Best Mountain Bike Helmet Brands- The Top Thirteen

Reputation matters a lot in most industries, and the mountain biking industry is no exception. Mountain bike helmets have standards that every helmet manufacturer has to adhere to. However, the standards are pretty basic, allowing designers to have plenty of leeway in terms of what the helmet looks like, its functionality and its durability.

Some manufacturers design for value, while others tend to aim for the high-end customer. Below we break down some of the best-known mountain bike helmet brands, including a brief history, a few of their most popular models, and what makes them stand out from the competition.

We will start with the brands most people have likely heard of when talking about helmets at some point.

Bell

The very high-spec convertible Bell Super DH in open-face mode!

Bell helmets are certainly one of the most well-known helmet brands out there. Originally, Bell helmets manufactured race car and motocross helmets, designing the first full-face motorcycle helmet in 1968, and the first motocross helmet in 1971. Bell then started manufacturing bicycle helmets and has been manufacturing helmets for levels of ability and budget.

Most Popular Helmets

Standout features

  • MIPS Spherical is exclusive to Bell and Giro
  • Bell has an exceptional range of convertible helmets

Giro

Giro is owned under the same company as Bell and is one of the most popular helmet brands available for both mountain and road. The company started up in 1985, manufacturing snow and bicycle helmets. Bell and Giro have very similar models which run in contention with one another

Most Popular Helmets

Standout features

  • MIPS Spherical is exclusive to Bell and Giro
  • Giro Tyrant and Switchblade (as a half shell) are two of the only helmets which cover the ears in an open face helmet

Fox Racing

Fox started out in 1974, making motocross clothing and components for motocross riders. The company evolved into creating mountain bike apparel and protective clothing. This expansion leads to some of the safest and lightest helmets on the market being created. While the range of helmets is not as large as the Giro and Bell helmets, the sheer number of these helmets you see on the trails makes Fox one of the most popular helmet brands on the market.

Most Popular Helmets

Standout features

  • 5 Start rating from Virginia Tech for the Speedframe Pro
  • Patented fully integrated chin bar (Fox Proframe)
  • Partnered with Fluid Inside (helmet impact technology) to create a safer all-around helmet

Troy Lee Designs

Troy Lee Designs A1 in action!

Troy Lee Designs (TLD) were founded in 1981 started from humble beginnings by making visors in Troy Lee’s mother’s oven. By 2004 Troy Lee Designs had grown into a massive company manufacturing high-quality motocross and mountain bike apparel, helmets and protective gear.

Most Popular Helmets

Standout features

  • Extremely comfortable helmets
  • Bright colors and intricate designs

Top-of-the-line Helmet Brands

POC

POC Sports is a Swedish company that specializes in protective gear, including helmets, mountain biking, snow sports and road cycling. POC has a large range of mountain bike helmets, including XC, Enduro, downhill, dirt jumping and trail.

Most Popular Helmets

Standout features

  • SPIN (Shear Pads InSide) anti-rotational technology
  • Incredible design
  • Aramid Bridge system which strengthens the helmet with little weight added

Smith Optics

Despite entering the biking world from the eyewear industry, Smith has made a name for itself in bike helmets. These are luxury, high-end helmets that are designed for those wanting a no expense spared kind of helmet.

Most Popular Helmets

Standout features

  • Use of Koroyd technology (straw-like material seen through the vents) which increases the crumple zone of the helmet
  • Great integration of Smith Eyewear/Goggles with the helmets

Specialized

Specialized is a reputable brand that you expect to pay a little more for. Since 1976, Specialized has been creating bike components and, as of 2016, became one of the top 3 bicycle manufacturers in the U.S.

The very sleek looking Specialized Ambush!

Most Popular Helmets

Standout feature

  • ANGi Crash Sensor, which syncs with Strava and GPS for tracking

Leatt

Founded in 2003, Leatt started by making safer apparel for motocross riders when the owner witnessed an incident just after his son started riding. Dr. Leatt was then driven to create protective equipment, particularly for reducing the effects of neck injuries, and has won awards for the best protective gear every year since 2006.

Most Popular Helmets

Standout feature

  • Leatt Turbine 360 which reduces energy from both angular and linear impacts

Smaller Brands

Although these aren’t small brands in their entirety, they do only have a small emergence in the helmet market. The following brands are ones to keep an eye out for when shopping for a helmet.

  • 100%
  • Bontrager
  • Oakley
  • Kali
  • iXS
  • Met

Final Thoughts

All helmet manufacturers must meet standards, so it is likely that whichever helmet manufacturer you choose will have a safe helmet. The difference between a lot of the manufacturers is how much additional design has gone into making the helmet safer, lighter, more ventilated and more comfortable.

Check out some of the best ventilated helmets on the market at the moment!

But there is also different purposes of helmets, making them safer for their respective categories- for example, a trail helmet is perfect for trails but won’t be enough for advanced downhill trails. Stick to the recommended use and find one that fits correctly, and you won’t regret it!

Have a look at the different types of mountain bike helmets and how to choose one here.