The most important aspect of any sport is the level of safety one has while enjoying it. When it comes to mountain bikes, helmets are very important as they ensure the safety from the head injuries during extreme mountain biking conditions. That being said, some people don’t consider them seriously and have to pay for it later on. So, please make sure to get one for you…always.
Whether you ride the jumps, through a busy street, in a park or in dirt, the mountain bike helmets will always ensure the safety of your head and face from any injuries or impacts.
In the following article, we will be looking at some of these helmets and what makes them stand apart from the multitude of others also available. We have reviewed 5 helmets which costs under $100 that have proven to be superior in all situations.
2020’s Top Picks : Best Mountain Bike Helmets under $100
We’ve spent around 48 hours in researching more than 30 different type of helmets. In the end, we found five helmets that set the standard for all MTB helmets for comfort, durability and safety.
|Troy Lee Designs A1|
|Giro Fixture MIPS|
(Best in Budget)
|Bell 4Forty MIPS|
|Mavic Crossride SL||Multiple||No||4.3|
|Lazer Impala MIPS||22 vents||Yes||4.2|
1. Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet – (Editor’s Choice)
If you are looking for one of the top mountain bike helmets, you cannot go wrong with the Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet. It is one of the best options in the market, having been constructed from a polycarbonate outer shell. The inside of the helmet features a filament with a reinforced liner that should be consistent for comfort.
The aerospace design gives the user numerous holes around the shell. All of these holes will allow air to comfortably pass through and keep your head cool. Since durability is vital, the EPS core is a great material for the bridges that hold the entire helmet together. Triple fit support technology will keep the helmet in place when riding uphill.
If you tend to fall, you will be able to enjoy the Multi-Impact Protection System (MIPS), which allows the helmet to give you the same strength no matter the side of impact. Multiple colors are available, ensuring that you have the ultimate in safety. Users can also opt for an additional visor for eye protection.
Frankly, it’s quite hard to find any downsides of this helmet. It might be a bit expensive, slightly going over the price we set, but through some searching, one can find it for a real bargain. We would recommend it to professional riders that need something durable and sophisticated.
Overall, the helmet stands out among many of the competitors, it is not a helmet you will find everywhere either, which means that it targets a specialized market. The real value lies in the technology on offer. However, the helmet is recommended for the value and tech features at such a reasonable price.
2. Giro Fixture MIPS Bike Helmet – (Best in Budget)
Helmets are similar to bikes, and many of them are also made by top brands. One of these top brands is the Giro Brand. The brand is known for designing some of the best helmets for all walks of life when it comes to cycling. The Giro Fixture MIPS Bike Helmet features a sleek design, constructed from a polycarbonate shell.
On the inside, you have access to the EPS liner that will give you comfort and keep the helmet from becoming heavy. The combination of the liner and wide ventilation ports will ensure moisture is adequately absorbed and evaporated. All of these features lead to an ergonomic fit that will be comfortable for all users.
Instead of having to deal with a full shell, the Giro Fixture MIPS Bike Helmet features a half shell design. What makes the design stand out is the reduction in weight. Users can also add a visor that they like and it stores all cycling glasses without any hassles. The total weight of the helmet is just around 0.8-pounds for optimal comfort.
Much like the first helmet on the list, you have the MIPS that will absorb impact regardless of the direction that it comes from. Unfortunately, it does not have any ear pads, but due to the design, users rarely have to complain about any chafing. Once done, the helmet can be stored in the sleeve provided.
If you want something professional that will stand the test of time, the Giro Fixture MIPS Bike Helmet is one of the best options for you. Aside from the affordable price, it also comes with a limited 1-year warranty for peace of mind. We would recommend it for the brand and the quality, giving you the best overall value.
3. Bell 4Forty MIPS Bike Helmet – (Best Overall)
The Bell 4Forty MIPS Bike Helmet is slightly different when compared to many of the others, especially when we look at the technology that is implemented. The helmet features an in-mold polycarbonate design. It means that it has been molded perfectly over the head or shape of a head that resembles the actual sizing of a person.
Float Fit Technology is one of the tech features that are still heavily debated. However, the helmet only has a few directions in which it can float, but it will remain fixed for the most part. Large ventilation ports provide the ideal comfort for riders, regardless of the distance. It has one of the best linings for absorbing moisture.
As you might have noticed by now, we focus a lot on protection, which means the MIPS tech feature is necessary for many helmets. The technology allows the helmet to absorb shock and bumps regardless of the direction it comes from. Considering the large ventilated holes, cycling glasses can be stored on top of the helmet when not in use.
In terms of adjustments, most cyclists do all the adjustments before they set off. However, the Bell 4Forty MIPS Bike Helmet features a Tri-Glides adjustment setup that will ensure you can make any fit adjustments on the road. It is no longer needed to force the helmet into a specific position for the entirety of the ride.
With all these features, it does rival some of the leading brands and it might be a bit expensive. However, all the tech features will make up for the quality you receive. We would recommend it for the value of the design and all the special features that will help you stand out from the rest of your competition.
4. Mavic Crossride SL Elite Helmet
If you are in the market for something cheaper, the Mavic Crossride SL Elite Helmet is the perfect helmet for some of your riding endeavors. It is also constructed with a polycarbonate shell that features additional padding all around the helmet for optimal protection while offering a soft inner lining that will make it feel much better on the road.
The revolutionary retention system holds the helmet in place, which means that it is less likely to tip around and fall off. As for the padding, 37.5 technologies are not as common but will give you the ultimate soft feeling. Large exterior holes are responsible for ventilation to keep you cool when you have to endure strenuous conditions.
One of the main accessories is the visor. The unit features a sun visor that also doubles down as a small mosquito net. Since many off-road adventures take place in the woods, you can now ride without the constant “zooming” of mosquitoes across your face. At just under 1-pound, it is lightweight and offers durability.
