Ridden & Rated: 8 Mid-Range Downhill Helmets

Nov 8, 2018 at 9:47
by Paul Aston  

There's a wide range of quality downhill full-face helmets on the market packed with features at a good price. There is also a lot of new technology aimed at reducing the effect of oblique (rotational) impacts being developed in order to keep us safer. As more is becoming known about the dangers of repeated concussions, this is most welcome. There are a plethora of different tests, safety standards, and theories that are still evolving, so we don't go in-depth on that topic in this article. Instead, this is an observation of fit, feeling, and features – we suggest you visit each brand's site to find more about their types of technology and how they could improve safety.

With so many newcomers, are the reliable favorites being surpassed? We've been testing a range of mid-level options from the main players as this is a reflection of the helmets most popular with consumers. The main difference with most products in this test compared to their more expensive brethren is they all forego the carbon shells of their top of the line counterparts for a small increase in weight, but most retain the same styling, technology and safety features.

Regardless of features, styling, and price, the number one most important factor with a helmet is fit. I must have a fairly 'normal' head shape as every helmet (except one) in medium size fitted really well. Head to your local bike shop to test for size and fit, and remember that the removable foam interior will compress slightly with use. Buying from your local shop can also make things easier if you choose a helmet with a crash replacement policy; sometimes you can go back to the shop and they will be able to hand over a new one, but if you buy online there could be a long process of posting the helmet back and forth.







POC Coron Air Spin
• Material: fiberglass
• Rotational impact protection: SPIN (Shearing Pad Inside)
• Buckle type: plastic buckle
• Additional features: Multi-impact EPP foam and emergency cheek pad removal
• Colors: White, Black, Orange / Green
• Sizes: XS - XXL
• Weight: 1146 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $275 USD / €290
• Crash replacement: No
POCsports.com


The Coron Air Spin was developed with input from POC's enduro and slopestyle athletes and is designed for the most demanding riding (and crashing). With that in mind, protection and comfort both had to be great to keep everybody happy. They've used EPP (expanded polypropylene), rather than traditional EPS (expanded polystyrene) because it recovers from impacts, which is good for protection from multiple impacts in one crash. POC have also developed their own SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) which uses silicone pads between the shell and EPP foam liner to support their ‘whole helmet approach’ to protect riders from all types of impacts and reduce peak force – all other systems create a slip-plane between the pilot's head and the helmet. The 20 carefully placed vents should provide sufficient ventilation.









The previous Coron helmet was one of my favorites, and I spent the majority of 2016 wearing one. It is great to see that the EPP foam is now available in the lower price point, and while there is no evidence yet if this is more or less safe than traditional EPS, it is a great way to have a helmet that can take a number of hits – all manufacturers recommend replacing an EPS lid after an impact, so even if you drop in on the floor it might be time for a new one – but that's not the case here.

The Coron Air has improved venting over the Coron, which helps with air flow and vents are covered with a firm wire mesh to prevent any branches or mud getting through. The interior has generous cutouts around the ears for comfort as well as a handful of extra sticky-backed foam that can be placed at strategic points under on the EPP foam to adjust the fit. The interior is also combined with plastic tabs to help it slot back into the same spot every time. The breakaway visor has plenty of adjustment and should flip upwards if you catch it on a low hanging branch, and come off completely in a bigger crash. This matte finished green and orange colorway stayed clean and stain-free. It probably won't match any of your other kit, but POC also sells matching gloves and goggles to keep in tone.


Pros

+ Multi-impact EPP foam
+ Breakaway visor
+ SPIN Rotational system
Cons

- Limited colorways






Troy Lee Designs D3 Fiberlite
• Material: fiberglass
• Rotational impact protection: None
• Buckle type: double-D rings
• Additional features: Emergency cheek pad removal
• Colors: Stealth Black, Orange, Army Green, Blue, Fluoro Yellow, Grey, Red
• Sizes: XS - XXL
• Weight: 1144 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $239 USD / €235
• Crash replacement: -30% dependant upon territory
troyleedesigns.com


The Fiberlite brings the D3's racing-derived features – like wind tunnel tested aerodynamics and ventilation – to a lower price point thanks to its fiberglass shell. It also benefits from TLD's signature styling and attention-grabbing 'Factory' colorway, which won't be to everyone's tastes, but the 'Mono' stealth black option is available if you prefer to fly under the radar.









The D3 is the most iconic and arguably best-looking helmet in this group and will win many followers simply for this reason. But, it also fits really well and has a decent amount of ventilation for a DH helmet. Using a stainless steel double-D buckle for that secure and easily adjustable feel, and two density's of softer rubber on the back of the chin guard for a little extra protection in you choose to faceplant.

Like the POC Coron, the D3 uses firm wire mesh covered vents to keep the unwanted out, but does not have a breakaway visor. The main portion of the interior liner clips into the helmet, but the emergency-release cheek-pads use velcro so you need to be careful when fitting them back in to get the same feel and fit each time. Troy Lee do offer MIPS protection but only in the more expensive carbon version.


Pros

+ Iconic shape and styling
+ Quick release cheek pads
Cons

- MIPS only available in carbon range
- No breakaway visor







Fox Rampage Comp
• Material: fiberglass
• Rotational impact protection: None
• Buckle type: plastic buckle
• Additional features: Poured PU chinbar construction for added protection
• Colors: Matte Black, Black/White, Blue/Red
• Sizes: S - XXL
• Weight: 1224 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $200 USD / €210
• Crash replacement: No
foxracing.com


The Rampage Comp pulls on many features of the Rampage Carbon but at a price to make it competitive on the market as well as the race course. A lightweight fiberglass shell is used in the same mold as its premium sibling to achieve this. It has been in Fox's range for a few years now, but has it stood the test of time?









