Mountain Biking - Helmets?
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I am looking to start doing some MTBing and figure I should get a helmet. I am not young and dumb like I was in my BMX days riding with no helmet like I had do sense. Anyhow, is there much difference in helmets except price? Also, I have seen two main styles, one more oval shaped and the more rounded like a baseball helmet without a brim. Does either style make a difference?
07-16-09, 09:11 AM
Yes, you need a helmet...you'll find it useful for low-lying tree limbs as well. I have both styles mountain and road) and I prefer the mountain bike style with the visor. It's nice that it keeps the sun glare out of your eyes. You'll find as you spend more, the helmets will get lighter and have better air flow vents. You might find good deals at Bike Nashbar or Performance bike on last year's models.
07-16-09, 04:14 PM
I'm not a big fan of the visor that comes on some helmets and always take it off. Other than that, wear a brain bucket that fits your brain box and you'll be good. I don't think round-ish versus oval-ish makes much difference so long as the bucket fits.
In terms of price, as a general rule I find that up to around the £50 price point, there is a big difference with helments to the top of that range being far lighter, stronger and better fitting than cheaper ones. When you go over £50, however, the difference seems negligible, and even the £120 Specialized top-of-the-line S-works 2D helmet feels no more comfortable and not noticably lighter than my £50 Bell. This is just my observation and you'll have to work out approximate prices in USD, of course. Best bet is to get yourself down to a shop and try out helments, there tends to be a big difference in comfort and fit betweeen the major brands.
The fit is probably more important than the type of helmet... we all have different shaped heads, and you'll find some brands will suit you better than others... so try before you buy and try lots of brands.
As far as types are concerned, riders in my side of the woods are more accepting these days. Space-ranger XC types, or pot-lid skateboardy BMX types... no body seems to care what other people wear anymore...
I'll say just choose what you're comfortable with the most... the "usual" XC type is light weight with lots of holes, so if you plan on riding long hours and long distances you're best to stick to that.
The skateboardy helmet is sturdier, heavier and hotter (not many vents), but it wraps around your head more and offers better protection, so if you plan to do a lot of jumping and extreme stuff...
Besides these two main styles, there's actually a third style emerging which is sorta a mutant of the two... lightweight with more-ish vents, but with better "lower-back of the head" protection... you might want to check those out too...
Yeah, I wear that Fox Flux. Pricepoint does a good deal on 'em
07-16-09, 11:19 PM
I was looking into that one, how do you like it?
07-16-09, 11:36 PM
I like my flux.
07-16-09, 11:46 PM
I like that cammo Fox helm, nice !!!
I ride with this one, it can get a little hot, but over all not to bad...
Mullet (http://www.sixsixone.com/Catalog_661Bike.aspx?id=effd8052-d221-4be7-a695-756edad32d0d&product=1edb565e-a573-41c3-93e5-0b360c90718c) <--- Link
At the very least go to Wally World and get a cheapo. Do not ride without one!!! If not for a helmet I would of had brain matter spread threw the woods. And believe it or not it was a Wally World special "19 bucks". Although now I do own a Giro. World of difference.
I have the charcoal black one.
In terms of style, it looks awesome.
In terms of weight, it's heavier than other helmets. This doesn't bother at all when I'm mountain biking as I have an upright sitting position. You do start to notice, though, when you're road cycling and hunched over in the drops. Your neck needs to toughen up a bit.
It seems to catch a lot of wind sideways, but once again I only notice this when road cycling.
I can't tell if this helmet is any more hot than the next. I sweat profusely regardless of what I wear on my head.
I definitely like how it hugs the back of your head.
Strengths: Style, "extra protection"
Weaknesses: Heavy, price.
Overall: My favorite helmet I've worn for mountain biking yet. Yes. I would recommend this to a friend.
07-17-09, 09:20 AM
I can't tell if this helmet is any more hot than the next.
Us bald guys can tell right away. It's all you folks with an inch or so of insulation on your cranium that have a hard time. :)
07-17-09, 09:29 AM
I have the Giro Xen, which is similar to the Fox Flux above. I really like my helmet. Very comfortable, light and good airflow.
As written above, try before you buy.
I have a fox Flux and a Giro Xen and love both , they are very good helmets.
07-17-09, 12:03 PM
To back up the "try before you buy" mantra:
I've tried the very well regarded Giro helmets and they squash my skull in a very uncomfortable fashion. Everyone's head shape is different and mine just doesn't fit a Giro. So even though a helmet may be well regarded (or high quality, or whatever), that's no guarantee it'll work for you.
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