Updated August 2017
Gearing up for end of summer and fall riding, we are taking a fresh look at the field of helmets available for all our mountain biking friends. Our expert riders are putting a new lineup of dome-protectors through our rigorous testing process. While our assessments are not yet complete, we can already tell that one newcomer, the Giro Montaro MIPS, is a standout performer. It's notable for its utility as a daily helmet that's also ready for enduro racing. Check out the summary below!
Troy Lee A1
Comfy with style and nice visor
Impressive quality and great fit
Not compatible with all sunglasses
New Version Now Available
Troy Lee released a new version of this helmet. All new A1 helmets come equipped with MIPS technology and at a reduced price of $139. These differences and more between the newer and older versions are highlighted in the individual review.
The Editors' Choice Award goes to the Troy Lee A1
, which is the best half-shell mountain design we have tried. All of our testers agreed that the A1 is one of the most comfortable bike helmets they've ever worn. The A1 uses well-mapped, dense padding to protect your head from pressure points. The A1 also has an awesome visor, which is approximately the same size as the Bell Super
, though it has less range of articulation to accommodate goggles worn beneath the visor. The only downfall of the A1 was the price, which was the second highest in our test. It has seen a recent price reduction, though, and as of May 2017, this helmet retails for the slimmer $139, though this is still at the top of our selection. It is possible to pick this helmet up for a more reasonable price in one of the less bling colors. If you are trying to decide between the A1 and the Bell Super, consider your priorities. If you want the best looking, most comfortable, most durable helmet, the A1 is your best bet.
Read full review: Troy Lee A1
Best Bang for the Buck
Easy to adjust to head size
Coverage extends over the back of the head
Good visor design
Cannot adjust chin strap fore and aft
The Giro Feature
wins our Best Buy Award and is our favorite moderately priced helmet. The Feature has an excellent fit and a visor articulation method similar to helmets costing nearly twice as much. The rear retention band is comfortable and secure and uses a click wheel to adjust. This helmet does lack some features, like fore/aft adjustment of the chin strap and a full-wrap shell protecting the foam edges. The Feature barely beat out the Bell Stoker
for this award, which is the same price but it does not have as great a visor. Riders who want a good deal but also want a highly articulated visor should go with the Feature.
Read full review: Giro Feature
Top Pick for Most Versatile
Bell Super 2R MIPS
Not a replacement for a full downhill helmet
Heavy and not breathable
Inconsistent GoPro mount
The Bell Super 2R MIPS
wins our Top Pick Award for being the most versatile half-shell mountain bike helmet. It can convert from an extended coverage half-shell to a light duty full-face helmet in under a minute. The Super 2R is the only one of its kind which we tested. Bell gave the Super 23 vents, yet it received the lowest score in our ventilation test. This isn't surprising since we scored it with the chin guard in place while none of the other helmets in this comparison have that level of coverage. The Super 2R is better ventilated than any full-time full-face helmet we know of. This helmet is aimed at the enduro rider who wants the extra ventilation of a half-shell for the climb and wants the added coverage of a full-face for the descent. There are four models of the Super 2. The "R" models are sold with the chin guard while the models without the "R" are not. The two MIPS models have an extra layer of protection which is designed to limit forces applied to the brain in certain types of crashes.
Read full review: Bell Super 2R MIPS
Notable for the Every Day Shredder
Giro Montaro MIPS
Visor's hinge is comfortable when wearing sunglasses
Placement of pads
Camera/light mount did not snap in as intended
Full Review Coming Soon
Our testers are currently reviewing a new lineup of helmets, and they are psyched on this one. A complete, individual review is coming soon, but we want to keep you up-to-date about this quality newcomer. We're already quite impressed.
The Giro Montaro MIPS
is great for both short pedals around local trails and multi-hour adventures on technical terrain. We also tested it when enduro-style riding, complete with chill climbing and blasting fast descents, and it performed well in various environments. The visor's hinge can be pushed high on the helmet, allowing you to slip goggles below it comfortably. The rubberized material around the rear vents helps keep the goggle bands from slipping, keeping your sunglasses secure. The Montaro
is not a downhill helmet, but certain considerations make it appropriate for enduro races and rowdy descents when climbing to the top.