Check Out: 8 Mountain Bike Helmets Under $100

Jan 16, 2019
by Sarah Moore  

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
CHECK OUT
8 Helmets Under $100
Aidan clearly relishing his first modelling gig.


We take a look at eight helmets from Giro, Kali, Bontrager, Abus, TSG, Leatt, TLD, LEM, none of which will break the bank.





Giro Fixture MIPS

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park


Giro Fixture MIPS Features

• In-Mold construction
• Roc Loc Sport
• Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS)
• 343g
• 18 vents
• 6 colors
• $54.99 USD
giro.com
From the manufacturer:
The Fixture MIPS brings confident, mountain bike style and breezy ventilation together in a compact design that complements nearly any ride, especially when there's dirt under tread. Some of our best features, like In-Mold construction coupled with the ease and comfort of our acclaimed Roc Loc Sport fit system, offer the versatility you need to ride everything from fire-road adventures to swooping singletrack trails.

bigquotesI found this helmet was the most comfortable despite its being a universal fit. It is the only universal helmet in the roundup, and it fit the largest and the smallest heads in the office, which is quite impressive! If you're on the smaller side of the spectrum, the shell may appear slightly big for your head, but as it's still comfortable, this isn't a big concern. The straps around your ears are not adjustable, but we found they were in a good position for the range of heads we tried. This version we received not only looks much more expensive than its price point, but it also includes MIPs.Aidan Oliver

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park





Kali Maya 2.0

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Kali Maya 2.0 Features

• Anti-microbial Pads, Flex Moto-Style Visor, Bug Liner
• Retention: Dual Closure System
• Composite Fusion in-molding technology that merges the PC shell and EPS foam liner together
• Soft LDL gel padding
• 360g
• 12 vents
• 5 colors
• $100 USD
kaliprotectives.com


From the manufacturer:
The LDL equipped MAYA 2.0 now provides protection from low-g linear and rotational impact forces. Combined with Composite Fusion Plus, the Maya 2.0 is an enduro helmet that can protect you from a wider range of impacts.

bigquotesThe Kali Maya doesn't have much padding at the back of your head, but it is a comfortable fit and you don't miss the extra padding. Riding with the adjustable visor in the lower position I could see the tip of it, but not a problem if you ride it in the higher positions. Aesthetically, I think the visor looks good. The helmet does sit a bit high on my head and as a result, doesn't offer the same coverage for the back of your head as other helmets, but the dual closure retention system feels secure.Aidan Oliver

We have a longer-term review of the Kali coming soon, so stay tuned.

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park





Bontrager Quantum

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Bontrager Quantum Features

• MIPS Brain Protection System
• Boa Retention System
• In-mold composite skeleton
• Internal, recessed channels
• Removable snap-on visor and port covers
• Crash Replacement Guarantee provides free helmet replacement within the first year of ownership
• 9 colors
• 365g
• $99.99 USD
trekbikes.com



From the manufacturer:
With ample protection, great looks, and a secure fit, Quantum is perfect for riders who just want to ride. It features MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology for superior protection and has excellent ventilation, making it ideal for trail and town.
bigquotesThe Quantum is a comfortable and good looking helmet, but definitely has a narrower fit than the others in this roundup. The Boa clasp feels super sturdy once it's tightened properly, but be careful to make sure that you center the retention system before putting it on your head as it can easily move around and de-center. While the visor isn't adjustable, it's short enough not to impede your vision. We hope you don't crash, but if you do, be sure to check out Bontrager's Crash Replacement Guarantee.Aidan Oliver

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park




Abus Moventor

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Abus Moventor Features

• In-Mold for a durable connection with the outer shell with shock-absorbing helmet material (EPS)
• Semi-enclosing plastic ring connected to the adjustment system
• Bottom edge protection
• ActiCage: Structural reinforcement integrated in the EPS to optimise stability
• Zoom Ace adjustment system
• 280g
• 12 vents
• $99.99
abus.com