In US dollars, the Rampage Comp is the second cheapest in this group at $200, and equal to the 100% Status in Euros, which is a good start. The price reflects the lack of features, as there is no rotational system - MIPS is only available in the more expensive carbon version, just like the TLD. Again, there are some mesh-covered vents and extra rubber padding on the back of the chin guards for added faceplant absorption. There is no breakaway peak, which was also just intruding the top of my vision at its highest setting.

The Rampage Comp fitted comfortably and has a stud-fit interior and pads to remove and replace it accurately each time, but the cheek-pads don't have a safety release system.

Pros

+ Low price
+ Rubber padded chinbar
Cons

- No rotational system (only in carbon version) or peak breakaway system
- Low peak obstructs view slightly







100% Status
• Material: fiberglass
• Rotational impact protection: None
• Buckle type: double-D rings
• Colors: 10 options
• Sizes: XS - XL
• Weight: 1008 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $175 USD / €210
• Crash replacement: -30% dependant upon territory
ride100percent.com


The Status claims to redefine the standards of what a mid-level downhill helmet should be, but does it achieve this? It combines a fiberglass shell with some sharp styling and modern graphics options to suit all. The result is an impressively lightweight helmet that looks like it should cost more.









The Status looks fast, and also happens to be the least expensive and lightest helmet here. Like the similarly priced Fox, there are few features to shout about, which is reflected by the price. There isn't a rotational system or breakaway peak, but it does come with a double-D locking buckle, which I always prefer for downhill riding. The visor is a non-breakaway option and seemed to be the stiffest on test that also (like the Fox) uses a ledge on the top of the shell for the peak to butt up against limiting adjustment; the peak was in my vision slightly, but not as much as the Fox.

Helmet fit is always going to be a personal preference and nearly every medium sized helmet in the test fit comfortably, except the Status. I also had the same issue with the more expensive carbon Aircraft earlier this year – the fit is narrow and the padding did not fit around my ears pushing against them This gets irritating after a while and also made it hard to hear and maybe affected my balance – similar to putting hands over your ears, but less extreme. If you have a narrower head the fit should work for you. The non-emergency release cheek pads pop in with studs, but the rest of the liner is fitted with long plastic strips that are pushed between the inner and outer shells making it more difficult to get the same feeling each time you refit the liner.


Pros

+ Great looks
+ Least expensive and lightest on test
Cons

- No extra safety features
- Stiff peak






Kali Shiva 2.0
• Material: Tri-Weave shell (carbon, kevlar, fiberglass) with Nano Fusion
• Rotational impact protection: LDL (Low-Density Layer)
• Buckle type: double-D rings
• Additional features: Meets DOT motorcycle standards, POV camera mount and breakaway visor
• Colors: Black/Green and White/Red
• Sizes: XS-XL
• Weight: 1306 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $350 USD / €290
• Crash replacement: -25% (excludes shipping costs)
kaliprotectives.com


Kali Protectives is a company that continually strive for greater safety and the Shiva 2.0 puts everything they've learned into one product. It uses their proprietary technologies like Nano Fusion and LDL (Low-Density Layer) liner, to make it as protective as possible without being exorbitantly heavy. It is the only helmet in this line up to meet the DOT motorcycle safety standards, which is very impressive. Kali also offers a -25% discount crash replacement for DOT helmets.









The Shiva is the only helmet with a DOT rating, but this also means it is one of the heavier helmets, and the least ventilated offering similar warmth to the Bell Fusion. The upside is that this should be the most absorptive helmet here – the LDL helps with absorbing the initial part of the impact as well as managing rotational forces. Following this, the Nano Fusion uses two densities of EPS and Nano-foam molded together in two tessellating layers of pyramids that give progressive absorption as well as dissipation of energy. This also allows a smaller overall shell size for the same amount of protection, which reduces the leverage force on the head.

All of the above sounds great and it also has a breakaway visor. The visor will unclip if pushed downwards, but needed a hefty impact to push it back enough to snap back – this actually breaks part of the peak where it has the third height adjust limit screw, but it can still be used afterward. The Shiva has a secure feeling fit but is the tightest overall of all the medium sizes tested – as I mentioned in the introduction, get to your local shop to check the fit before buying.


Pros

+ Only helmet in test that meets DOT motorcycle standard
+ Dual-density Nano Fusion foam and LDL rotational protection
+ Crash replacement scheme
Cons

- Heaviest on test
- Sizes up slightly small for the medium size
- Polarizing looks






Leatt DBX 5.0
• Material: fiberglass
• Rotational impact protection: 360 Turbine
• Buckle type: Fidlock magnetic
• Additional features: Breakaway visor, hydration ready (optional) and emergency cheek pad removal
• Colors: Ink, Ruby (2019 versions)
• Sizes: XS - XXL
• Weight: Large shell, medium liner - 1131 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $349USD / €349
• Crash replacement: No
leatt.com


Leatt may have previously only been known for their neck braces, but for the past few years, they've been showing their hand in the helmet game. The DBX 5.0 is what they think a downhill helmet should be: incredibly protective without compromising on ventilation, even at low speeds. They've done this by using 360° Turbine technology, which is their chosen method of rotational impact protection, along with in-molded impact foam to reduce the overall size of the helmet, reducing the transfer of rotational forces to the head, neck, and brain. Other features include 'Eject System' compatibility, emergency release cheek pads and a breakaway visor.









In a similar vein to the Kali Shiva, Leatt use an energy absorbing material that hardens on impact create low-speed absorption and rotational dissipation – '360º Turbine' discs, in this case, claim to reduce up to 40% of rotational acceleration to the head and brain as well as reducing up to 30% of head impact at concussion level. Another similarity to Kali is the dual density foam molded together with tesselating pyramids to give progressive absorption and dissipation of incoming forces.