Aside from all the tech features to offer you protection, the helmet also features a stylish design. You can find it in a variety of colors that will match your clothing. Using the helmet, we have found that it remains in place, with very little movement on bumpy roads. It also ensures more stability for aggressive riders.
As mentioned, it is one of the more affordable options on the market. The helmet has all the advanced features some of the larger brands have. It comes with a limited 2-year warranty that should give you peace of mind. We would recommend it for professional riders, but it is affordable enough for many of the recreational riders to also enjoy.
5. Lazer Impala MIPS Helmet
Last but certainly not least, we have another state of the art helmet that will ensure great value. The Lazer Impala MIPS Helmet is by far the most advanced helmet on the market, featuring a full helmet design. The entire design is constructed from a complete shell mold and durable polycarbonate materials.
The MIPS technology is perfect for reducing the force from various angles of impact one might encounter after a few years of riding. It comes with an EPS liner, the complements that ventilation ports to ensure you have decent moisture absorption. It also looks stylish and comes in a variety of different colors.
Drawing comparisons of helmets is one of the things that we have to do. While most helmets have around 15 ventilation ports, the Lazer Impala MIPS Helmet features a staggering 22-ventilation port system. These combine to allow air to flow into the helmet, while others will force some of the hot air out of the helmet.
The overall design of the helmet will give you ample space for all of your accessories. Instead of simply having to deal with goggles that float about, they are stored on top of the helmet to ensure safety. It is one of the most advanced helmets on the market today, loaded with all the accessory features many professionals need.
A Complete Buying Guide for Mountain Bike Helmets
With the top 5 helmets now fresh in your mind, you might also be interested in the features we used to select them. The following features served as the criterion, which allowed us to make the decisions. If none of these helmets appeal to you, the following guide will give you all the information needed to find the right ones.
The first thing to consider is the fit of the helmet. If the helmet does not fit, you will be unable to use it. You must consider how the helmet sits, which means that the size becomes important. Additionally, you also need to consider the fit system, with many helmets having a Float Fit System and others being fixed.
- Fixed Fit: The fixed fit system is much harder to adjust and since it ergonomically molded to a specific size, you need to have the right size. It is also less likely to move around when you are moving.
- Float Fit: Those with a larger head might also enjoy the Float Fit System, which allows the helmet to float around your head. However, it can be set in fixed positions, but the system will accommodate different sizes.
You will notice that most helmets have been ergonomically molded around the shape of pre-existing heads. It makes it much easier to buy the helmet and you can be sure that it will comfortably fit. There are many fitting guidelines that you can follow. However, each brand will have its fitting guidelines to consider.
Not much is to be said about the ventilation, with each helmet having various ventilation holes. For more advanced helmets, you can open and close these ventilation holes. However, you will mostly be counting how many holes are available. As a rule of thumb, it is best to find large ventilation holes of about 15.
Padding and Comfort
Padding and comfort are two of the serious features that need to be considered. Many people might be susceptible to chaffing, which means that they could develop a rash. However, the inner lining is not only for ventilation but also for comfort. Additionally, you will need to look at if the helmet has a lining around the ears and the straps to ensure more comfort.
If your helmet fits and feels good on your head, the next most important step is to look at the safety features. A helmet is not simply a shell that comes around your head, it needs to have the right protection features to keep you safe. Fortunately, there are many tech features designed to offer the best overall protection.
MIPS: One of the top features is the Multi-Impact Protection System that can absorb shock from various sides of the helmet. It is a bit more expensive to incorporate but offers the best overall protection.
Shell Design: A full shell helmet offers more protection around the sides of the helmet. However, it is also heavier. Half shells are for recreational riders that don’t storm downhill roads.
Adjustments: Lastly, you want some adjustment features that enable you to adjust the helmet on the fly. It can help when you are on the road and have to remove visors.
The different types of visors can be considered, but most of them are straightforward. There are a few anomalies that will help to combat things like mosquitoes and bugs you might drive into if you are not careful.
When to Replace a Helmet
Most bicycle helmets can be a lifelong investment if you don’t ride often. However, the rule of thumb is to replace them every 5 to 10-years if you ride often. Many people believe that you simply replace a helmet once it runs out of the warranty. We believe it comes down to how long the safety features are usable.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are not yet an expert at selecting bike helmets, you might find the following section interesting. We have isolated a few of the most prominent questions around the web, making it possible for you to find all the information regarding mountain bike helmets right here. Here are a few of the common questions we need to deal with every so often.
- Do mountain bikes need a specific helmet?
It is not something that is strictly regulated, as many people use road bike helmets for mountain bikes. However, the mountain bike helmets have an integrated dirt cap in the lining. It should eliminate some of the dirt from entering the helmet.
- Can you wear a road bike helmet for mountain biking?
The simple answer to this question is yes. Most top of the range helmets has many of the same features. However, the mountain bike helmets can protect you from dirt. Additionally, they have a few features that also protect you from the bugs and hassles of the mountainous roads.
- Are full-face helmets safer?
Full face helmets are not safer per se, but they offer a slight bit of protection in the face that other helmets don’t. However, they also lack the same ventilation, which means that people might be susceptible to things like heatstroke.
- Is a MIPS helmet worth it?
The best tech feature ever to be integrated into these helmets is the MIPS feature. The feature allows the helmet to absorb shock from various angles but adds a bit more to the price. However, we would still recommend it as a great feature for your safety.
The Bottom Line
With all now discussed, you don’t have any excuse to buy a helmet that does not meet the professional needs you require. All of these helmets offer extreme value and they will last you numerous years. If you are looking for the best mountain bike helmets under $100 reviews, you have come to the right place to get the helmet you need.