From the manufacturer:
A perfect helmet for everyone who does not want to compromise on safety and comfort. This all-mountain helmet is light, extremely well ventilated and extremely comfortable. It is perfect for racing or everyday off-road use. Thanks to the Zoom Ace adjustment system, the helmet can be individually adjusted to fit your head and fits securely and firmly.

bigquotesComfort-wise the Moventor is fine, but the padding is definitely thin. If you press down on the helmet, you feel the hard foam pressing into the top of your head. In addition, the straps are very hard to adjust, the plastic feels cheap, the visor doesn't adjust and, and the rear of the helmet bulges out. The styling of the Moventor is definitely aimed towards an XC rider, and it's one of the better-ventilated helmets in our roundup.Aidan Oliver

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park




TSG Seek

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

TSG Seek Features

• Injection moulded outer shell and EPS inner shell
• Dial-Fit System
• Removable visor
• Removable and machine (hand) washable padding
• 17 vents
• 350g
• 69.95 €
ridetsg.com
From the manufacturer: If you are looking for an extremely robust all-mountain helmet you will love the Seek. The ABS hardshell construction offers maximum impact protection and complies with the highest safety standards. 17 aerodynamic vents deliver excellent air circulation while the Micro-Dial Fit System guarantees a perfect fit. Thanks to the removable visor you can also adapt the Seek to your individual style.

bigquotesAesthetically, I think the Seek is a good looking helmet, and the big air vents would be a definite perk on a hot day. The design of the helmet had us scratching our heads a bit, however, as there is visible space between the inner shell and the outer shell that you could slide a thin object into. I found the retention system on this helmet quite hard to do up since it's covered by the helmet shell. I also found it peculiar that they have unnecessary chin padding on the strap, which can't be removed without cutting it off.Aidan Oliver

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park




Leatt DBX 2.0

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Leatt DBX 2.0 Features

• Polycarbonate shell in three sizes
• 360° Turbine Technology
• 3D in-molded impact foam
• MaxiFlow air channels in the impact foam
• Visor with breakaway function
• Dri-Lex moisture wicking, anti-odor and washable inner liner
• 20 vents
• 4 colors
• 300g
• $99.99 USD
leatt.com
From the manufacturer: There is finally a solution that minimizes the risk of a head and brain injury, and that is to get the best helmet you can find that reduces both rotation and impact energy to your head and brain. The DBX 2.0 features our 360° Turbine Technology. Turbines are set inside the helmet. This technology has two main advantages, namely the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and the absorption of energy upon impact at concussion level.

bigquotesAt 300g, it is one of the lighter helmets in our roundup. Adjusting the Leatt DBX 2.0 is easy and the retention system does its job well. The only miss we saw adjusting the helmet is that the Leatt logo gets in the way of adjusting the straps. The helmet is very well vented and has its own rotational impact system which Leatt claims is comparable to MIPS. It doesn't feel like the helmet sits high on your head, but it does not seem to provide very much coverage on the back of your head or above your ears.Aidan Oliver

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park




Troy Lee Designs A1 Drone

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Troy Lee Designs A1 Drone Features

• Reinforced polycarbonate shell in-molded, EPS liner extends down the sides
• Triple position adjustable retention system
• Single piece, removable and washable comfort liner made of anti-microbial moisture wicking material
• Adjustable moto inspired visor
• 16 vents
• 3 colors
• $99.99 USD
troyleedesigns.com

From the manufacturer: This lightweight, fully encapsulated all-mountain helmet utilizes maximum coverage and dimension to keep you safe and protected in all riding conditions. Whether you're charging single track, riding dirt jumps or grinding out miles on the XC bike, the A1 helmet offers the premium fit, protection and style you want. With the A1 helmet, we at Troy Lee Designs returned to the aggressive all-mountain half shell category.

bigquotesThis is your classic trail helmet. It's super easy to adjust, extremely comfortable and aesthetically pleasing for trail and enduro riders. While the helmet bulges out at the back more than TLD's more premium helmets, it comes down low and has good coverage in the back of your head. One downside is that it doesn't have MIPs or similar technology which many of the other helmets at this price point have been able to include.Aidan Oliver

