Mountain bike helmet VS Road bike helmet [Top 10 Differences]

Answering all your queries regarding what to get?

Let’s figure out which helmet suits you!

Whether you are riding on the road or on a mountain, safety is your utmost priority. Helmets are the most important equipment and a must-have.

In this article, we’ll be discussing some reasons that will help you redefine your opinions on the basic two types of helmets, Mountain bike helmet VS Road bike helmet. Depending on the ride type, you can go for what suits you best.

The bike nerds when picking up a cycling helmet will lookout for the best features like unique design and durability. Moreover, the overall look of a helmet affects the sales because the riders are more attracted to colorful and attractive helmets.

Whenever you are on the go, either racing or just biking, routinely make sure you pick the best helmet as it directly influences your overall biking experience.

Basic Types of Helmets – Explained

Are you a road surfer? Or someone who loves to ride uphills? Here we are discussing how different helmets have different specialties.

Some helmets offer unique features for different styles of riding. You can even wear a mountain helmet over the road too and look cool.

Types of Helmets
Types of Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

A mountain bike helmet is highly recommended when you are an enthusiast who loves to ride in between mountains.

The prominent feature of mountain bike helmets is their unique designs and durability. These helmets provide your head with complete protection.

It also shields your face, with the presence of a visor which makes it much easier.

The visor is a common feature in shell and shielding helmets. A visor is meant to protect you against the sun’s rays which might hinder your vision while you are riding your bike.

Apart from its sunlight protecting features, it also saves your eyes from unwanted dust particles.

Before this, cyclists had to wear safety goggles but now visor has solved this issue. A biker needs such a helmet that ensures them 100% of protection. The overall appearance of a mountain bike helmet is different from conventional helmets.

The mountain bikes are equipped with features that help the riders ride better in hilly and wooded areas. Whether you are on a mountain or in a forest you will get a lot of hindrances and the visor assists you to protect yourself from the tree branches.

Mountain Bike Helmets
Mountain Bike Helmets


  • Enhanced Protection
  • Impact Absorption
  • Visor
  • Durability
  • Adjustable Fit


  • Aerodynamics: They are less aerodynamic than road bike helmets
  • Weight: Mountain bike helmets can be slightly heavier than road bike helmets due to their extended coverage

Mountain bike helmets are a little different from the road helmets, the presence of a lower cut makes them unique.

It is suggested that you need these cuts for enhanced protection. Because being a mountain rider you will face a lot of obstacles on the trail. A helmet can definitely serve you in this regard.

You must wear a helmet whilst descending and ascending on the mountains.

 All those who usually ride downhills must cover their full face while riding. With that said, you can now get a higher speed without worrying about the consequences.

Road Bike Helmets

When you are biking on the road then you will need a conventional road bike helmet.

At times, when you are riding for a long duration, you will be sweating a lot.

In that case, enough ventilation is important. Road helmets must have a round or oval shape that can assist in providing a better experience to their users. Most of the road helmets are designed in a way that it is equipped with holes that let the air come in.

An ideal aerodynamic design is one that has a proper shape and smartly located vents. A good aerodynamics is what enables the rider to have a smooth ride.

Road Bike Helmets
Road Bike Helmets

Mountain bike trails are more difficult to ride on. So your vision must be clear and deep. While in road cycling, your overall riding experience is much smoother and easier to manage depending on the road.

Finally coming towards the last factor that’s the weight. A lighter helmet will be much easier for you to carry and doesn’t hurt your neck and back. The heavy helmets are quite infamous when it comes to causing fatigue because of long hours of riding.

Comfort is what keeps all the other factors behind. When getting a helmet for long-term use you must never overlook this feature.

Therefore, a high-quality helmet allows you to flaunt wherever you go while biking. However, Comfort and safety must be your first priorities.

If you are a cyclist and on a hunt for the advanced helmet then you can get your hands on the MIPS type of helmet. Not only does it offer different styles but also a good protection to its users.


  • Aerodynamic Design
  • Lightweight
  • Ventilation
  • Stylish and Compact
  • Great for Smooth Roads


  • Less Coverage
  • Limited Sun Protection

Mountain Bike Helmet Vs Road Bike Helmet

Notably, the very first thing you will find different between the two helmets is the visor.

Unlike the road helmets which are simpler in design. The visor in an MTB is meant to provide enough protection to the rider’s face.

You need advanced protection wherever you go while riding. However, some riders find it a bit difficult to have helmets on their face as it disrupts their vision when the light is not sufficient enough.

Most bikers are of the opinion that road helmets will offer them a better aerodynamic design.

But a mountain bike helmet won’t disappoint you in aerodynamics too.

Another thing which sets them apart is the more coverage offered by mountain bike helmets. Although,there isn’t a huge difference of coverage among the different types of helmets.

What is the difference between a Mountain bike and a Road helmet?

The major difference between a Road helmet and a mountain bike helmet is that road helmets do not possess a visor.

