Helmets occupy a unique place in the world of mountain biking culture. On the one hand, they’re a necessary safety feature, and on the other – let’s face it – they’re a bit of a fashion statement, mainly because with global distribution helmets have to meet a variety of different. international consumer safety standards. . Basically, a company like Giro, Lazer, or Smith, to name a few, makes their helmets to meet not just CPSC, or just CE-EN 1078, or just AS / NZL 2063: 2008, but to meet all these standards.

So a high-end helmet sold in New Zealand, for example, will legally have to meet the same level of protection as a low-end helmet sold in New Zealand. And from a manufacturing point of view, taking into account the cost of tools, molds, etc. these same helmets in New Zealand are identical to their European or North American counterparts, regardless of the different standards encountered in Europe, etc.

But from a security standpoint, how do helmets actually protect your one and only precious brain? Gone are the days of the glorified hairnets of the ’70s and’ 80s. A bicycle helmet now typically consists of a vented polycarbonate shell combined with expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam or a material with similar performance characteristics. (like the Koroyd material of Smith helmets and the WaveCel technology of Bontrager helmets). This protective material is designed to crash in a controlled manner, reducing the forces that impact your skull in a crash.

Many helmets now also use a rotational energy management system – MIPS is the best known of these – to better protect cyclists in the event of an accident. These systems are essentially a sliding plane between the head and the outer shell of the helmet designed to deflect the forces of an impact to one side or the other to reduce head trauma in a crash – think of it as a ball joint integrated inside the helmet. Currently, while rotating management systems are known to add significant protection to our delicate brainpower, there is no certification standard for this new technology.

It all comes down to the fact that the safety of your head is in good hands. Below are 21 helmets that represent some of the latest models available to protect your head while riding. Please note that helmet manufacturers all use different head shapes to mold their helmets, so some helmets will not necessarily fit your head as well as someone else’s. So try before you buy.

• Bontrager Blaze WaveCel mountain bike helmet
• Leatt MTB 4.0 AllMtn V21 helmet
• Bluegrass Rogue Core MIPS
• Smith Forefront 2
• Giro manifesto
• POC Kortal Race MIPS
• Fox Speedframe Pro
• Pioneer of soft MIPS protection
• Troy Lee Designs A3
• Bell Super Air Spherical
• Lazer Jackal MIPS
• Scott Stego Plus
• Oakley DRT5
• Uvex quatro integral tocsen
• Specialized ambush with ANGi
• Kali Protectors Maya 3.0
• Rudy Crossway Project
• Giant SX MIPS rail
• 100% Altec
• iXS Trigger AM MIPS
• 7iDP M2