“Endless Rush Outdoors is reader supported. We may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase through links from this site.”

The Best Mountain Bike Helmets Under $100 Of 2022 Helpful Guide

best mountain bike helmets under $100

Mountain biking is a lot of fun. Sooner or later if you ride a bike long enough you’ll take a fall. When that happens you will want a good helmet on your head to keep you safe. I have had a couple of big falls so far including one notable header into a tree. If there is one area in your bike equipment you don’t want to skimp it is the helmet. There are many great mountain bike helmet choices available for $100 or less.

Below are out top 3 picks. Keep reading for reviews of our top 9 best mountain bike helmets under $100, a guide to bike helmets, and a FAQ.

☆ Top Pick

☆ Top Pick

☆ Best Value

Outdoor Master MIPS bike helmet product image

Giro Source MIPS

Troy Lee Designs A1

Outdoor Master GEM MIPS

OM Free pump banner 2022

The top 9 best mountain bike helmets under $100

Below are our top 9 picks for the best mountain bike helmets under $100 on the market today. We considered features, performance, price, durability, customer service, and customer reviews in our recommendations.

1 – Giro Source MIPS Men’s Dirt Cycling Helmet

Top Pick

Summary

The Giro Source MIPS is an excellent trail helmet. I personally have used Giro helmets for a number of years and they have saved my head on more than a few occasions. They are a trusted brand for bike helmets. I trust them with my brain and skull when I hit the trails on my mountain bike.

The Source has good rear and side head coverage for trail riding. It has large vents to keep you cool while maintaining good protection. The visor is just about the right size to provide good sun protection and to push branches and brush out of the way.

The helmet is comfortable and fits well for most people. It is available in small through XL to fit almost any head size. If you want a good trail helmet, check out the Giro Source MIPS.

What we liked
  • MIPS head protection
  • Lots of venting
  • Easy to use fit system
What we didn’t like
  • More expensive than other basic MIPS trail helmets
  • Foam linings peel off after a few years

2 – Troy Lee Designs Adult Mountain Bike A1 Helmet W/MIPS

Top Pick

Summary

The Troy Lee Designs A1 Helmet is one of the top $100 mountain bike helmets available. Tree Lee Designs is well know as a top maker of protective equipment for motocross and mountain biking. Their helmets offer great protection and cutting edge style.

The A1 has MIPS protection along with an EPS energy absorbing liner. When you wear it you know you are wearing some of the best head protection available.

This helmet has a 3 position retention strap so it can fit a variety of head sizes. You can customize the fit better than with just an adjustment dial.

The helmet has 16 vents to keep your head cool on long difficult climbs. It provides good coverage for the side and back of your head. It is designed for trail riding and not an adapted road helmet.

What we liked
  • 3 position retention strap for better fit
  • Excellent head protection coverage and style
  • Has MIPS protection
What we didn’t like
  • High price
  • Durability of helmet liner

3 – Outdoor Master GEM MIPS Bike Helmet

Best Value
Outdoor Master MIPS bike helmet product image

Use the Coupon Code ERO2022 for 20% off at OutdoorMaster.com

Summary

The Outdoor Master GEM MIPS Bike Helmet is a great value MIPS mountain bike helmet. It is one of the cheapest MIPS bike helmets available. It doesn’t just have great pricing. As mentioned it has MIPS for safety along with CPSC safety certification. It has a polycarbonate shell with in-mold construction and MIPS liner. It has tons of venting along with adjustable fit. It can be used with goggles. The visor is removable and big enough to give you sun shade and to push brush away from your face and eyes.

I have been riding with one since it was introduced and think it’s a great mountain bike helmet for cross country and trail riding. It’s construction and performance is on par with helmets that cost much more. It proves you don’t need an expensive helmet to have good helmet safety on the trail.

