If you ride downhill or technical enduro trails, you are going to need a proper full face mountain bike helmet. They give you the protection you need and help with your confidence, so you are not held back worrying about your pretty face. You may think they are overkill and you will find a full face mountain bike helmet bulky to start with. However, you will soon get used to it and forget it is there. Here are the best ones you can currently buy.
If you are not sure what type of helmet you need check out my guide on how to choose the best mountain bike helmet for you.
Troy Lee Designs D3
The TLD D3 is true to the brand with a bold motocross inspired design. There are a few different helmets in the D3 range, but here we are going to talk about the carbon fibre version.
The D3 is a fantastic full face mountain bike helmet, this is kind of proved by the amount of pro riders that use it. Of course, as it is a TLD is has striking looks and is available in lots of different colour ways. However, the D3 isn’t just about how it looks. It is a super comfortable full face mountain bike helmet, thanks to a wide choice of sizes and shapes. This makes it easy to get the perfect fit dialed in. Additionally, the helmet’s plush padding can be easily removed and cleaned/replaced as necessary too.
The helmet has MIPS technology to reduce the forces going in to your head when you crash. The high tech materials used to make this full face mountain bike helmet, make it a lightweight as possible. For example, even the visor bolts and strap clasp are made from titanium.
TLD have spent a lot of time focusing on the aerodynamics of the D3 too. This is to ensure the shape is nice and slippy through the air, and to ensure the ventilation ducts work how they should. This kind of detail doesn’t come cheap, but when you realise the level of detail TLD have put in to it, the price starts to become more justifiable.
- Hand laid pre-preg carbon/composite/MCT weave blend for superior shell construction and weight reduction
- Top layer UD (unidirectional) carbon weave provides strength and style
- High modulus Kevlar reinforced high impact zones for increased strength and rigidity
- Nylon reinforcement polymer in key high-wear and impact zones
- Technologically advanced aerospace carbon/composite shell construction
- MIPS brain protection system, reduces rotational forces to the brain
- Digital wind tunnel-tested, aerodynamic shell design
- Revolutionary injection-moulded air intake system
- 20 high-flow intake and exhaust ports for maximum ventilation
- Added EPS and new head form shape for improved impact performance
- Full incremental sizing for greater range of fitment
- Deep EPS channeling for optimal airflow
- Strategically placed interior chin bar shock pads for comfort and durability
- Removable, washable padded liner with Coolmax™ and Dri-lex™ moisture wicking materials
- Contoured 3D cheek pads fit anatomically
- Quick-release cheek pads for emergency helmet removal
- Purpose-built internal cavities for audio integration
- Titanium hardware for reduced weight
- Includes 2 lightweight, streamlined visors and a helmet bag
A pricey full face mountain bike helmet, but the price is justified. This is for the rider who takes downhill or enduro riding very seriously. It performs exceptionally well and looks great. There are cheaper versions made from composite materials, if the carbon version is a bit too expensive.
Fox Racing ProFrame
The Fox ProFrame full face mountain bike helmet is designed with “open face” breathability. Fox’s aim for this helmet is to have the protection of a full face mountain bike helmet with maximum airflow. I can tell you…..it works!
It has huge holes in the chin bar to allow the air in. The chin bar has a padded rubber material that doesn’t touch your skin and detachable cheek pads. The helmet’s pads come in different sizes, allowing you to tweak the fit and comfort to how you want it. Which negates the need for an adjustable retention device, so it hasn’t got one.
Protection comes from a high density expanded polystyrene and MIPS. I recommend buying helmets with MIPS or an equivalent technology. A nice little feature on the Proframe, is the magnetic buckle to make it easier to secure the helmet with gloves on.
The peak is fixed, but doesn’t obscure your vision and will obviously accommodate your goggles. There is a molding on the back of the helmet to ensure your goggle strap doesn’t slip at all.
- Fox racing’s lightest DH approved full frame helmet
- Fox integrated chin bar
- Highly breathable liner system
- 24 big bore vents
- Fixed visor
- Fidlock® Snap helmet buckle
- MIPS™ (Multiple Impact Protection System)
- Dual-density Varizorb™ EPS liner
- Weight: 750g (size M)
A fantastic full face mountain bike helmet, with a focus on ventilation. It is lightweight for a full face mountain bike helmet, but gives you way more protection than a half shell. The ProFrame is ideal for bike park days and trips to the alps, or for those who want a bit more protection, but don’t want a sweaty head.
