Review Update — May 2017
We've gone through this category and have made some updates to reflect the most recent helmet offerings as of May 2017, particularly to our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Troy Lee A1. Keep reading for more details!
Best Overall Mountain Bike Helmet
Troy Lee A1
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 is 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, like many enduro riders, are trying to decide between the A1 and the Bell Super, we recommend you consider your priorities. If you want the best looking, most comfortable, most durable helmet, you should spend the extra money on the A1.
Best Bang for the Buck
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.
Top Pick for Most Versatile Mountain Bike Helmet
Bell Super 2R MIPS
The Bell Super 2R MIPS
wins our Top Pick Award for being the most versatile half-shell mountain bike helmet because it can convert from an extended coverage half-shell helmet to a light duty full-face helmet in under a minute. The Super 2R is the only one of its kind which we've tested so far. 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 decent. 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.