Why Do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors? (9 Overlooked Benefits)

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Why do mountain bike helmets have visors? A full-length article about this simple topic?

Of course, yes, because there are numerous benefits to MTB helmet visors that most people may be unaware of.

Essentially, the goal of wearing MTB helmet visors is to protect one’s face to the maximum level possible.

Visors offer protection from an eye injury in case of an impact.

Additionally you shall also get protection from the sun’s sweltering heat, debris, rocks, dirt, sand, and similar substances that could enter the eyes while riding a mountain bike.

Since an MTB rider faces the sun more upright when compared to road bike riders, it is essential to eliminate glares, and visors help with this highly.

If you are thinking of the wind drag that a visor could cause, do not worry, as the possibility is lesser in the case of mountain bikes as they typically move slower than the road bikes.

Let me now tell you in detail as to why visors are essential for mountain bike helmets. Also, in this article, I will introduce you to the types of visors available for mountain bike helmets.


9 Reasons Why Do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors

1: It helps to be in complete control of the bike.

Are Polarized Sunglasses Good For Mountain Biking Header Image
Controlling Mountain Bike

The branches hanging down from numerous trees may make it cumbersome to ride your mountain bike on narrow hill roads and bushy pathways.

Especially when you are riding at full speed along such trails, you will have to be extremely cautious and avoid all kinds of things that could come in contact with your face or eyes.

Usually, you would have to do this by pushing away the branches with one hand, which is not a safe solution to the problem.

Furthermore, riding with one hand on trying paths may lead to an imbalance on the bike, resulting in a crash.

Having the visors on your helmet could be a lifesaver in such situations.

Since the visor will protect you from the branches, you don’t have to push them away with your hands to a large extent.

Wearing a helmet with a visor is recommended while you are riding on narrow tracks. The chances of losing control of the bike are meager.

2: Protection from sunlight.

Protection From Sun While Riding

Who doesn’t love it when the sun shines on you?

But when you are riding a mountain bike, especially when the sun rays are at your eye level, it could get a bit annoying.

This is the result of the imbalance that the sunlight entering your eyes could cause you.

But, with your visor on, you have the right solution to this problem.

The visor blocks the sunlight from entering your eyes, letting you see your path ahead clearly, and, most importantly, allowing you to fall in love with the sunshine all over again.

3: Savior during challenging weather conditions.

Enduro Mountain Biking Training Plan- Featured Image
Challenging Rides

Being a mountain biker, it is also essential to take the beatings that the weather throws at you.

One must be mentally and physically adept at tackling the various weather conditions while riding on the trails.

It is very essential to be equipped with gears that can aid in making your experience on the trails more fulfilling.

A visor could be your best friend during heavy rains or snowy days, as it helps achieve a more precise vision that the water or snow would otherwise hinder.

Moreover, a visor could also protect your eyes during extreme weather conditions.

However, while a visor can be of great help while riding in the rain or snow, I wouldn’t recommend beginners mountain bikers to ride in extreme weather conditions.

Check your confidence level before you set out on the trails, and even advanced riders, be warned of the challenges that wet or snowy trails could bear.

4: Protects your face from mud and dirt.

Why Do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors To Protect Against Mud And Dirt
Protect Against Mud & Dirt

If you have ever done biking on muddy trails behind another rider, you know what I am saying.

It is not at all a good feeling to have mud and dirt fly and stick on your face, and sometimes even your eyes, obstructing your view ahead.

A visor would definitely be a blessing in such conditions, and all you have to do is wipe the mud off your visor, which is way better than brushing it off your face.

5: Say no to sunburns.

No Sunburns While Mountain Biking
Protection From Sun Burn

It is not easy for the sunlight to pass through a visor and cause sunburn on your face.

However, you can ride your bike in summer without being anxious about the sunlight hurting your skin with your visor on.

6: It helps in adapting to changing light conditions.

Changing light conditions For Mountain Bike Riding
Mountain Biking In Dark

Changing light conditions can be extremely frustrating sometimes.

A mountain bike helmet with a visor, makes you will feel more at ease during light changes.

So, you can easily ride from lit areas to dark and vice versa when you have your helmet visors on.

7: It can be changed according to the direction of sunlight.

Mountain Biking In Sun
Mountain Biking In Changing Lights

The changes in sun position could be daunting when you are riding with bare eyes.

However, visors are easily adjustable and hence can be moved up and down to shield your eyes from the light when the sun is in different positions.

8: Protection from spider webs.