They are usually sleeker and lighter in weight which makes them easy to carry.

Also, the helmets are not only for the road but you can also get them in the mountain areas. An ideal helmet is one that offers ventilation and is more compact. So, in this regard road helmets might serve you better.

However the question comes here: whether you value great ventilation, lightweight and compact, or do you want to give a shot to the mountain helmet, or are you just fine with your old road helmet?  The only smart choice is what helmet you enjoy the most in. And what makes you feel more secure.

It is suggested that the MIPS technology helmets are offering much more security as compared to the outdated ones.

Road Cycling Helmets
Road Cycling Helmets

Top Features of Road Cycling Helmets

Road cycling helmets have design specifically to accommodate these features:

●     Lighter in weight

●     Equipped with aerodynamic design

●     Presence of more vents which are also bigger

●     More compact

Mountain Bike Helmet

Mountain bike helmets have been designed with:

●       Enhanced head coverage does not cause fatigue on the neck and the back.

●       Smaller and lesser vents

●       Different vent placement

●       Heavier

●       The thicker and tougher outer shell

●       An Adjustable visor

Can you wear a Conventional helmet while you are in the mountains?

There is a big confusion among people regarding the use of mountain bike helmets and their restriction to use among the mountains only.

In the old era, when mountain bikes were commonly called All-terrain bikes. There was no specified labeling for the helmets since all helmets have a basic conventional design and purpose.

But now with the increasing advancements and the upcoming new styles, the confusion has risen up among the riders. Considering the fact that there is no such a huge difference between all of them. You can go for whatever is befitting of your biking style and routine. Most bikers prefer lighter weights, good ventilation, and advanced safety.

Modern Biking And The Bicycle Helmets

Helmets are the most essential equipment for a rider. Whether you are riding an old bike or the one with the newest feature you always need a helmet for protection.

With the upcoming modifications in bikes, the helmets have turned into a much smarter version too. Nowadays, there are hundreds of different kinds of helmets available.

The different forms of foam combined with sufficient cushioning power might serve you. A smart purchase will assist in making your biking journey much more productive.

Frequently asked Questions

Can You Use A Mountain Bike Helmet For Road Biking?

Absolutely yes. You can use any available helmet for road biking. The ultimate reason to use helmets is safety of your head and brain. The variety of helmets brings ease and comfort to your riding experience but this does not mean that you cannot use a mountain bike helmet on a road bike trip.

Can I remove the visor from a mountain bike helmet if I prefer a more aerodynamic profile?

  • Most mountain bike helmets have removable visors, so you can take them off to achieve a more aerodynamic profile when needed.

Is MIPS technology available in both mountain and road bike helmets?

  • Yes, MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology is available in both mountain and road bike helmets. It helps reduce the rotational forces on the brain during oblique impacts, providing added protection.

Can I use a time trial (TT) helmet for road cycling or mountain biking?

Time trial helmets are designed specifically for time trials and triathlons, prioritizing aerodynamics. They are not suitable for regular road cycling or mountain biking due to limited ventilation and different safety features.

Are there safety standards that I should look for in a helmet, regardless of the type?

Yes, helmets should meet safety standards such as CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), ASTM F1447, and EN1078. Look for certifications on the helmet to ensure it complies with safety regulations.

Can I wear a cap or a cycling hat under my helmet for added sun protection or warmth?

Wearing a cap or cycling hat under your helmet is generally acceptable, but it may affect the fit and comfort. Ensure that the helmet remains secure and doesn’t compromise safety. Consider using caps designed for helmet use to avoid interference.

What is the expected lifespan of a bike helmet, and when should I replace it?

The lifespan of a bike helmet depends on factors like usage and exposure to the elements. Generally, it’s recommended to replace your helmet every 5-7 years or sooner if it’s been involved in an impact or if you notice signs of wear and tear.

Can I customize the fit of a helmet, such as adjusting the straps and retention system?

Yes, most helmets, whether for mountain or road biking, offer adjustable straps and retention systems. You can customize the fit to ensure comfort and security. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper adjustments.

Are there any specific maintenance or cleaning guidelines for bike helmets?

Regularly clean the interior and exterior of your helmet with mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals. Allow it to air dry completely before use. Check for loose parts or damage during maintenance.

Final Word on Mountain bike helmet VS Road bike helmet

So, now you probably have got the idea related to the distinguishing features of the basic types of helmets.

The sound protection of the helmet is the most wanted feature in it while the design depends on individual preferences.

What sets the mountain bike helmet and a road bike helmet apart from each other is the compromised ventilation and bulkier structure of the mountain helmets.

Concluding here, the purpose of the article was to illustrate the facts that enlighten your mind regarding the use and features of helmets. we hope we were able to clear your query about Mountain bike helmet VS Road bike helmet

You have to first check that either the helmet you are purchasing has enough vents and if it can offer you enough protection against different things that might hit you while riding.

Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

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