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The top 5 best mid price mountain bike helmets

As prices keep on rising it’s no wonder there’s a huge market for the best mid price mountain bike helmets. And with this article I’ve tried to find the very best the market has to offer and lay them out for you.

To do so I first had to establish a baseline for what exactly “mid price” is with respect to mountain bike helmets, and what helmets I considered in the first place. Mountain biking encompasses multiple disciplines, with each discipline necessitating different levels of safety and protection.

XC racers use road bike helmets and downhill racers in general use full face mountain bike helmets. Trail, all-mountain, and enduro fits somewhere in between.

For this list I’ve only looked at open face mountain bike helmets, and the average suggested retail price for those helmets lies just underneath 150 USD. For convenience sake I lumped both dollars and euros together. Since you can often find helmets for a discount, I felt a solid range of prices would be somewhere between 100 to 150 USD. Again this is the suggested retail price.

What you get in terms of crash protection with mountain bike helmets in this price range is Multi-directional Impact Protection, better known as MIPS. An EPS liner and polycarbonate shell. Multi-density EPS and reinforced polycarbonate shells are reserved for helmets in the range of 200 dollars.

The price of helmets steeply increases at the top-end, where you pay a lot to gain a little. With this list of the best mid price mountain bike helmets you’re assured of being well protected and still have some money to spend somewhere else.

Troy Lee Designs A1

Troy Lee Designs A1
Troy Lee Designs A1
Troy Lee Designs A1
Troy Lee Designs A1
Troy Lee Designs A1
fallback

The Troy Lee Designs A1 takes everything from its more premium brother the A2, but is offered with a standard EPS liner instead.

Furthermore it comes with a regular padding not the X-Static one.

This shaves a couple of dollars from the price, which means you still get a great-fitting, comfortable helmet that excels in the area it should excel in, which is safety and crash protection.

Expert Experience

Alissa B | Site Owner – January 11, 2023

The A1 Classic MIPS helmet combines confidence-inspiring extended coverage and MIPS technology, well-designed features, and all-day comfort in a quality helmet that’s durable enough for the long haul. I’ve put mine through the wringer with 9000 miles including extra-long days, extreme heat and cold, and months of non-stop daily wear. I’m still happy to put it on for my next ride, whether that’s at my local trails or across a faraway country.

Pros and Cons

MET Terranova MIPS

MET Terranova MIPS
MET Terranova MIPS
MET Terranova MIPS
MET Terranova MIPS
MET Terranova MIPS
MET Terranova MIPS

The MET Terranova MIPS is a great-looking trail helmet with a premium-quality finish.

Although sometimes noted as “lightweight” it isn’t, weighing 355 grams for a size M. That’s 5 grams above average for an open face mountain bike helmet.

At such a weight the helmet sits comfortably when correctly adjusted with the Safe-T Duo system. If that name sounds somewhat familiar, it’s because the Bluegrass Rogue uses a similar system you can adjust both vertically and horizontally using an indexed dial.

There’s an optional gel padding kit for sweat wicking and an LED you can buy. Not including these means the price is kept low enough to be a mid-tier helmet with an excellent crash protection rating.

Expert Experience

Robert Johnston | European Editor – September 8, 2021

The Terranova flies under the radar out on the trail, with a generally comfortable and well-ventilated performance and no shaking or creaking on the head. Once you’ve started wetting out the padding, it does saturate quite quickly due to its low volume, which can lead it to dripping into the eyes before you might expect. In this regard it’s a shame that MET doesn’t equip the Terranova with their Dual Gel padding as standard, which they claim to act as a sweat guide, and would lessen this issue massively if so. At €9 it sounds like a worthy investment for sweatier riders or those often riding in hotter climates. Overall, the Terranova is a solid lid, though I’d have a hard time settling for the standard version instead of adding a little extra cash to have the reassurance of a MIPS liner in a crash. But for those not fully sold on the MIPS benefits, it could well be the ticket.

Pros and Cons

Fox Racing Speedframe

Fox Racing Speedframe
Fox Racing Speedframe
Fox Racing Speedframe
Fox Racing Speedframe
Fox Racing Speedframe
Fox Racing Speedframe

The Fox Racing Speedframe is the same helmet as the Pro version in everything but a small number of features.

The Speedframe Pro is one of the best helmets in terms of safety, and the standard Speedframe inherits many of its safety features except for the multi-density EPS liner.

The helmet is known for having an excellent fit, and you can fit a pair of goggles underneath the 3-point adjustable visor, as well as stash your glasses.

To keep the price down when compared to the Pro version, there’s a cheaper liner and the Fidlock snap buckle is missing from the straps, in an otherwise similar 360 degrees fit system.