The Leatt DBX is the only helmet without mesh-covered vents as standard, but these can be added later as well as a 'winter kit' that can block the vents for cold days. It also has a nifty 'Hidr8' system allowing you to thread a hydration tube through the helmet and to your mouth. Both features suggest that this helmet is verging towards the enduro side of the spectrum over pure downhill, and this is proven when riding as it is possibly the coolest of the bunch. It's also the only helmet here with a magnetic snap-on Fidlock buckle, which is the quickest and easiest type I have found to use, and also suggests it can be a good crossover lid for downhill and aggressive enduro – something like the Megavalanche, for example.


Pros

+ Turbine rotational system
+ Dual density foam construction
+ Best ventilation
Cons

- Most expensive in this test
- Polarizing looks






Giro Disciple
• Material: fiberglass
• Rotational impact protection: MIPS
• Buckle type: double-D rings
• Additional features: POV camera mount, speaker pockets, O-snaps cable management and emergency cheek pad removal
• Colors: 8x options
• Sizes: XS - XL
• Weight: 1292 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $220 USD / €250
• Crash replacement: Yes - reduced price on replacement, dependant upon territory
giro.com


The Disciple MIPS was designed from the ground up for modern downhill and enduro racing, without breaking the bank. It features clean lines, intelligently placed vents, such as over the brow, and some smart finishes to create an appealing helmet. As Giro have a partnership with MIPS, it should come as no surprise to find that their sliding liner has been employed to reduce oblique impacts. The POV camera mount and integrated speaker pockets could also come in handy, though I am personally yet to meet somebody who has put speakers inside their helmet. I'm sure I soon will in the comments though.









The two-tone gloss and matte black and simple lines was a winner straight out of the box. The second heaviest lid here and one of the warmest. To re-iterate the point about fit, the Disciple was the loosest fitting medium size in this test, and I would want to change to thicker cheek pads for a better fit – this could be the perfect fit for the David Coulthard and Gee Atherton lookalikes with strong jawlines.


Pros

+ MIPS
+ Plenty of extras
Cons

- Heavy
- Loose fit for a medium






Bell Full-9 Fusion
• Material: fiberglass
• Rotational impact protection: MIPS
• Buckle type: double-D rings
• Additional features: POV camera mount, overbrow ventilation, breakaway visor screws.
• Colors: Matte Black/Grey/Crimson, Matte Black/Slate/Orange, Matte Black, Matte Green/Black/Crimson and Fasthouse Matte Black/White
• Sizes: XS - XXL
• Weight: Medium - 1032 grams (actual) / 1080 grams (claimed)
• MSRP: $240 USD / €249
• Crash replacement: Yes - reduced price on replacement, dependant upon territory
bellhelmets.com



The Full 9 Fusion is built upon the same platform as the flagship Full-9 but without the carbon shell, speaker pockets and magnetic cheek pads. In their place is a fiberglass shell from the same mold and pop-in cheek pads, which aren't quite as quick and easy but more than acceptable. The MIPS system is employed here too, along with a breakaway POV camera mount and a weight 90g below the top end carbon model.









Putting the Fusion on for the first time is like pushing your head into a ball pit full of baby Labradors. The extra thick padding extends down the back of the neck more than any other helmet here, and combined with the 3D shaped cheek pads that cuddle the side of your neck and face the Fusion has the safest feeling of any of these helmets.

One of the warmer helmets on test, similar to the Kali, but, for bike park and downhill laps where you can take it off every run I prefer the added feeling of safety. One of the nicest features, but probably the least important, is that it comes with a real carry bag.



Pros

+ Most secure fit and feeling
+ Plenty of features
+ Full-size carry bag
Cons

- Minimal ventilation







What would my perfect helmet have? Lightweight, well ventilated and cheap, plus all the features like helmet camera mounts, emergency release pads, 'Eject System,' good padding, a double-D buckle and a real carry bag – not a single helmet has all of those, so you need to pick and choose to get the right features for you, your type of riding and budget.

Overall we are in a great place when it comes to helmet protection compared to 5, 10, or 15 years ago. Every helmet on test had fully removable pads for cleaning, an easy to clean exterior, wire mesh covered vents and then a selection of the various extra mentioned above.

My favorite was the Bell, it simply had the most secure feeling fit thanks to the shape of the padding on the back of the neck and around the jaw. Sometimes it is not clear exactly why one is your favorite, but it is the one I want to pick up every time I go riding as it feels the safest. My second favorite was the POC, as I think multi-use foam is a good idea for the longevity of a helmet or for careless owners. After that, the added safety features of the Kali and Leatt can't be a bad thing, of course, this comes at a higher price. If you are on a budget, the Fox Rampage and 100% Status are still great helmets - it comes down to finding the one that fits you best.


157 Comments

  • + 433
 I like to use a hollowed out melon. It's way cheaper, has natural slippery MIPS (Melon Is Pretty Slippery) system and good for a mid ride snack.
  • + 24
 Sure.....https://d1pzg8o5oor7n5.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/stock-photo-funny-man-with-watermelon-helmet-and-googles-looks-like-a-parasitic-caterpillar-157354478.jpg
  • + 8
 @tulipanek: Yup.... And look how happy I am in that photo with the £221.01 still in my pocket. #LoveMelons
  • + 6
 Not to mention the iconic styling of the melon
  • + 3
 @tulipanek: That photo is absolutely epic Beer
  • + 20
 Two slippery melons are better than one.
  • + 6
 Combine this with La Baguette, the enduro banana and the enduro cheese you nearly have a complete meal, just need meat! How about a seat lined with Prosciutto. Melon and prosciutto makes a nice treat! Mmmmmmmm
  • + 3
 @bigtim it also lets other riders know what CFL team you cheer for.
  • - 53
flag onemanarmy Plus (Nov 15, 2018 at 9:55) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry bigtim but you're an idiot. You go ahead and continue on with your melon helmets and further your progressive fall into retardation.