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park




LEM Flow

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

LEM Flow Features

• Integrated, 3 PC shell technology and in-mold EPS
• LEM Flow-Thru ventilation system
• 3 position adjustable visor
• LEM FS2 fit system
• LEM-Tech with Bug Mesh padding
• 276g
• 16 vents
• 10 colors
• $80 USD
lemhelmets.com

From the manufacturer: Your mountain bike helmet should help you stay locked in, connect with the trail, and find flow. That feeling when everything lines up—that’s why we ride. From technical lines to tacky singletrack, the Flow mountain bike helmet keeps you in the moment, moving in sync, comfortable and protected. Built with features from the forefront of bicycle helmet tech, like full back coverage and micro-fit adjustment, a cooling ventilation system and indexing visor, the Flow helmet is a seamless extension of your mountain bike riding.

bigquotesThe visor is very flimsy on the LEM Flow and difficult to adjust into its three positions, but it has a lot of vents which is great for hot summer days. The padding is quite superficial and not even attached to the liner of the helmet in some places. Despite the somewhat garish looks and minimal padding, the fit of this helmet is surprisingly comfortable.Aidan Oliver

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park

Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park
Helmet Check Out Photo of Aidan Oliver by Brian Park






140 Comments

  • + 115
 Giro and MIPS for $54? That's what I'm talking about.
  • + 5
 It's also an absolute sweat box!
  • + 13
 Bell’s version of this helmet (they are both under the same corporate umbrella) also has MIPS, fits very well, and is often 49.99. Great helmet, breathes well, cleans well.
  • - 16
flag RedRedRe (Jan 16, 2019 at 14:11) (Below Threshold)
 $54 for a chinese helmet that cost $3 to manufacture?
I would buy giro stuff if they could resolve fitting/hot spot issues and durability.
  • - 1
 Agree, Griro helmets are torturous-poorly ventilated with gigantic spongy linings that absorb tons of sweat
  • + 6
 Amazon will have a sale on certain colors occasionally knocking them down to $30!
  • + 5
 @schooledrider: sounds like you only tried their full face helmets, also here in EU Giro replace smashed helmet for like half of a price of new one
  • + 6
 I've had one for nearly a year and I really like it.
  • + 15
 @schooledrider: my Montaro is just about perfect
  • + 11
 I'd much rather have a sweaty head then have a huge a huge head injury, because i'm wearing a ping pong ball on my head.
  • + 7
 Dude is getting more and more awkward after each photo.
  • + 1
 @deadtime: what is the name of that model?
  • + 1
 Dumping price - MIPS is sooo sofisticated system
  • + 2
 Stoker. They are on the 2nd version of the stoker, updated fit system, better materials, slightly lighter. I also just saw a MIPS Stoker for $40 when I googled it. My kid wears the new model, he also had the first model and complained about the heat, but I haven’t heard him complain about the heat in the new one, he loves it. I still use my 8 yr old Urge, never crashed, best ventilation for a bald guy bar none, but Bell has contributed to two places I ride, so I’ll support them when they have good product, this is my 4th helmet from Bell, first 2 were when my kids were young.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: Gordon.
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: that's on sale though. This helmet list are full retail prices.
  • + 1
 @bok-CZ: I believe this is not right, anymore. A friend of mine crashed his helmet about two weeks after he bought it (last summer) and he had to buy a new one at full price...
  • + 1
 @Marty440: He contacted Giro for a crash replacement first, or did a shop just tell him he had to buy a new one?
  • + 1
 @Marty440: weird, Progress cycle should be still offering that crash replacement as far as I know
  • + 57
 Under $100 - When your brain is 'pretty' important to you, but you also want that new TLD jersey.
  • + 27
 It's nice to see some of the nicer higher end tech moving down to the sub $100 category. I personally think this is huge. You can still get some safety if you don't have a crap ton of money to spend.
  • + 41
 Is there any proof that a more expensive helmet will protect you more?