Review

See my full review of the Outdoor Master GEM MIPS Bike Helmet to learn more.

outdoor master bike helmet with mips
What we liked
  • Great value for a MIPS helmet
  • As light as much more expensive helmets
  • Great ventilation
  • Comfortable to wear for long rides
  • Visor is big enough to block son and deflect branches and brush
What we didn’t like
  • Visor is removable but the angle is fixed
  • No XL size for larger heads

4 – Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Dirt Bike Helmet

Summary

The Giro Fixture MIPS helmet is another great option from Giro. It has most of the features of their more Chronicle MIPS mountain bike helmet at a lower price.

The Fixture MIPS has a polycarbonate shell and uses the Roc Loc size adjustment system.

The Giro Fixture only comes in 2 universal fit sizes instead of 4 adult sizes. My wife’s head is very wide. She fits the small end of the XL universal size helmet. When I put it on, it’s too big for me with the adjuster turned all the way down. I find the fit of universal sized helmets isn’t as good as helmets with regular sizing. There is just too much empty helmet towards the small end of the sizing.

This helmet has MIPS and a removable visor and plenty of ventilation. If the helmet fits your head well it’s a really good entry level mountain bike helmet. If it doesn’t fit well you should choose a helmet with normal sizing.

What we liked
  • Low cost for a MIPS helmet
  • Good ventilation
  • Good head protection
What we didn’t like
  • Ear straps are not adjustable
  • Universal fit sizes may feel big for heads at the lower end of their size range.

5 – Nutcase VIO Adventure Bike Helmet with MIPS

Nutcase VIO adventure product image

Summary

The Nutcase Vio Adventure helmet is for those who want something a bit different. Nutcase focuses on fun and stylish helmets for those who want something more than a boring regular bike helmet. They want helmets to be something to show off. They don’t stop just at style. Their helmets offer solid protection too.

The Nutcase Vio Adventure has MIPS technology making it safe for all kinds of hits. It uses Nutcase patented Exoskeleton technology with a 2-piece in-mold Duo Density EPS foam liner. This means it will protect from hard hits and provides good cushion after the initial impact.

The Vio bike helmet has good ventilation so you won’t overheat on the trail along with a comfortable lining. If you want to be a little different, Nutcase is the way to go.

What we liked
  • Has MIPS protection
  • Nutcase Exoskeleton for better head cushioning
  • Stylish and fun appearance
What we didn’t like
  • The chin strap is on the short side for people with larger heads
  • A little heavier at 410g than our top choices

6 – Demon Podium Full Face Bike Helmet

Summary

The Demon Podium Full Face Bike Helmet is a great choice for those riding more aggressive trails and jumps. If you are an aggressive rider and enjoy sending big drops you need a full face helmet. The Demon Podium is one of the best value full face helmets out there. The only downside to this helmet is that it doesn’t have MIPS.

The Podium has a polycarbonate shell and a detachable visor. It is goggle compatible so you can get the best protection for your face. It has 13 vents so you won’t get too hot on climbs.

It has a removable liner that can be taken out for cleaning. If you ride hard you sweat and want to keep your helmet fresh and clean.

It is available in 5 sizes to fit any size head well from junior to XL. If you need full face protection, check out the Demon Podium.

What we liked
  • Full face protection and goggle compatible
  • Strong polycarbonate shell to hold up to hard hits
  • Enough ventilation to be comfortable on climbs
What we didn’t like
  • No MIPS available
  • Sizing runs small

7 – Bontrager Solstice MIPS Helmet

bontrager solstice mips product image

Summary

The Bontrager Solstice MIPS Helmet has advanced features that set it apart from other cheap mountain bike helmets. Bontrager is the components and accessories brand for Trek Bicycle. This MTB helmet has MIPS. It has more back of head coverage which is preferred for trail riding. It has a magnetic chin strap latch that is slick and easy to use.

The helmet has a shell that extends more forward than most bike helmets. This means it has more EPS foam in the forehead area. This gives more protection but it also means it can block your vision for some riders. You can feel the extra weight when wearing the helmet.

The downside is this helmet costs a bit more than $50 retailing for $70 at most places.