MIPS runs... what... $20-35 as an upgrade in most quality helmets or comes as part of the standard options in many higher end helmets?

I'd gladly pay an extra $20... well... if we're truly comparing helmets to melons... a decent sized organic Mellon is gonna run you what $6-8. So... I'd gladly pay and extra $12 on something that might help.
  • + 15
 My brain is Mid-Range at best.
  • + 45
 @onemanarmy: I'm going to let you in on a secret, but don't tell anyone else... I don't actually use a hollowed out melon as a helmet, that would just be stupid. I actually stitch together avocado skins with chives in the shape of a Troy Lee helmut.
  • + 5
 @onemanarmy: Is this a joke?
  • + 3
 @bigtim: I just have a buddy bang a couple coconuts together, takes all the impacts for me.
  • + 3
 bite in some vent holes if its hot.... money
  • + 4
 @onemanarmy: someone's sense if humour took a bit of a holiday didn't it?
  • + 3
 @taldfind:

Trying to find the Holy Grail huh? Good luck, hopefully you don't run into the Knights that Nee!
  • + 1
 @Punkmunkey: Turns our they don’t say Nee anymore...
  • + 0
 @onemanarmy: woah -52 and counting that's major negative props man, kudos to you!
  • + 56
 Not sure how €350 can be classed as mid range!!!
  • + 14
 £170 for my latest Carbon 100% lid
last years color sale is the way to go!
  • + 5
 When I got my carbon Fox Rampage w/MIPS it was on sale for $275 from Backcountry.com
  • + 6
 Well, Leatt makes full face helmets that are both more and less expensive. That would make it quite literally mid range. Odd how that works...
  • + 1
 Pretty expensives..but since they’re not top models they have to be considered mid range..
  • + 42
 My God TLD design team needs to get a grip and realise what year we are in. It's sad to see the former market leader now producing the ugliest lid on the entire list.
  • + 12
 Agreed! Troy Lee used to be the 'go to' for the best looking kit. Helmet-wise, 100% have now taken that spot.
  • - 11
flag Snoli (Nov 15, 2018 at 4:47) (Below Threshold)
 Lies... 100% is ugliest. TLD is winner
  • + 69
 I know you guys are just trying to make a point, but let's be clear, the Kali is obviously the worst looking helmet there. The tld you just buy in a different colour scheme and problem solved
  • + 5
 @Snoli: If you don't like it just get the regular mono black color Big Grin www.pinkbike.com/photo/16024520
  • + 12
 @el-nombre: take the visor off and that Kali is so ugly it'll be trending. Think mtb equivalent of Ugg boots, or girls' high waisted denim, or zubaz pants, or . . .
  • + 5
 @rrolly: you are a visionary
  • + 1
 You mean that it has Polarizing looks?
  • + 1
 I got to get my eyes checked. I actually thought the Kali was one of the cooler looking helmets. Now I need to rethink what I wear on the trails. I don’t want to end up on one of those people of Walmart videos for mountian bikers.
  • + 23
 That has to be the ugliest TLD full face paint design ever
  • + 4
 I beg to differ... muddbunnies.com/2008-troy-lee-designs-helmets

Peaty's signature D2 was also awful, it's just at the time nobody dared to say it, due to the risk of getting excluded from the peer group of people who were awake as fuk, because they stopped hucking to flat and got into "downhill". Steve Peat is a waaay better rider than Steve Romanuk! - No he ain't, he can't backflip! - But he rides faster! You have no idea how fast Peaty rides! ... Those were the times...
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah ill agree with WAKI on this one
  • + 2
 TLD the DJ Khalid of the bike gear branding world.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: Peaty had loads of custom TLD lids over the years. Some nice, some alright and others not so much.. Being Scottish a lot of Steve's helmets made me cringe with their "God save the queen" and English pride shit Patriotism being a thin line away from bigotry n all that.
Peaty is an absolute Legend though and a far more skilled rider than his racing style and height often made him look. I do have every idea how fast he rides having practiced sections along side him when younger. and yeah for an old duffer like me "those were the days". I'm not entirely sure Romanuk's backflips would help him stay upright through many of the technical wet sections Peaty has a habit of making look not a problem to ride at all.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 15, 2018 at 11:17) (Below Threshold)
 @G-A-R-Y: I have no issues separating Peaty's athletic achievements, his position as one of best ambassadors the sport has had... from his rather questionable marketing talent and slight egotism pumped by asslickers surrounding him... he's a great mountain biker, I respect this side of his, I'd love to ride with him - as to the other stuff I just turn my head away.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: ive been lucky enough to ride with peaty recently, i disagree immensely with the egotistical point of your arguement. To an extent even the questionable marketing talent. Does he force you to drink monster af gun point? No. Does he wear monster socks and stickers on his lid on a tuesday morning ride in the surrey hills? Yes. Do you think you would excel and be a brand ambassador for anything without being a bit awkward? Peaty is just a normal chilled guy whi happens to be fantastic at riding bikes.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 15, 2018 at 12:25) (Below Threshold)
 @drfunsocks: it doesn’t bother me, but it won’t aplaud it either. I aplaud his riding and what he has done for the sport. I won’t idealize him. Not even close, Sorry... and huh, what difference does it make what I think about him.
  • + 18
 dear Kali, you put the features of the Shiva in a Giro's shape and you destroy the market.
  • + 3
 Yeah, they need to stop the weird designs, but then again their helmet is already heavy and the round design probably helps in keeping weight down.
  • + 5
 @Loki87: they say is the safest shape, less stuff to catch on rocks and twist your your neck
  • + 8
 It's meant to be worn without the visor. #nicholirogatkinstyle
  • + 4
 @Loki87: The Kali is not heavy if you consider its the only DOT helmet in the test. I wonder why they didn't test the Kali Alpine?...its about 850 grams
  • + 3
 @jonnymanbikes:
Wasn´t a knock against the Kali, but it is significantly heavier than others on the list and i suspect it won´t get lighter if they added some style features like fins etc.
By all means i´m sure it´s a great helmet and definitely within a reasonable weight range.
  • + 1
 @jonnymanbikes: that Alpine would be my next helmet had I been looking for a ff. It seems to be the same as the old avatar, which I had and was amazing
  • + 12
 I really wish the Kali wasn’t so flippin ugly. They seem to be doing some things that make sense to me from a technological standpoint. While I understand safety should be the number one component when purchasing a helmet, there is no chance on this planet I’d be caught wearing one of those. It should be called “the crocodile”. The thing is so bad... On helmet shape alone (graphics aside) I prefer the TLD and Bell. 100% is next, Fox is meh. Giro who? Leatt what? Don’t get me started on the huge POC space travel vehicle.
  • + 11
 Mid-Range helmets and there's no model under 200€, to me that's unbelievable. Sure my head is worth protecting it, but I can't see ground-breaking differences to an iXS Metis for example, which used to sell for ~100€ and exceeding most other helmets in safety terms.