Bell Transfer 9
If you want a super plush and comfortable full face mountain bike helmet, the Bell Transfer 9 is for you. It is a very substantial helmet, which gives you confidence when riding. The downside of this, is the additional weight, meaning it isn’t one of those helmets you forget you are wearing. However, the Bell Transfer is a great choice of full face mountain bike helmet, if you ride lift assisted regularly and want that extra bit of protection. There is a carbon version that is lighter, but obviously more expensive.
The Bell Transfer 9 is a great looking full face mountain bike helmet, with a motocross inspired design. In fact, its technology comes from the Bell Full 9 MX helmet. It comes in some very bold and striking colours, but there are more muted greys, if you don’t want to stand out too much. Other than its excellent protection, the main reason to buy it, is the comfort. It is one of the most comfortable full face mountain bike helmets you can buy. This is down to the padding and the cosy material it is lined with. The material is really good at wicking away sweat too. The padding makes it a good snug fit, keeping it in place, even on the most rugged terrain.
The visor is large and wide and it does a great job of keeping sun and rain out of your face. However, it isn’t easily adjustable while riding.
Considering the Transfer 9’s snug fit, it is surprisingly well ventilated. The over-brow ventilation lets the air in, and takes it through air channels and gaps in the padding.
- Weight: 1250 grams
- Vents: 9 vents
- Certifications: CPSC Bicycle, CE EN1078, ASTM F1952-00 (Downhill), ASTM F2032-06 (BMX)
- Overbrow Ventilation, Velocity Flow Ventilation
- Construction: Fiberglass Shell
- Integrated Eject Compatibility
- Breakaway Camera Mount
- XT-2 Extended Wear Interior
- Quicksnap Removable Cheekpads
- Soundtrax Speaker System
- Breakaway Screws
- Flying Bridge Visor
The Bell Transfer 9 full face mountain bike helmet is great value and extremely comfortable. It would probably be heavy for long enduro rides, but fine for short fast downhill rides. Therefore, if that is what you do, and you want a bit more confidence from your lid, buy the Transfer 9.
Fox Rampage Carbon
You will find that lots of full face mountain bike helmets have motocross influences, and the Rampage Carbon is no exception. It balances moto styling with downhill protection perfectly. In my opinion it is one of the best looking full face mountain bike helmets you can buy. However, it is not just form over function, as it rates high on comfort and protection too.
You should be able to find one that fits you pretty well, as it comes in five different sizes. One of the things worth noting, is the spacing around the ears. This is a nice recess for your ear to sit in, and it is perfectly located ensuring comfort. The 3D moulded cheek pads wick away sweat exceptionally well and are very comfortable
It is very well ventilated, with 17 vents that channel air over your head. This helps your head stay comfortable no matter what the weather is. You should never be too hot or cold with this full face helmet.
The visor is large enough to provide your face with the necessary protection from the elements. But, it is also large enough to accommodate a GoPro mount. The visor also features an adjustable screw to lock it in to position and to easily change it on the fly.
It isn’t the lightest full face mountain bike helmet, even for carbon. However, it isn’t heavy enough to cause you any problems. This little bit of extra weight comes from the added protection. As we are talking about the best full face mountain bike helmets, you can expect this one to meet all the necessary standards to a high level, it also has the all important MIPS system.
- MIPS equipped (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System)
- Precision fit and designed using 2 shell sizes and 3 EPS dimensions
- Maximum venting and airflow with 17 total vents and channels
- High-tech Dri-Lex® luxury interior with 3D moulded cheek pads
- Podium proven year after year
This helmet is a very high end product, therefore, if you are sending it on a regular basis, you need this level of protection. It is expensive, but the price reflects the level of comfort, design and protection.
Which is your favourite full face mountain bike helmet?
You get what you pay for when it comes to a full face mountain bike helmet, but don’t automatically go for something expensive because it looks good. It needs you fit your head perfectly, so if it is wrong send it back and try another one. Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the MTB-Threads newsletter!
If you want to try an alternative full face mountain bike helmet, you may be interested in the Bell Super 3 R. It has a removable chin bar, giving you two helmets in one.