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Old 07-07-03, 12:21 PM   #1
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What's the difference between mountain and road helmets?

In general it seems that xc mountain helmets are thicker and beefier than their road counterparts. Is that due to the difference in hardness between sharp pointy rocks and nice, soft pavement? And what about ventilation? Some companies claim that certain vent patterns work well at low speeds for mountain biking, while others are better at higher road speeds. Would a small, light, sleek, cool looking road helmet protect me adequately on an xc ride? Keep in mind that I am not referring to any particular price points, but if I had to I would say around $50. My 3 year old Bell Image Pro is getting pretty ratty and now that I've defected to the roadie side, I am seriously considering a lighter road model, but I don't want to have to get another helmet for xc. I'd appreciate any suggestions at any price. Thanks
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Old 07-07-03, 12:44 PM   #2
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I have the Giro E2 (considered one of the top-of-the-line Giro MTB helmets) and although it's expensive, it is still cheaper than a lot of road helmets (compare to the Pneumo for instance). The venting is more than adequate at both low and high speeds and I use it for both road and MTB rides. I seem to see helmets stated as MTB helmets at much cheaper pricepoints than their road-counterparts. Whether or not you leave the visor attached when road-riding is a personal thing.
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Old 07-07-03, 01:08 PM   #3
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roads are built to vent in a more heads down position.
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Old 07-07-03, 10:05 PM   #4
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I personally think it's all a bunch of marketing hype. An expensive road helmet will have as many air vents as an expensive MTB helmet and both will protect your melon. I just use one helmet for road or MTB. It is a Met and has 28 vents with a removable visor.


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Old 07-07-03, 10:41 PM   #5
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What's the diff? the price. lol
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Old 07-08-03, 05:50 AM   #6
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The helmets the guys in the club i ride with are much smaller, and a tighter fit, so they dont look like mushrooms, like mine, which is a Giro Havoc MTB helmet
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Old 07-08-03, 06:43 AM   #7
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I never noticed a lot of size difference between mountain and road helmets, but I have noticed a size difference between manufacturers.
I've seen an advertisement from Limar saying that their helmets are smaller.

It seems to me that most of the mountain helmets have a removable visor and road helmets don't have a visor.

I ride only road bikes but all my helmets are mountain helmets. I want the visor to keep as much of the sun off my face as possible. My doctor says I'm prone to skin cancer but that doesn't keep me from riding. I'll take my chances with the sun rather than not ride and die a slow death from all the problems related to being overweight.

Don't tell anyone but I ride without the visor a lot of the time.

My new (3 months old) helmet (Giro Animas) has lots of vents (23) to keep my head cool in the summer and the RocLoc3 system to keep it securily on my head.

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Old 07-08-03, 09:22 AM   #8
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With the three top of the line Louis Garneau helmets there is no difference but a visor, and the cost of the visor.
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Old 07-08-03, 09:46 AM   #9
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Old 07-08-03, 10:22 AM   #10
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Old 07-08-03, 11:40 AM   #11
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I can tell you a distinct difference between the Pnumeo (road) and the E2 (mtb.)
The Pnumeo is built to maximize airflow in a more head down position as the vents in the back of the helmet are slotted vertically for force air down when in an aero position.
The E2 is vented for a more "heads up" position.
But i know people who use both for both and donít really have any problems

mountain vs. road bike helmets
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Old 07-08-03, 11:47 AM   #12
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The difference is snob appeal and more money for the helmet makers. I use mine interchangeably and find no difference, except don't ride the road bike with the visor on as it will really give you a stiff neck trying to get your head high enough to see past the visor!!
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