Why the heck am I supposed to pay twice the money to gain some small weight saving and a better paint job?

Especially as they are all trash anyway once you crash hard...
  • + 4
 I know Bell has some low end full face they sell in Wal Marts, but what full face has a MSRP under $200? My guess is there are some, but that would not be "mid range" would it?
  • + 3
 Weirdly the 100% is under $200, but over 200 euros.
  • + 3
 The IXS Metis has a crappy ABS shell instead of a fiberglass composite. ABS is weaker and heavier than fiberglass, and Helmets with ABS shells don't usually meet the ASTM DH standard.
  • + 0
 They should have a Fly helmet in there. Pretty decent for the money, and I think their cheapest it like 109 usd.
  • + 11
 AFAIK MIPS has quite a lot of contradiction regarding its helpfulness. You can read more here: helmets.org/mips.htm
So I would consider the price, weight, and ventilation as a higher priority.
  • - 2
 For what it's worth it makes more sense for FF helmet than open lid. There seems to be far more friction between your head and helmet in FF, helmet istelf is bigger and the chin piece as well as giant visor can contribute to development of rotational force. I would never treat MIPS or any rotational system as prerequisite to buy open lid. Don't care for not having such feature in my open lids. I'd like a FF wth one.
  • + 4
 This site is super informative, thanks for posting.
  • + 0
 A recent study done by Virginia Tech in cooperation with the IIHS showed consistently higher crash ratings for MIPS equipped helmets than non-MIPS helmets.
See www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/bike-helmet-safety-ratings-virginia-tech-concussion-risk-reduction-assessment-52514
  • + 2
 @Mac1987: their study was performed using anvils which eliminates glide vs grip factor. If they made it against a larger rough surface resembling asphalt or trail surface, all helmets with vents and soft inmold shell would get worse results that smooth hard shells. It's good that more and more research is done but there's a long way to go.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: helmets.org/up1804.htm

Their testing was not complete, and helmets.org seems strangely intent on not liking MIPS. And no offence to Snell, because they may do great work, but they are a certification company and they license their certification.

Their list of certified helmets is strangely limited to some pretty unknown brands - Arai Helmet, Ltd., Hong Kong Sports Helmet Mfg., Ltd, OGK Hanbai Co., Ltd., Qranc,. The only well known brand that seems to use their certification is Specialized.
  • + 1
 "We do have more than 17000 tests done in Sweden showing that all helmets with MIPS are significantly better than helmets without MIPS. We do have scientific evidence that a helmet with a low friction layer will make a difference in a test including a tangential force. So, as I told Bill Muzzy at the ASTM meeting I am willing to help out to design the test to mimic a realistic bike acccident." in the link you posted.
  • + 14
 I wouldn’t call Arai an unknown brand @jayacheess:
  • + 8
 @jayacheess: Arai are an unknown??????? They've been around for 6 decades and have made some of the best road and MX helmets available. I bet if you look at a MotoGP grid, half the riders will be wearing Arai and what's cool is you can buy the exact same helmet. What they produce for racers is available to the general public.
  • + 4
 @jayacheess: Arai isn't exactly an unknown company. It's one of the premium motorcycle helmet manufacturers (in moto gp ridden by Pedrosa) like Shoei. On the other hand Bell, TLD and Fly have certified motorcycle helmets but no bicycle helmets.
  • + 1
 @jayacheess: Those companies produce half of the helmets in the motorcycle world. If you were to look into it, you'd find that a handful of manufacturers make all the helmets you see in a store. Kinda like a frame manufacturer making lots of different brand's frames.
  • + 1
 @jayacheess: Mate, Arai helmets is an unknown brand???
  • + 1
 Apologies, everyone. I seem to have forgotten Arai's well known BICYCLE HELMET offerings.
  • - 3
 @PinkStatus: huh yeah nothing better than to believe a company that paid for the research about it's validity, then see them validating their position by poking a finger at obviously flawed testing protocols. I want to know what Coca Cola thinks about health risks of drinking soda in higher quantities... I live in Sweden. My wife is a PhD working for municipality, I have personally been to several conferences. I know a dozen of academics from several fields (mainly planning, environmental sciences, oceanography, engineering, acoustics, mechanical, physics) to have a blurry picture of how this world works. I don't believe Snell that MIPS offer ne increase in safety. Just like I don't believe MIPS that increase in safety is significant.
  • + 1
 @jayacheess: Arai is not what i'd call unknown, they are quite big in motorsports
  • + 2
 @Mac1987: Virginia Tech did their tests according to the MIPS protocol (grippy headform and anvil, helmet tight on loose neckless headform). No surprise the MIPS helmets came on top, the test was made to show that. We can only hope a realistic testing standard emerges some day, prior to that most of the enhanced safety claims are just speculation.
  • + 1
 Hey guys, did you know Arai is a well known brand?
  • + 3
 I am the guy with the bluetooth headset in his Disciple! That feature is one of the main reasons I bought it... Makes answering phone calls a breeze. No doubt its a heavy helmet (especially my XL) but its super comfortable. Don't even need to take it off on the lift.
  • + 1
 +1 for the Disciple, super comfy helmet. The fit around my cheek bones and jaw is actually why I picked it over others. For me, it's very secure and snug. I can't complain about the heat issue either, did a week in Whistler/Squamish, plus a number of races over the summer and never found it a bother.
  • + 1
 I’m the other guy with speakers in his Disciple... Super comfy lid, too...
  • + 3
 I had the Fox Rampage Comp for the end of last season and most of this season. Very comfortable and stayed in place without any weird pressure points, not very good venting as soon as you stopped riding it was very hot, very bland styling which I didn't care about, and it straight up worked great when I bailed over the bars and speared head first into a oak tree. Outer shell looks fine, but there is an obvious soft spot and some wrinkling of the foam inside.

