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Mountain Bike Helmet Buying Guide

By Annette 3 years agoNo Comments
Mountain Bike Helmet Buying Guide
Helmet Size

It is essential you buy the correct sized helmet.  Use goRide’s How to Size & Fit a  Bike Helmet.  Please be aware that most of your head growth is done by the time you reach 6yrs old (this is an average head growth, you or your child may be different).  After this age your head will change shape allowing for maturity of your face.  This means that most helmets will need to be replaced due to wear & tear rather than becoming too small.  This also allows you to invest in the best you can afford knowing you will get good use from it – you can not overdo protection of your head.

Helmet Adjustment

How does the helmet adjust?  It is essential that the adjustment system of the helmet is good enough (rear dial & adjustable straps) and used well.  You must fit the helmet to your head shape so that it will stay on and over your head in an impact.  Mountain biking is a sport where accidents can happen with some frequency especially if you ride at speed and challenge yourself.   Again go to the Size & Fit information page.

Helmet Shape

All bike helmets sold in New Zealand need to meet a minimum safety standard. To get maximum protection when mountain biking we suggest a helmet shaped like your head – round and smooth. No protrusions or protrusions with impact release systems. Being round and smooth allows the helmet to slide better along a surface, reducing the peak forces with sudden stopping. An outcome that reduces the risk of a head injury.  The shape of the helmet needs to provide good coverage of the head. Coverage from above the eyebrows to right down low at the back of the head (where the head meets the neck).  See a helmet that works for you.

Materials & Construction

Different brands use different materials and construction methods which effects the overall performance of the helmet. As well as full head coverage and a fit system a good mountain bike helmet should have

  • MIPS technology (Multi-directional Impact Protection System)
  • in mold polycarbonate construction for strength
  • air flow system for ventilation
  • google compatibility or integration
  • breakaway camera/light mounts
Match to the Level of Your Riding

There is a huge range of mountain bike helmets on the market.  Generally as the price goes up the features and protection are greater.   Ventilation and airflow systems will get better.  Antimicrobial, wicking pad materials will be of a higher spec. Head coverage becomes greater – removable chin guards or full face helmets.  Independant strength tests may have been preformed giving a helmet certification for race use.  So match the type of riding – your risk level – to the helmet features.


Helmets are often offered as mens or womens versions.  Were possible keep within your own gender as you will find the size range is a better match and therefore adjusting the helmet to get a good fit should be easier.  This gender distinction can just be about the colour or graphics that are on the helmet it depends on the brand you are dealing with.






Womens S,M

Ranging from 51cm-59cm

Mens S,M,L,XL

Ranging from 51cm-65cm

Beginner, Intermediate

MIPS equipped

Roc Loc 5 Dial fit system

14 vents

Google compatible

Womens S,M

Ranging from 51cm-59cm

Mens S,M,L,XL

Ranging from 51cm-65cm

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

MIPS equipped

Reinforced polycarbonate shell

Roc-Loc Air Fit system

16 vents

Google integration & grip

Breakaway camera/light mount

Women S,M

Ranging from 52cm-59cm

Men S,M,L

Ranging from 52cm-62cm

Intermediate, Advanced, Downhill

Removable chin bar

MIPS Equipped

Float fit system

33 vents


Unisex S,M,L

Ranging from 52cm-62cm

Downhill, Advanced technical


Removable chin bar

MIPS Spherical

Float fit system

25 vents


For other types of riding (town, recreation, road) see the BIKE HELMET BUYING GUIDE  or KIDS BIKE HELMET BUYING GUIDE

Make your purchase a success…

Adjustment to the head for a SAFE fit

get Safe – when you first purchase your helmet you need to invest some time to make the necessary adjustments to make the helmet fit snugly to the head. Then you need to do a pre-ride check before every ride. See How to Size & Fit a Bike Helmet

Caring for your Helmet

Role model good habits with your helmet, how do kids learn…by watching you.  Wear your helmet every time you ride a bike, don’t drop it or throw it, store it in a safe place, hang it by the chin strap not through the V-straps (otherwise you will be forever adjusting it) See tips- caring for your helmet.

…so you and your family can SMILE when you ride.

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