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Should i buy a MTB helmet

alanwooldridgealanwooldridge Posts: 11
edited December 2018 in MTB beginners
I have a road bike but it gets hardly any use so want to start doing a bit more offroad riding.

The helmet i have was for the road bike but should i buy one more suitable for mountain biking.

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Not unless you intend serious gnarly stuff.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Cool thanks maybe if i get serious then
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,126
    I can see why cooldad made that recommendation, fully understand it in fact. But now is the time you need more protection. You are about to start riding off-road, so instead of nice smooth and flat tarmac, you will be faced with rocks, ruts, mud, overhanging trees, and roots - don't forget the roots! Also very steep inclines, off camber slopes, loose terrain, and so on. You will have suspension that needs to be set up to assist you instead of generating problems for you.
    Intellectually you know about all this, but it is not embedded in your muscle memory, and your fast twitch responses are not programmed. You are unprepared for this. :(

    I still have regular offs and I have broken every single helmet I have ever bought except the two I have now. My scars are multiple and I have stiff shoulders from the crashes. I only call it a crash if my feet go above my head, otherwise it is an involuntary dismount (but even they can still hurt).

    The two best things I ever bought after a trail helmet were elbow guards and knee/shin guards. I should have done it years ago when I was a newbie, not later on when I was more experienced. I sure would have fewer scars and have spent less time off the bike hobbling about. I have spent more money on physiotherapy then ever I did on personal safety equipment because I never spent the money on the pse when I should have done.

    So despite having the money, why didn't I spend it on pse? Simple answer: I was embarrassed! Yes, embarrassed. Embarrassed to be in kit that I only ever saw "experienced" and "better" riders than me wearing. I thought it was almost a badge of office that I was too much of a newbie to wear. To my mind at that time, it was building up expectations that here was a rider who knew his stuff; expect to be astonished! When in fact I was falling off the bike at every opportunity. Whoever coined the phrase "all the gear and no idea" has a lot to answer for. I was stupid. :oops:

    Get yourself some decent kit, you will get value from it. Ignore anyone that says otherwise and have the self confidence to use it.

    Oh, and go on a few mtb skills courses. Another high value for money thing to do. It will also maximise your subsequent fun.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,837
    I do CX, MTB and roads using both types of helmet. Tend to use MTB helmet when it's sunny on local low grade trails but all the time when higher grade gnarly stuff.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I can see why cooldad made that recommendation, fully understand it in fact. But now is the time you need more protection. You are about to start riding off-road, so instead of nice smooth and flat tarmac, you will be faced with rocks, ruts, mud, overhanging trees, and roots - don't forget the roots! Also very steep inclines, off camber slopes, loose terrain, and so on. You will have suspension that needs to be set up to assist you instead of generating problems for you.

    Etc.

    No argument, as I said for gnarly stuff. But all a MTB helmet really gives you is a bit more protection at the back. Roadies ride quite fast, and when they fall, they land on rather unforgiving tar.

    So road helmets are every bit as strong as MTB helmets.

    The OP suggested doing a bit more off road riding, and in another thread posted to a very XC style bike. For many years stylish 'trail' type helmets didn't even exist, and most of us managed quite well with generic bike helmets. Until the OP starts doing scary stuff, I still think for getting out initially a road helmet is fine. Until you start getting to full face, I'm not even sure that it really makes much difference.

    Saying that, I have a collection of stylish 'trail' type helmets.

    But when I was a lad, only TdeF types wore helmets, and those looked like a bunch of skinny sausages.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
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