Expert Experience

Daniel Sapp | Contributor – September 22, 2021

The Speedframe Pro has earned itself a spot in a very small rotation of my favorite helmets. The styling is excellent, and the fit is superb. Unfortunately, I find myself foregoing it in favor of my Specialized Ambush on rides when the temperatures and humidity will encourage me to shed my glasses at some point during the ride. That quibble aside, I believe that it’s one of the better fitting and performing helmets currently available that I’ve found, and it’s sure to accommodate a wide range of trail riders.

Pros and Cons

Bell 4Forty MIPS

Bell 4Forty MIPS
Bell 4Forty MIPS
Bell 4Forty MIPS
Bell 4Forty MIPS
Bell 4Forty MIPS
Bell 4Forty MIPS

The Bell 4Forty MIPS is a solid contender in the mid range open face mountain bike helmets.

As many other helmets in this category it offers the latest MIPS Evolve crash technology, but lacks a dual-density EPS liner. In mid-tier helmets you see that a lot, where MIPS is included for its marketing and sales value, and obvious improvement of safety, and less known but expensive other technologies are left out.

Bell usually makes great but slightly heavier helmets, and at 380 grams this one sits 30 grams above the average of 350. The helmet is fastened with their Float Fit system, which is used in all of their helmets, even the most expensive ones. As with the mid-tier Fox Speedframe, you don’t get the Fidlock buckle.

The non-indexed adjustable visor leaves ample room for both glasses and goggles.

I’ve read some reviews stating that as a negative the helmet can get hot when climbing. That’s stating the obvious, because all helmets get hot when climbing and air flow is reduced.

Expert Experience

Alex Evans | Senior technical editor – September 22, 2020

The lid never wobbled or jumped around on tricky, fast or rough descents and I always felt well-protected thanks to its deep coverage. The pads also felt luxurious and soft against my head even after a long day in the saddle or when they were saturated in either sweat or rain water.

Unfortunately, the 15 vents are fairly small and the forward-facing ones don’t reach very far down the lid. This means ventilation is limited and I found the 4Forty to be pretty hot.

Pros and Cons

Giro Radix MIPS

Giro Radix MIPS
Giro Radix MIPS
Giro Radix MIPS
Giro Radix MIPS
Giro Radix MIPS
Giro Radix MIPS

Giro has some of the best rated helmets, and the Giro Radix MIPS is another example of a great mid-tier helmet, that offers great protection, but lacks a number of features which would otherwise add up to the price.

Whereas the most expensive helmets in the Giro lineup offer reinforced polycarbonate shells, MIPS Spherical technology, and dual density EPS, you’ll have to make do with just the MIPS technology with this one.

It does mean you pay less than half the price and still get an incredibly comfortable and great-looking helmet, with a fully adjustable visor and Roc Loc 5 fit system. This system, like many others, works with a dial located at the back of the helmet.

At 315 grams it’s significantly lighter than the average helmet, which adds to the overall comfort. A thick anti-microbial resistant liner ensures there’s a tight but comfy fit and a staggering 25 vents make this one of the better ventilated helmets out there.

Expert Experience

Zach Wick | Review Editor – May 9, 2022

Giro’s recently introduced Radix MIPS continues their fine tradition of high-quality, mid-range offerings. It doesn’t boast Giro’s latest and greatest tech innovations, but this durable helmet does offer an extremely comfortable, secure fit, a light weight, and all of the basic must-have features that I expect from a modern mountain bike helmet. The ventilation leaves something to be desired when compared with the breeziest models on the market, and the trail-lid style shell doesn’t provide quite as much coverage as the burlier all-mountain shell styles. Regardless, the Radix MIPS was among the most comfortable helmets I tested, and I think it’s one of the best values on the market. I fully recommend this lid to any trail rider who values comfort, weight, style, and functionality.

Pros and Cons

Specifications mid price mountain bike helmets

Name
Price
Technology
Shell
Liner
Visor
Fit
weight (gr)
eyewear port
rating
Troy Lee Designs A1
145 USD
MIPS
polycarbonate
EPS
bolt-on breakaway
3-point dial fit
393
yes
11.65
MET Terranova MIPS
140 EUR
MIPS
polycarbonate
EPS
adjustable
Safe-T Duo
355
yes
10.52
Fox Racing Speedframe
140 USD
MIPS
polycarbonate
EPS
3-position adjustable
360° Fit System
380
yes
Bell 4Forty MIPS
110 USD
MIPS Evolve
polycarbonate
EPS
adjustable
Float Fit
380
Giro Radix MIPS
100 USD
MIPS/Hardbody
polycarbonate
EPS
adjustable
Roc Loc 5
316
yes

Sources

Robert Johnston, MET Terranova Helmet Review, The Loam Wolf, September 8, 2021
Daniel Sapp, Review: Fox Speedframe Pro Helmet, Pinkbike, September 22, 2021
Alex Evans, Bell 4Forty MIPS review, Bikeradar, September 22, 2020
Zach Wick, Giro Radix MIPS Review, Outdoorgearlab, May 9, 2022
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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