I bought the 100% Status as it's replacement, I wanted something lighter weight and with d-rings instead of the plastic clip on the Fox. Only used it for one full day so far, but I don't think it ventilated any better or worse than the Fox. Padding is a little less comfortable and feels like it's going to take longer to break in. The visor is much narrower, doesn't block the sun at side angles as well as the Fox did. Paint quality is very nice, my riding friends mostly assumed it was the carbon version.
  • + 3
 In an emergency I take a Bell helmet,cheapest one. My plan was to ride it only till I find another "true" helmet few days later. I try to use FF as much as possible,cos I like my face and teeth and I´m used to wear it even in Spanish summer. That Bell helmet is by far the most comfortable and better fit of any helmet I wear in the past,I still ride it 5 month later. My next one would be that Bell you review here. I always have some trouble with the helmet moving up and down and that isolated feeling from having pressure over the ears. It fit better in the back of the head,I must keep my pony tail very low and out of helmet to have a perfect fit.
  • + 1
 Maybe cut the removeable foam to make some room for your ears. (If theres any)
  • + 5
 I got an Kali Avatar X and its awesome. The Helmet just weighs 870grams and in my eyes its safe enough. My last helmet was over 1200grams, that was way to heavy.
  • + 1
 I have an Acatar Carbon 2 and an Avatar X (they're almost identical) and love both of those helmets. They were cheaper than most of the ones tested.

They look good to so I'm not sure how the Kali they used for this got to be so ugly.
  • + 2
 @Ride406orDie: I too have the Avatar X, the light weight is the reason I bought it and it fits as well as my Arai Corsair-X.

@paulaston why not a test of the Alpine instead of the Shiva. Lighter and cheaper, surely the guys @KaliProtectives would have been able to hook you up?
  • + 2
 I can speak for the 100% helmet. Looks good, feels good, lightest and cheapest and while last year I landed on my head and broke 4 ribs and my collarbone, head was all good, not even a "seeing stars" moment and the helmet just had a nice scratch on it.
  • + 2
 100% released the new status colorways a couple months ago so i got one of the old colorways for $130
as a former moto guy I think the status feels like a moto helmet just lighter and bigger vision area which i like, also the DD buckles are the only buckles id want on a full face, im sure the aircraft is even better.
  • + 6
 Aircraft is insanely good
  • + 1
 Did exactly like you and got one for a steal. Fits my narrowish head perfect in size M. The only thing I have against it is that my ears get pushed down by the lining, when helmet is being put on. Found a way to remedy this though so now it's all good.
  • + 1
 @emponix: yeah it seems to fit my head really well, my AGV streetbike helmet is really hard on my ears but i just stick a finger in there and unfold my ears and it goes away lol.
  • + 4
 Helmet comparison with NO listing of which safety certifications they meet? I guess we really are just buying helmets based on looks.
  • + 1
 I recently bought a motorcycle helmet for the first time and was surprised to learn there are sizing and shape standards for full face helmets that apparently the MTB industry just completely ignores.

For years I have been trying on every helmet I could find and most didn't fit. Recently I started modifying them by adding foam (you're not supposed to do that).