All my recent helmets have been $100-130, but that’s more of look/fit preference.
  • + 16
 I don't know that there is a lot of non-proprietary research that indicates that any helmet on the market has any technological features that actually improve the protection it gives you. So probably if you like how it looks, its comfortable, is secure on your head and covers your head well, pretty much any helmet will give you as much protection as you are going to get.
  • + 2
 @browntown40: yes there is, if 2 people pass the same test are they equally Intelligent...
  • + 12
 To some people $/£/€100 Is a really big piece of money. Try not to think of them as cheaper alternatives to more premium helmets, but rather, a just about achievable alternative to no helmet at all or some unproven £15 Halfords special. FWIW I think helmets in this price bracket are probably doin gv a whole load of collective good.
  • + 2
 @acrowe: Yes always nice to have 'third party' research. Can check out this link to a Virginia Tech study- vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2018/06/ictas-bikehelmetratings.html . Bummer is that the models change so much year to year these studies seem out of date as soon as they are initiated. They did give kudos to MIPS though. Didn't test a sweaty 'do rag' on the head that sometimes comes up with comments on MIPS.
  • - 2
 they're half shells, how is a halfshell gonna be over $100 or the best protection.

If it were full faces I would be worried, but $100 half shells leaves plenty of money for quality and performance.
  • + 1
 @acrowe: "pretty much any helmet will you give you as much protection as you are going to get"' was a smart thing to say up til 2013 or so. Now, it's dumb as hell. Some helmets provide truly promising (not proven!) protection from concussions, while some still don't even try. Of the helmets here, the Kali and Leatt are f'ing amazing values for what they offer, and I wouldn't consider any of the others.
  • + 2
 @acrowe: that makes way too much sense.
  • + 6
 @browntown40: Not necessarily... in regards to more money more protection. I've seen very expensive helmets split in half.

At some point the more money is just fluff... because margins. More money less sales... same margins... more money. So what you end up getting are usually better finishes, buckles, strap colors and stitches, etc. Things like that. Often times the safety ends of it are very similar between the two ranges.
  • + 7
 Pink Bike Commentariat: Hey! Review some more affordable products! We are not all a bunch of dentists!

Also Pink Bike Commentariat: I would use that cheap stuff!
  • + 2
 @TheR: Right. LOL!
  • + 6
 All helmets are designed to merely pass the test by minimizing the acceleration that the headform experiences. More expensive helmets sometimes feature higher density foams and lower skull surface area contact to improve venting and reduce weight, both factors which can increase the incidence of skull fractures. And not as much of a problem for "enduro style" helmets, but expensive road helmets will often be at the limit of minimal coverage to save on weight.
  • + 0
 @racerfacer: This^ More money equals less weight but not usually any safer. When it comes to moto helmets I actually heard someone suggest that the plastic ones might in fact be safer because of the fact that they will split on a hard enough impact and disperse some of the force. Carbon lids wont but are lighter.
  • + 4
 The argument that the price of a helmet shouldn't matter since it protects your head, is just buying into the fallacy that higher price = higher quality. I'm not saying to go buy a $20 helmet from your local supermarket, but expecting to pay over $100 for what is fundamentally just a bit of styrofoam that passed a couple safety certifications is pretty ridiculous.
  • + 1
 @friendlyfoe: maybe if hitting your head againts the berm, but a helmet that splits ain't good business if a dirt bike lands on your head.
  • + 1
 @Phillyenduro: bingo! I can't believe how people believe in mips so bad
  • + 2
 @ismasan: impact and rotational impact are completely different...
  • + 1
 @onemanarmy: what do you mean?
  • + 5
 The idea the cheap helmets protect as well, or better, than expensive helmets is only partly true. It's true when it comes to the helmet's ability to protect your *skull* in a *big* impact. That kind of impact is relatively rare in mountain biking. But--and this is the important part--it's *not* true when it comes to protecting your *brain* from a less huge impact. Price is not a good predictor of whether a helmet is more likely to prevent a (rare) skull fracture, but until very recently if you wanted a helmet that was more likely to prevent a (more common) concussion, then you had shell out. That's begun to change in the last year or so, thanks to helmets like the Maya 2 and the DBX 2. Those helmets bring legit concussion-reducing tech to the realm of sub $100 helmets. That's a big deal. Saying there's no safety difference between those 2 thoroughly modern helmets and a dinosaur like the A1, which comes in cool colors but does literally nothing to try to reduce concussion risk, is not smart.
  • + 1
 @browntown40: how would there be proof of that? There is no magic expensive material to make them from which will always protect you. It's like buying clothes: the more stylish, the more expensive. But things like Mips were like $40 more when it came out. Clearly not any longer.
  • + 4
 @racerfacer: FOAM DENSITY....YES!
nobody ever talks about FOAM DENSITY.

