To help keep kids and youth safe when mountain biking their helmet needs to match the level of mountain biking they do. Lets discover your options. Have a read and understand what helmet would best suit your child.

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Head Size and Growth

A kids head grows and changes.  Each child will have different rates of growth and times when they are growing.  So you can’t just guess size, you need to get a helmet that fits them now, not something they can grow into.  Once you have the correct size helmet you need to fit it correctly to your child’s head shape.  Most 6 yr olds have a fully grown head (this is an average your child may be different), from here on their face structure will grow and change but you will notice very little difference in their head circumference.

What this means for helmet buying is that children as young as 6yrs old may not grow out of their helmet (it is likely that wear and tear will drive change rather than growing out of the helmet).  It also means that youth can wear adult helmets to match their type of riding and level of performance, especially on a mountain bike.

 

Your Mountain Bike Helmet Options:

  • Kids/Youth Mountain Biking and All Round Helmet (add a rear light for on road use)
  • Youth Recreation and Mountain Biking
  • Youth Mountain Biking
  • Youth Advanced and Downhill Mountain Biking
  • Youth Downhill and Racing Mountain Biking

Knowing your child’s head circumference can help you understand your options. Learn how to measure here.

Kids Mountain Biking – All Round Rider

Best Suited to – kids who enjoy riding trails. Optional pop in light for the rear vent makes this a great all round helmet.

Age Range – approximately 6yrs plus.  Size Range – 50 to 57cm (kids), 54-61cm (youth).

MUST have features:  Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) including MIPS (multi directional impact) protection.  Strength and durability, ability to absorb impacts created by in mold construction & liners.  Easy to use fit systems that provide the ability to have a secure & stable helmet every time it is put on a head.

GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & quick dry padding for sweat and temperature management, easily removed for washing.  Visor removability.  Ability to add a rear vent light for on road/in traffic riding.

Recommendation – As your child steps up to the challenge that is mountain biking so should their helmet step up in its ability to protect their head.  The Giro Tremor does just that.  It has the best dial fit system we could find in a kids helmet along with the added protection of MIPS technology.  The internal pads are made from the same fast drying, sweat wicking fabric as adult Giro helmets.  Eighteen vents & 5 airflow channels throughout the full head coverage design allows for great air movement and keeps the helmet lightweight (306grams).  It also has an optional rear vent light to assist with visibility in traffic – school commute riding, activities/sports practices.

Youth Recreation & Mountain Biking

Best Suited to – Youth who enjoy all types of recreation riding from the road to the trails.

Age Range – approximately 10 years plus. Size Range – Small 49-54cm, Medium 54cm- 58cm, Large 58-62cm.

MUST have features:  Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) including MIPS (multi directional impact) protection.  Strength and durability, ability to absorb impacts created by in mold construction & liners.  Easy to use fit systems that provide the ability to have a secure & stable helmet every time it is put on a head.

GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & quick dry padding for sweat and temperature management, easily removed for washing.  Visor removability.  

Recommendation – When your teenager chooses to ride a bike all over town during the week and spends time off road in the weekends you want a helmet that is up to the task of being well used.  These helmets deliver on all the features we ask you to find in a performance helmet.  They have extended rear head coverage yet are lightweight.  It provides ideal impact protection with its increased dense shell strength.   It has an easy to use fit system  Three sizes also helps with getting a helmet to fit their head correctly.  MIPS is another element of protection from impacts at angles.  This will help when preteens/teens start exploring intermediate and advanced off road tracks.

Youth Mountain Biking – Performance

Best Suited to – Youth who enjoy all types of Mountain Biking, up to advanced levels.

MUST have features:  Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head).  Full wrap in mold construction will give additional durability & strength to a helmet. At this level of performance MIPS should be included. Lightweight and easy to use adjustable fit system so the helmet is secure and stable on your head.

GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & sweat absorption, full goggle integration and camera mounting capabilities.