Turns out I have something called a "long oval" head shape, and I can walk into any moto shop, tell them that, and they can point me toward the lids that fit. WTF is wrong with all these bike helmet manufacturers? Some even make moto helmets as well!!!
  • + 4
 Blah blah blah colors mips only once is a saftey rating mentioned the Kali Shiva 2 is dot, Also ECE
  • + 1
 Bought a Giro Disciple for bike park use a year ago. It was then only approx. $200 helmet I could find with rotational impact protection. The fit seems tight to me, but it's my first full face. I've since worn it for a full day all pedaling enduro race in lower temps with no issues. Great helmet. Would definitely recommend.
  • + 3
 This test is inaccurate. Everyone knows that you are supposed to remove the Kali visor for better looks, visibility, and ventilation.
  • + 3
 I highly recommend the Bell Full 9. I have it in Carbon, but got it for $200 usd on Amazon. The cheek pads are a little snug, but I guess that's kind of the point.
  • + 2
 How new is the helmet? Sometimes new full face helmets are snug because they just need to be worn in a little on the cushions.
  • + 1
 6-7 months old at this point, with about 60-70 days of use.
  • + 1
 I bought the 100% Status earlier this season for 140€ as an upgrade for a Sixsixone Comp. I love the 100%. It looks great, it's comfortable, fits well (had to get a smaller size than I usually would though), ventilation is ok. Most importantly it just makes me feel much safer, though that it subjective.
  • + 1
 Giro user here. Love it. Quite a snug fit in a large. I have a melon for a head. Doesn't feel that heavy and the easily removable cheek pads make it easy to wash. The quality of the cheek pads is good. I expect them to have longevity. GoPro mount is great but footage from that spot is very dulled down. Venting is quite good too
  • + 1
 Not sure why bell ditched the transfer 9 which was essentially a non carbon full 9 speaker pockets and all for 200. Now we turned the price up and removed features and are calling it new... I liked my transfer 9 have always found transfer/full 9 for a good price and they are very safe helmets good for a few hits in my experience.
  • + 2
 I ride with a bell full 9 carbon ( offered by bell after the design contest on PB ) and I can share that feeling of safety when you wear it. And really confortable btw.
  • + 3
 My latest lid is MIPs equipped an I gotta say, It feels like its never on quite properly....
  • + 3
 Jenson USA has IXS Xult on sale for $129 L/XL!

Mine has been great, tons people at Whistler riding with them too.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I'm young at heart, but old in actual mobility. I don't know what to do. pics.me.me/music-band-how-do-you-do-fellow-kids-30062979.png
  • + 1
 Kali needs to do some rebranding and remarketing and they will get a lot more business. Their branding and logo are too niche even though their products are cool. It's a little too "bro" to compete with Fox, TLD, POC etc.
  • + 1
 So the Bell Full-9 Fusion is like the Bell Transfer-9 with MIPS but without the bluetooth speaker pocket and a lot more expensive? I'll stick with my Transfer-9's I guess.
  • + 1
 Buy an IXS Xult and call it a day. They are on sale quite often, look good, fit well, and protect your head. I have one and I'm probably going to buy another this winter.
  • + 1
 On sale now at Jenson for $129!!
  • + 0
 Not sure why Giro is the only one with Bluetooth speaker pockets. I looked for months for such a helmet and only Giro Disciple and Fly Racing Werx has such feature. Seems like a missed opportunity.
  • + 2
 I have a the Full9, it’s got pockets for speakers and grooves for routing wires too.
  • + 1
 Right on Geoff. I wish I had known since that’s a sweet looking lid. @geoffwalla:
  • + 4
 Mid-Range helmets?
  • + 1
 Mid-range is $250-$300?
I Would like to see one of those sponsor driven poles to get to the bottom of the following: How much will you spend on your next lid?
  • + 2
 To protect mid range heads from mid range hits from mid range objects at mid range impact speeds. But I think the article is referring to pricing
  • + 4
 Yes, every helmet here (except Giro) has a more expensive carbon-shell version of the same helmet, priced from $400 upwards.
  • + 0
 "Mid Range"

The 350$ really emphasizes the Mid in the headline.
Cheapest helmet here is about as far up Mid Range as my sense would ever allow.
  • + 2
 @Quebracho: I was able to find the giro disciple for about $150 a few weeks ago online. If you look around there are some deals to be had.
  • + 0
 @paulaston: Yeah, but it's still not mid-range, more like high-range and the carbon ones are top-range...
  • + 6
 Man y’all are cheap
  • + 3
 @ADGproductions: Agreed, I wear a 6D ATB-1.... I won't sacrifice my skull for saved money lol
  • + 1
 @muletron: You´d probably be suprised what people actually are willing to spend on helmets. It´s your head. I´d not trust any entry level plastic shell helmet with protecting my brain. So yes, 200-300 is an acceptable mid range price, especially considering that you can always wait for a nice closeout deal and some colourways are reduced in price even at the start of the season.

Most 100$ helmets imho aren´t even worth talking about as those are not comparable in strength. A good fiberglass shell with decent padding usually starts at around 150$/€, without any added tech like MIPS.
So i´d argue 250$/€ is an absolutely reasonable starting point for mid range.

Now of course i´d like for helmets to be cheaper, but that doesn´t change the fact these helmets are what you´d objectively call mid range models in todays market and given the prices of bikes and other protective gear, they are actually rather cheap.
I mean, a decent pair of kneeguards is 100$.
A back protector or full body armour is 100-300$
None of these involve anything close to real testing procedures and/or development costs compared to a helmet. So i´d say roughly double the price of kneepads is more than fair for a mid range helmet.
  • + 0
 @Loki87:
My first D2 must've been bought close to 20 years ago. and IIRC A Carbon D2 cost something like £400 RrP here back then. Which was insane! I payed (nowhere near full RRP) for the look, Not the protection. As do most TLD equipment consumers if they were to be 100% honest with themselves.