All these helmets pass the same HIGH-G impact we all know that.

I want a helmet to start to crush INSTANTLY!!!!
The first 15 milliseconds is the most important part of impact absorption.
Any of these soft get materials like kali's LDL is going to dissipate energy WAY faster then anything hard.

Then you break into multiple density foam.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: Yeah it was a borderline rhetorical question. My stance on it is that expense by itself doesnt correlate to a "safer" helmet. With a more expensive helmet, typically you get a more stylish and in some/most cases a more comfortable helmet.

But when it comes down to a real world impact - its a crap shoot. I dont believe helmet company's do a myriad of test on different materials. Did the helmet hit a sharp rock or an big roand oak tree? I mean the conditions are endless in the real world - but when it comes to testing (something im not too educated on) I can only imagine there arent many varieties. They probably rely on FEA models, but even that is a bit limited.

In the end my motto is get a helmet that is the more comfortable, you like the styling and wear it properly. If it has mips - great. If it doesnt - not a deal breaker.
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy: Splitting in half is a feature, not a problem. The basic idea behind an EPS foam helmet is that it breaks so your head doesn't, after which they should be thrown in the trash and replaced.
  • + 4
 @jmd07aa: Second half of your post is true. The first half is horse shit.

It's pretty common for EPS to crack and split in areas during impacts. That is sometimes part of the breaking down and dispersion process of the helmet. EPS is meant to spread the g's across a great surface. It decreases impact speeds in ms by roughly 80-85%. That's the first function. It deforms in order to slow those speeds so your brain doesn't slam into your skull. That's why folks are using multi-density foams now.

Companies actually add chemicals to the polystyrene to decrease the splitting. Why would they do this if it's a feature? They're even going as far as reinforcing the stuff with carbon fiber.

Obviously having the helmet expose before your head does is nice but efficiently dispersing the energy without exploding would be the feature.
  • + 1
 I'm torn between the LEM and the Bontrager. Both of them seem narrower than the typical mushroom. I'm leaning towards the LEM for the ventilation. Any opinions on these two?
  • + 1
 @Xyrium: If you can try both of them on - that would be ideal. I just retired my Bontrager helmet, fit was nice for me.
  • + 14
 Kali Maya looks the best imo - and they have great safety tech.
  • + 8
 Plus the kali has got a lifetime crash replacement- kaliprotectives.com/register
  • + 1
 The retention system is exactly the same as the Fox Flux mk1 and some Decathlon road helmets. I think they must be made in the same factory.
  • + 3
 Kali's tech is legit. Brad Waldron is smart as hell and the dude is all about pushing technology to save people's lives and brains. He's always more than willing to discuss the science. Big fan of Kali.
  • + 1
 I learned a lot about the safety testing landscape (and it's shortcomings) from Kali's product videos. Obviously their position is that Kali are the best, but I think they offer a sound argument that just passing CPSC tests leaves a lot to be desired. Really like where LDL and the Leatt Turbine systems are headed.
  • + 2
 @cyclecuse: That's what I appreciate about those dudes. They believe they're doing it the best but it's not for the sake of money, margins or anything like that. They're doing it because they want to do the right stuff the right way. As soon as they discover something else that works better they'll have no problems saying... hey... this works better. They're constantly poking holes in their own stuff to improve it. Great company.

