed, you will not be let down. We have carefully curated this selection of helmets to ensure that they serve you well during your off-road adventures without having to pay an extravagant amount. Enjoy your rides tension-free, knowing that your head is protected. We thank you for taking the time to read this article and hope you found it useful.

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Last update on 2020-09-27 at 21:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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