Recommendation – As you begin to ride more often and gain better skills, the tracks you expose yourself to tend to get more technical.  Your helmet needs to match your growing skill level giving you peace of mind as you try new stuff or simply go at greater speed.  The Giro Source helmets are built for repetitive use across all types of mountain biking.  Greater durability from better wrapping, layered in mold construction.  Lightweight fit system as well as MIPS.

Size Range – Small 51-55cm, Medium 55-59cm, Large 59-63cm, X-large 61-65cm.

Youth Advanced and Downhill Mountain Biking 

Best Suited to – Youth that challenge themselves in the mountain biking environment.

MUST have features:   Strength and durability created through wrapping/fused in mold construction and layering of liners. Ability to absorb impacts along with a advanced MIPS system. Chin bar for full 360 protection.  Top of the line, durable fit system.

GREAT to have features: Brow airflow & technical fabric used on padding. Removable, tool free chin bar giving you 2 helmets in 1.  Goggle compatibility and breakaway camera mounting.

Recommendation – This helmet adapts to every mountain bike riding situation you will find yourself in.  Easy to remove, no tools required, chin guard allows you to ride without this added protection – basically you get 2 helmets in 1.  The best Bell has to offer in a Float Fit system to get a secure, safe, comfortable fit.  Add in MIPS and you have a top performing yet lightweight helmet.  Excellent airflow and technical fabric helps with temperature management.  Complete goggle integration and break away camera mounting.

Size Range – Small 52-56cm, Medium 56-59cm, Large 59-62cm

Youth Downhill and Racing Mountain Biking 

Best Suited to – Youth that race and challenge themselves in the mountain biking environment. 

MUST have features:  Certification for downhill racing – ASTM 1952 testing.  Wrap around chin bar.  A MIPS system with additional features for top of the line energy management. Strength and durability created by full wrap, layered in mold construction & liners.  Easy to use fit systems that provide the ability to have a secure & stable helmet every time it is put on a head.

GREAT to have features: Removable chin bar, breakaway camera mount, top of the line padding system that ensures comfort with a well fitted full face helmet.

Recommendation – This helmet has ASTM F1952-00 & ASTM F2032-06 certification which passes testing required for downhill racing.  This means it is one of the toughest helmets in the market place and a great option for top of the line protection.  Ideal if you’re racing and pushing the limits but also for those riders who can afford the best protection.  Good investment for anyone who has neck/head issues and requires the peace of mind the best will give you.  Remember this helmet can be worn without the chin guard.

Size Range – Small 52 to 56cm, Medium, 55 to 59cm, Large 58 to 62cm

Keep them safe with Helmet Care and Checks

As you may have gathered from reading the information above it is not enough just to get the right size helmet for your child or teenager you must also take the time to fit the helmet to their head shape.  This involves getting it low, level, secure & stable…

PLEASE READ How to Size & Fit a Kids Bike Helmet or How to size and fit an Adult Bike Helmet

 

WHEN TO REPLACE A HELMET
  • when it becomes too small – refer above, it needs to fit down onto the head, maximum 2 fingers above eyebrows
  • after any type of crash or impact.  If the helmet has done its job it will have absorbed the force of the incident so if they say they hardly knocked their head or didn’t feel it bump, it doesn’t mean the helmet is safe to use again
  • the more it’s used the more it will deteriorate. Every time it is dropped or bumped or absorbs vibrations it is reducing its ability to protect them!  A rough guide line for well used quality kids helmets is 3-4 years
INSPECTION & SAFETY
  • regularly inspect for damage, wear & tear, cracks, splitting, dents, the shell separating from the liner, breakage in the MIPS, fraying straps, broken buckles
  • never remove a MIPS from the helmet
  • replace the pads to ensure good fit over time
  • store in a safe place out of direct sunlight
WASHING
  • gently with warm soapy water.  Pads can be removed and placed in a washing machine but do not put in a tumble drier
  • do not put helmet in the dish washer (can’t believe I just wrote that bit of advice but there you go)

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