I appreciate what Bell/Giro are doing as well. They test all of their own stuff in-house and really are considering safety and head protection during all phases of helmet development.
  • + 1
 ANyone have a direct front or rear shot of the Kali? I'm trying to determine how narrow it might be (preferably). It's the only one in the collection that didn't get a back head shot. Frown
  • + 11
 Was the 661 not reviewed because it was dropped and cracked in the first picture?
  • + 9
 And the Where's Waldo award goes to...
  • + 4
 Bell's not in there either. The Spark with MIPS is $70. Nomad with MIPS is $50... etc.
  • + 12
 The 1st picture in the article was the last one we took.

The 661 was shipped in the wrong size, so it wasn't fair to include it.

@onemanarmy the Bell is a promising option, but we weren't able to get one in time for this feature.
  • + 1
 @sarahmoore: Not surprised. LOL. The Nomads' not out yet.

You can never include EVERYONE in these types of tests. That was kinda my point anyways.
  • + 11
 Every day's a school day. I thought Abus just made padlocks. Also be careful with Abus and the auto suggestions...
  • + 2
 Abus has a huge collection of helmets. I've got their DJ type helmet and I love it. I've got a pretty big head with quite some hair and few helmets fit as easily as that one.
  • + 2
 The Movistar Road team has been rocking Abus helmets for a few years now.
  • + 6
 My TDL A1 has lasted longer than any helmet I've ever had (Kali and Fox in the past). So comfy too. Also the front, near the eyes, is shaped in such a way that sweat runs away from your face to drip, rather than dripping down the inside of your glasses. Will keep buying over and over.
  • + 4
 Crashed my first A1- tried 10 other helmets and none fitted good or at all.
Got the A1 Mips for 90€...it just wraps around your head so comfy yet secure... The Mips fits even tighter
Will also buy over and over again.
  • + 3
 Haha right!! I still argue the A1 is the comfiest helmet ever, I prefer it over the A2 as well.
  • + 2
 Yes and it reaches so far down that its really secure. Best helmet period. And with the right colour it doesnt look goofy etc.
  • + 6
 @sarahmoore + @aidanoliver
Do you people actually *pedal* bikes for more than 5 minutes? You've got the padding premise back*sswards: the more padding you add to an MTB helmet, the LESS comfortable it is for the wearer because those pads load up on sweat, dirt & bacteria, which they intermittently dump in your eyes every time they compress. Helmets are not flippin' barcaloungers! A minimalistic, non-porous fit system (like Specialized's Mindset or Giro's Roc-Loc) helps keep a lid exactly where it should be and allows for greater airflow while keeping the helmet much cleaner & dryer than a bunch of velour coated sponges taped to the foam!
  • + 4
 Can Pinkbike maybe take the lead and quit counting vents on helmets? It means literally nothing and for some reason the bike industry had decided that the number of vents has some special importance.

A helmet with 50 1/64" diameter holes will be much less vented than a helmet with 8 1" holes, yet you'll be out there talking about how well vented the 50 vent helmet is.
  • + 3
 The Troy Lee drops down the farthest, at the forehead, the top of the ear, and the back of the head. These helmets are all basically pudding bowls, and I think they should all drop down even farther for better protection. None of them have a visor that is useful for deflecting branches or shading your eyes from the low sun, morning or night. I don't want an airscoop for a "visor" I want it to be useful.
  • + 2
 sounds like you want a Switchblade.
  • + 1
 The A1 is the best looking half shell helmet on the market and the pics of it here make it look awful. But it fits better than any helmet I've owned in the past and you forget about it on your head.
  • + 0
 I actually hate the low edge at the forehead. It just makes your sunglasses hit it all the the time when stuff gets exciting. Nobody is going to get wounded because of couple of mm at the forehead, but pretty much everyone benefits from rattle free ride. Also some people don't have a benefit of experimenting with a large number of helmet and sunglasses combinations. Actually the Kali Maya has a visor long enough to deflect and shade. At least the previous version has and this one doesn't look much different.
  • + 2
 @Archimonde: You point to it being a negative but dont state what sunglasses you use?
  • + 1
 @bizutch: Smith Pivlock (not for long, lenses are falling apart), 100% Speedcraft and Oakley Jawbreaker. The first one fits me the best, but the latter two have very low clearance with the helmets and sometimes rattle. Point being that there is a problem in the forehead area and would be a great thing if something was done by the industry.
  • + 1
 @Archimonde: I've ridden with most every variation of small to large Tifosi sunglass/riding glasses, Oakley & Smith & never had the problem you speak of. I have to wear shades or clear on all rides b/c of my contacts.