What we liked
  • MIPS protection
  • Magnetic chin strap latch
  • Good back of head coverage
What we didn’t like
  • Extra foam in front can block vision for some riders
  • Helmet can feel a little front heavy

8 – Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet

Summary

The Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet is a solid basic bike helmet. It has all the basic helmet features you expect on an entry level mountain bike helmet. The only let down is that there is no MIPS version of the helmet. It has a removable visor that’s big enough to block the sun. The helmet has enough head coverage for cross country or trail riding. The helmet is available in many colors and in adult, youth, and child sizes. As with most universal helmets, they work best if you are towards the large end of the size range.

What we liked
  • Very low cost
  • Good ventilation
  • Enough visor to block sun and brush
What we didn’t like
  • No MIPS version available
  • Only available in one universal size

Mountain Bike Helmet Guide

There are many mountain bike helmets out there to choose from for under $100. There are several important factors such as cost, how it fits, MIPS, and venting. It is very important to find a mtb helmet that fits, feels comfortable, and is suitable for the type of riding you do. It is important to wear the helmet, so this is not an area to skimp and get something you don’t really like to save a buck. You won’t like it and won’t use it. That doesn’t meant you have to spend a small fortune to get a good helmet.

Let’s discuss what is important for a mountain bike helmet below.

Price

Price matters in almost every buying decision we make. Protective equipment is one area where I don’t think price should be the primary factor. Find a helmet that feels good and you like the appearance of so you’ll be comfortable wearing it. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. I would buy at least a MIPS helmet from a well known brand. I wouldn’t trail ride with the cheapest helmet I could find on Amazon just because it had a lot of positive reviews.

CPSC certification

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) releases standards in the US for consumer products. You should not consider using a helmet that isn’t at least CPSC complaint. If your Canadian, the helmet should have CSA compliance. To learn more about bike helmet certifications see the center for cycling education.

Comfort and Fit

Different helmet companies make their helmet shapes different. Some brands fit some people better than others. My wife has a wider shaped head and Giro fits her but Smith helmets never do. I can fit either one comfortably. Having a good snug comfortable fit is important. A floppy feeling helmet may not stay in place if you fall. If your helmet falls off it’s not going to protect your head. Don’t be afraid to try on a bunch of helmets to find one you like the feel of.

Style

Different helmets have different shapes and styles. Mountain biking helmets tend to have more back of the head coverage. Road helmets tend to be more minimalistic. Commuter helmets can have fewer vents so you don’t get lots of bugs stuck in your hair. A helmet does no good if you are not wearing it when you fall. Find a helmet you like how it looks on you so that you’ll wear it.

If you are riding downhill or riding trails with a lot of big drops, you should consider a full face helmet.

MIPS

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. The MIPS brain protection system allows your head to rotate inside the bike helmet upon impact. If you hit something like a tree at a glancing blow, your helmet will rotate separately from your head. This reduces the rotational force on your head and brain. Without MIPS, your head will get torqued as it rotates with the helmet. It adds another layer of protection against different impact directions. As a mountain biker, I personally would not wear a mountain bike helmet without MIPS.

Straps

Some helmets have more adjustability for their straps than others. The Giro Chronicle has adjustability on both ear straps. The less expensive Giro Fixture has fixed ear straps. You can only adjust the length of the chin strap. Adjustable ear straps make it easier to adjust the angle the helmet sits at on your head. If you want it more up or down angled, you can do it. More adjustability means you can get a better fit and your helmet is more likely to stay in place if you fall.

Padding

Helmets can have more or less padding. Helmets made for road bike racing may have very minimal padding. Weight is the most important thing. A more comfortable recreational helmet will have more. Look for padding that is specified as quick drying. You don’t want your helmet to feel like a wet sponge at the end of your ride.

Ventilation

More and bigger vents will keep your head cooler. Helmets constructed of stronger and more energy absorbing materials can have larger vents. If you plan on riding when it’s hot in the summer, lots of vents are good. If you plan on riding in the winter you may want something with fewer vents in it.

Weight

Some bike helmets weigh much more than others. A full face mountain bike helmet made for downhill riding will weigh much more than a road racing helmet. Features such as MIPS add weight to a helmet as well.

You might also like:

selfie for info block

About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.

Recent Biking Articles