You're talking rubbish about sub $100 helmets not offering as good protection though. the original D2 was far from the best protecting helmet out there and many cheaper helmets were far better in that respect.
  • + 3
 O'neal helmets take the cake for me. Under $100 and gets the job done.
  • + 3
 They hit the nail on the head with this one.
  • + 1
 What about the specialized Dissident? My favorite full face ive owned so far
  • + 1
 Can these be used for commuting? I'm a forehead model and need to protect the goods.
  • + 1
 Love my Giro, not as heavy as they’re saying. But true it is a loose medium.
  • + 3
 Have you weighed yours? these are all actual weights from my scales.
  • + 1
 Agree, my head is at 58cm and I got the Medium, should get the Small one instead with smaller cheek pads. The TLD D3 fiberlite I also have in Medium is more snug fit than the Giro. Smile www.pinkbike.com/u/tulipanek/album/Helmy
  • + 1
 'Loose fit for a medium' = size large is the best fit I've found for my massive heed, without it looking ridiculously big (Fox).
  • + 1
 @paulaston: he's not implying that you don't know how to read numbers on a scale - he's saying that he owns it and it doesn't *feel* as heavy as what your numbers may be suggesting when comparing it to others. Just because it's heavier than the helmets you're testing on paper, doesnt necessarily mean it's a heavy helmet.
  • + 1
 We are still waiting on the results of the crash test? Specially on face planting!
  • - 2
 I have the Coron and would never buy it again. Coron Air is at least lighter. Both are huge though. I remember when D3 looked much bigger to me than D2. Then I saw the D3 next to Coron. At some point, the size will matter and contribute to the damage. Especially rotational damage. The only thing I like with POC is multimpact foam that all those helmets should have. I hope when baby Jesus gets born this Christmas it has TLD D3 or 100% Status on it's head for me.
  • + 2
 i love my 100% aircraft, if you do not care about colourways and search a bit, you can get them for a pretty good price. i bought mine from wiggle, it was 249 € -not sure about the actual prices at the moment.
  • + 14
 Ah please, no. I think it must be tough enough for Maria to discover herself being pregnant without remembering anything about having had sex. Giving birth to a kid with your helmet on just sounds too painful. Yeah I know, white knights and all that...
  • + 1
 I bought a status from wiggle for just £75 English Pounds a couple of months back. I was looking at the aircraft for a year but just couldn't part with the cash for a helmet I will use probably five times a year or fewer.
I'm happy with it. Fits OK, looks rude, and is very light.
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: I always buy last year's versions. Last year I picked up a non mips 100% aircraft helmet for £89 from crc
  • + 1
 @Reignrob: i also bought last years mips version in June (darkblue carbon +white and some red) - in fact i think it was even cheaper than the 249 € i originally thought -but i obviously cant remember the price. the way the helmet is made differs drastically from your average halfshell and other fullface helmets i have owned. only my friends carbon D3 is in the same league.
  • + 1
 I've got a 100% Status in matte black from CRC last year. The only complain I have is the paint chips really easy.
Otherwise it's a nice and tight fit, yet comfortable around the ears. Glossy paint might be more durable.
  • + 1
 @InfraRed: Yes the paint has chipped on my aircraft helmet. Other then that it's a great helmet and I personally prefer it to my previous d3 helmet
  • + 1
 I crashed my Coron into a machine dug berm and a big piece of paint chipped away. It is a thick paint so when it chips you loose quite a large surface. Never had that issue with D2.
  • + 1
 @InfraRed: Had absolutely no problem with paint chipping off so far after a season of use - Status with glossy paint.
  • + 1
 POC ftw! Amazing fit feel & ventilation! The White Is Quite Alright keeping temperatures down too!
  • + 2
 Can´t full hellmets wear a back head adjuster ?
  • + 1
 Why are double D buckles preferred ? It's cheap looking and really annoying to tighten
  • + 13
 I think it has something to do with the design of D strap not allowing for unwanted release unless there is a complete material failure or similar. Plastic clips are not as secure by design afaik
  • + 14
 See Szymon Godziek's crash in Rampage this year where his helmet came off his head completely for a good reason why double D buckles are better!
  • + 9
 Cause they work. If you know how to use them they are quick and easy and as fast as any other system. They also are pretty much impossible to break. Simplw yet effective.
  • + 2
 @ardee: in the videofeed from the start you can clearly see that he just did not tighten the strap, i do not think it had anything to do with the buckle.
  • + 5
 Is just safer. Take a look on any motorsport helmet and you'll only se those.

Also how anything metal could look cheaper than a plastic clip taken from a backpack?
  • + 4
 They are always tightened correctly (because you adjust them everytime you put the helmet on) if you use them correctly and they don't come loose by accidentally hitting a release button.
  • + 5
 @Mac1987:
That´s the main reason. Every fidlock whatever helmet i owned the chinstrap would get loose over time, but you do not notice it because you just clip in the release button.
Double D Ring will always be perfect, every time.
  • - 1
 Meanwhile I just wear an MX Fly helmet with double the padding and could care less that it’s got a big profile because of the extra $200 in my pocket
  • + 1
 Meanwhile pretty much everyone understood that MX helmets use different foams and combinations of EPS densities compared to that of mtb, and are therefore not as safe.
  • + 1
 @zede: can you please explain more?
  • + 3
 @Code98: form follows function. Every well designed helmet is made for a specific purpose/use. F1 helmet, climbing helmet, skateboard helmet, MX, and Mtb helmets are made in different ways. A mx helmet is not made to resist fire, a Car racing helmet is. A mtb helmet is designed to crash on soft and hard surface at "low speed", a mx helmet is made to absorb an impact at higher speed.
Some brand (I don't recall the name) made some mx/mtb helmets, I'm not sure how they managed but there must have been a trade off somewhere.
  • + 3
 @Code98: Motorcycle helmets are designed to crash at higher speeds so they're designed a little different. Have a look at this www.pinkbike.com/news/DH-Helmets-vs-Motocross-Helmets-Which-Is-Safer.html
  • + 1
 @Blackers: thanks to both, that does make sense
  • + 1
 pray I get my transport job. Please.
  • + 1
 I love my Leatt! I even have the same color as tested.
  • + 1
 Only TLD
  • + 1
 No 7IDP review? Hmmmm.

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