As an FYI, all the glasses you listed have straight, long earpieces that tend to extend into the shell of the helmet and/or bulge out and touch the sides or straps. That interface tends to be the largest problem for riders with glasses & helmets. If the glasses are cozy and/or snug & the helmet is sized correctly to your noggin, they can touch each other til the cows come home and you're not going to experience what you describe. Also...you described just about the largest sets of vertically extended frame/lens combos known.
  • + 1
 Not bothered about fancy labels but want to protect your bonce? Try PlanetX/On-one. 13 quid for Fox Flux clone www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HEOOXC/on-one-xc-mtb-helmet or 21 quid for the "enduro" helmet www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HEOOEND/on-one-enduro-mtb-helmet
  • + 1
 MIPS or other similar systems for under $100?? that is pretty sweet. Just my usual PSA that many helmet manufactures offer crash replacement discounts if/when you crash and damage your current lid. No brain = no ride, so look after yourselves and replace those damaged helmets.
  • + 3
 Crashed in a kali maya last summer, lost the whole day until around 3pm. Still don’t remember the ride or leaving for it. No more cheap helmets. Not worth it.
  • + 1
 I got the Leatt last spring. Light, comfy and well vented. The only issue for me is that the turbines leave little round imprints on my bald cranium. I laughed when I first took the helmet off and saw myself in the mirror! Great helmet though, much lighter than my old Smith forefront.
  • + 0
 I find the many generic-ass helmets in this review troubling. Price is a factor, but so is the experience of the company bringing a product to market.

All helmets are some kind of expanded foam (usually EPS) and some harder plastic (the shell, the anti-rotation stuff, etc.) with some webbing to keep it on your head. How those materials are used is pretty important though, and I'd give any off-brand helmet the hairy eyeball!
  • + 1
 I like this retro style helmet - Woom HELMET
-Visor bumper
- Fidlock® magnetic closure
- Reflective woom logo
- All-round safety extended helmet shell protects the temples and the back of the head
  • + 1
 Surprised they didn't review the Smith Venture MIPS. I got it for $80 CAD delivered, so it's a direct competitor to the Giro price point. Great helmet, iffy finish (matte that turns to gloss when worn or scraped).
  • + 1
 nothing Smith in helmets is at that price point retail
  • + 1
 @bizutch: Sh*t you're right. I was ass backwards here, thinking I paid less. My bad, thanks for the correction. Giro price is great for that.
  • + 1
 I love my much more than $100 TLD A2. It's worth every penny to have a comfortable and well ventilated helmet. You know it's good when you ride for several hours and never think about it.
  • + 0
 Ive worn a few of these actually haha. First the MIPS Giro, good helmet and very light and comfortable but crashed really hard and a small crack appeared. Then bought the Kali before this new one just came out and it was not a good fit for my head so passed in on to a buddy then I bought the MIPS TLD A2 and its very comfy although a bit hot and i will stick with this until I cant.
  • + 1
 So it wasn’t the same Kali.
  • + 1
 @COnovicerider: well its the exact same helmet except they added the green rubber protection deal in it.
  • + 1
 You should have included the Smith Venture MIPS in this test. You can get it for under $100 online and it is a solid helmet (Has MIPS at that price and is better finished than the Giro IMO)
  • + 4
 You can find anything online at a discount at some point. So these types of discussions are somewhat pointless.

This is equal playing field. Full retail assumption. Of course the finish of a $60 helmet is going to be lesser than a $110-120 helmet. Least, it should be.

