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The 4 Best Mountain Bike Helmets of 2020

When it comes to bike gear, there’s not much that’s more important than a good mountain bike helmet. It’s easy to prioritize flashy new parts for your bike, but really, your helmet should take top priority. Your bike helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment you can bring on a ride, it doesn’t matter how nice your bike is, it’s never going to be as valuable as your brain. The best mountain bike helmet doesn’t just protect you from head injuries, it will also fit comfortably, helping facilitate good airflow keeping you cool, and it will integrate well with your head shape, and any riding sunglasses you might use.

But there are so many mountain bike helmet options on the market, all with their own lists of safety technologies and fancy features that it can be hard to figure out what helmet will do the best job of keeping you safe and comfortable. So we’ve broken it down with our top five mountain bike helmets for 2020, with summaries of their features, fit notes, and a chart to help you narrow down your selection and find the perfect mountain bike helmet for you.


Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS

Best 2020 mountain bike helmets
 
 

Troy Lee Designs, or “TLD” has been making high-end motocross and mountain bike gear for decades. Their A2 helmet is their “trail” helmet, which means it’s a pretty perfect helmet for all-round mountain biking. It’s light and well-ventilated enough for all-day rides, but has more protection, especially on the back of the head than a pure cross country helmet.

The A2 is a higher-end helmet, and as such, has all of the features you could ask for. It’s easy to adjust the visor, and the helmet fits well with goggles, or with sunglasses. It’s also easy to adjust the snugness of the helmet with the click wheel on the back.

On the safety front, the A2 uses a combination of EPS and EPP foams. This allows TLD to tune the helmet to help keep you safe from both lower speed impacts (falling on a technical climb) and high-speed ones (coming off the bike on a fast descent.) It also has MIPS technology, which allows the helmet to move independently from your head and help absorb rotational impacts.

The TLD is a strong all-round helmet that will work well for most people doing most kinds of riding. It’s not the lightest helmet out there, and it doesn’t have the most coverage, instead, it strikes a nice balance and is very versatile.

 
Intended Use Number of Vents Safety Tech  Original Price
 Trail  13 MIPS  $169 - $179

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Fox Speedframe Pro

Best 2020 Mountain Bike Helmets
 

Fox’s Speedframe Pro helmet is new for 2020 and builds on the success of their popular trail helmets. It’s got a little more rear coverage than the previous Fox Flux helmet, but doesn’t have the ear and back-of-the-head protection of the Fox DropFrame. That means that the Speedframe is perfect for aggressive trail and enduro riders. It’s got a well-thought-out venting system, so it will work for longer trail or XC rides in warm climates as well.

Fox has put a lot of engineering time into the Speedframe and it comes out in the helmet’s attention to detail. The visor is easy to adjust and is completely removable as well. The Speedframe also features a FidLoc magnetic buckle that’s much easier to open and close with gloves on than a traditional buckle. Like the A2, it’s easy to dial in the helmet’s fit on the go with Fox’s 360° Retention System. The Speedframe also features MIPS to help deal with rotational impacts, and has dual-density foam to help it cushion both high and low speed crashes.

The Speedframe is perfect for the rider who’s looking for a little extra protection, whether because they’re riding more technical terrain, or racing enduros. And Fox offers some of the most comprehensive colorways out there, so your helmet is sure to match the rest of your kit.

 
Intended Use Number of Vents Safety Tech  Original Price
 Trail / Enduro  14 MIPS  $159.95

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Giro Radix

Best 2020 mountain bike helmets

The Radix is Giro’s budget-oriented trail helmet. It’s very affordable, at under $100, but doesn’t skimp on safety. Instead, the Radix uses a simpler design and features to save you money. The Giro calls the Radix a trail/adventure helmet, it’s designed for long days on the bike, with lots of pedaling. As such, it doesn’t have quite as much protection on the sides and back of the helmet as some of the more enduro-focused helmets. Instead it’s a little lighter, with a lot of vents. In fact, this is the best ventilated helmet on this list, perfect if your head often overheats on long rides.

The Radix doesn’t have quite as much visor articulation available as some of the other helmets on this list, so it doesn’t work as well with goggles, but should play nicely with most sunglasses. It uses Giro’s Roc Loc adjustable system to fine tune how snug the helmet feels, and has an integrated MIPS liner for rotational impacts. While the Radix doesn’t have quite all the bells and whistles of some of the other, more expensive helmets on this list, it’s got everything the serious rider needs, at a great price point. If budget is your concern, the Radix is our top choice.

Intended Use Number of Vents Safety Tech  Original Price
 Trail  25 MIPS  $95

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POC Tectal Race Spin

Best 2020 mountain bike helmets

POC specializes in high-end mountain bike protective gear, and the Tectal Race Spin is their take on a enduro half-shell helmet. It’s designed for the most technical trail riding and enduro racing in terrain that’s just short of justifying a full-face helmet. In line with those intentions, the Tectal Race has excellent ear and back of head protection, with a whole slew of safety technologies.

Unlike some of the other helmets on this list, the Tectal doesn’t use an adjustment knob to dial in fit, instead it uses a tabbed system that allows you to dial in each side independently. It’s not the most ventilated helmet on this list, and if you tend to run hot you may overheat on long, pedaly days. But that’s really not the intended use for the Tectal, instead it’s aimed at riders that are pushing high speeds on gnarly descents. It uses POC’s Spin system that preforms similarly to MIPS, allowing the shell of the helmet to rotate and help absorb twisting impacts. The POC Tectal Race Spin isn’t our top choice for riders looking for something light and airy for long mellow rides. Instead it’s aimed at anyone who’s looking for a half shell designed for high speeds and big terrain.

Intended Use Number of Vents Safety Tech  Original Price
 Trail / Enduro  12 SPIN  $220

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