A quality MIPS equipped helmet at a sub $60 retail is awesome for the industry. Long as it doesn't suck. Ha!
  • + 1
 The giro chronicle is a nice cheap helmet too, has MiPS Looks endurish The only thing I wish it had is an adjustable visor.
  • + 1
 I need an $1800 helmet to go with my $10k bike. What kind of plebe do you take me for? I'm not the average peasant! I have the best credit score...
  • + 1
 Ya Adian, I was beginning to doubt that you worked for pinkbike as I had not seen you on here yet.
Good stuff pal. Shore ride some time soon?
Cheers
  • + 1
 I had a Kali MAYA, but I lost it... Then I buy a Kali AMARA and excellente design and ventilation... Should be consider for another review the Kali INTERCEPTOR.
  • + 0
 1. No iXs? pity. They such a huge key player with their Trail RS/XC helmets.
2. The LEM actually looks sick!
3. I dig the Kali. They make seriously nice products and keep stepping it up each year.
  • + 1
 I had a Cannondale Ryker with MIPS ($100) and that worked well until I banged it up pretty good. Got the Kali for $80 on sale and really it too.
  • + 2
 So does the Abus come with a combination lock instead of a click buckle on the helmet strap?
  • + 1
 Endura is missing, singletrack 2 one of the best helmet I have for a long time. Super durable and super confortable
  • + 2
 Finally a TSG Enduro helmet on PB . love that one.
  • + 1
 Never thought I'd find Giro and MIPS and well under 100 bucks in one sentence.
  • + 1
 Check out the Giro Chronicle. It's $100, but comes in different sizes if the one size doesn't work for you.
  • + 1
 I usually don’t land on my face, but when I do, I prefer a full face helmet.
  • + 2
 Dam, they look all the same!
  • + 1
 Just got a Bell 4forty today for £33! no mips but hey, I can live (literally) without it.
  • + 1
 @sarahmoore Any chance of adding the sizing options for the different helmets?
  • + 1
 What?!?!? MTB goods can be sold at reasonable prices... *Shock*

In all seriousness, great article
  • + 2
 Weight, Protection, Ventilation, Price. Pick two.
  • + 2
 wonder how they perform in case of a crash ?
  • + 1
 Love my TLD helmet. I’ll never buy anything else Big Grin
  • + 1
 My mtb helmet is an ops core FAST carbon. Best mtb helmet ever.
  • + 1
 NO Bell 4forty mips? MSRP is $95. Got mine for $64!!!!!
  • + 1
 3rd photo from the Giro Fixture is a photo from the LEM Flow :S
  • + 1
 I do believe you're right! Swapped that out - thanks!
  • + 1
 TSG Seek - 69.95€. The same helmet "O'neal Thunderball Solid" - 46.90€
  • + 1
 Enduro lids are the fastest, that's why!!
  • + 1
 If you don't wear one. You are one.
  • + 1
 Love my Yellow A1 Pinstripe
  • + 0
 I got a few Giro Hex for $80. Nice helmets for the price. I keep three sets of riding gear so it helps the bank.
  • + 1
 I'll just risk it and grow a new head.
  • + 0
 I bought my POC trabec for $75 on Amazon. That would be something to check out
  • + 1
 looking to save some $$ on MTB stuff? Helmets arent the place.
  • + 1
 99 usd thats like 700 bucks cad
  • + 0
 Abus Lego Policeman reporting for duty sir.
  • + 1
 Should include on of those things in greeting cards to play music, so just as you drop in, you can play "Everything is Awesome".
  • - 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Kraftwerk would work better. Fun fun fun cyclobahn. To me Abus helmets originated as products for hopeless commuters who can’t keep two wheels on the ground, damage car doors and hoods, spending few mornings a year in emergency room, but unlike Etto or Mango they actually made it. In the wake of absolute form mediocrity among most brands, Abus looks quite good. They had a helmet that looked like good old Giro Xen, but better.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Etto...wow, that was back in the day of V-brakes and CNC'd, 3D violet anodized parts. I'm getting old.
  • + 1
 What a model.
  • + 1
 these are identical.
  • + 0
 No Bell reviews?
  • - 3
 Anyone have experiences with the O'Neal Defender 2.0?
  • - 2
 Canadian website... nothing in canadian dollars...
  • + 1
 Add 40% to give some cushion to your estimate........but I am sure you know that if you do business in or with us US.
  • - 1
 bell 4forty 35.99
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