Spider Web
Spider Web

As a mountain biker you are out in nature, exploring the sport, and spider webs can sometimes come in contact with your face.

While it can be a disturbing experience, it could be all the more worse if you are arachnophobic.

This is a less-discussed advantage of mountain bike helmets with visors, but one that needs to be counted.

9: Deflects harsh wind.

Mountain Biking In Winds
Mountain Biking In Harsh Air

Blinding sunlight and harsh air can also cause eye fatigue and difficulty in vision.

While it’s a great feeling to feel the air while riding a mountain bike, too much of air for an extended time may not feel so good on your face or the eyes.

The visor deflects the harsh air that could come in contact with your eyes even when you are wearing sunglasses or prescription glasses.

While some sunglasses are adept at deflecting harsh air, a visor can offer additional protection.

After all, a comfortable riding experience can save your energy for more technical climbs, jumps, and bunny-hops.


7 Common FAQs About MTB Helmets Visors

1: What are the types of mountain bike visors?

Similar to mountain biking sunglasses, mountain bike visors are also available in different types.

Three popular types are clear visor helmets, smoked mtb helmet visors, and reflective iridium visor helmets.

Each of these serves different purposes and hence does not contend with each other.

2: Which helmet visor is best for night MTB riding?

Undoubtedly, the best visor for night riding is the clear mtb visor.

It may not be stylish, but it can be a great aid while riding your mountain bike on dim-lit trails and streets.

The next option could be the smoked visor helmet, which is much better than their iridium reflective counterparts but not as good as the clear visors for night use.

3: Can you use a motorcycle helmet with a visor for mountain biking?

It is always possible to crossover the use of helmets, whether they are mountain bike helmets or motorcycle helmets.

However, a mountain bike helmet with a visor is designed exclusively for mountain biking.

It’s engineering would be calculated toward protecting you from the injuries that are typically caused during mountain bike crashes or impacts.

Therefore, even though it might be very tempting to make the most of your motorcycle helmets with a visor while riding on the trails, it is recommended to stay away from the temptation.

4: Can you remove the visor from the MTB helmet?

While there are several benefits to riding your mountain bike with the helmet’s visor on, who doesn’t like a change once in a while?

If you are in the mood to ride free of any barriers and are ready to feel the sunlight and wind hitting your face, you can easily remove the visor and head out for the experience.

5: Do all MTB helmets have visors?

Not all mountain bike helmets have visors.

Most of the mountain bike helmets have the provision to add a visor, in case you need to.

Some riders are comfortable riding with just their biking glasses on.

As far as they are not looking for extra protection, it is completely fine to ride wearing a mountain bike helmet without a visor.

6: Can you add a visor to a bike helmet?

You can add a visor to your bike helmet.

I recommend you add a visor for better protection from sunlight, wind, branches, debris, and extreme weather conditions.

7: Do road bike helmets have visors?

Typically, road bike helmets do not have visors.

This is because road biking is a sport where aerodynamics play an essential role, and hence, the riders opt for helmets without visors.

If you are still wondering why don’t road bike helmets have visors, let me explain it to you.

When you are riding a road bike, it is your goal to eliminate drag to the maximum extent possible. Since the sport is all about speed, one should avoid everything that could contribute to drag.

A helmet with an integrated visor can add to the drag, resulting in the slowing down of the bike.

Usually, road bike helmets come in sleeker construction to support the aerodynamic nature of road biking.

All the road biking gear is designed to help support the aerodynamic, like the snug-fitting shirts and shorts.

The basic idea is to bring down the drag and boost the speed.

Since road bikes are used on roads; there are fewer chances of combating branches and dealing with blinding lights that can lead to a crash.

Another reason why road bike helmets don’t have a visor is due to the pathways on which these bikes are used.

On the roads, it is of much significance to have a total view of the traffic, and a visor, in some cases, may block the view preventing the entirety of vision.


Verdict:

You have seen the advantages of having a mountain bike visor helmet and the types of visors.

You may find riders riding their bikes with or without the visors, but that should not be your criteria for deciding whether you want to use the visors or not.

Instead, guesstimate your riding conditions, and choose to protect yourself to the maximum.

If you have now acquired a clear understanding of why do mountain bike helmets have visors, please do not forget to comment your thoughts below.

P.S. Consider reviewing a similar deep-dive resource we have about affordable mountain bike helmets, best mountain bike helmets with chin guard and motocross helmets vs mtb helmets.


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Team Biking KnowHow

Rohan runs Biking KnowHow along with his team. Rohan has been a mountain biker since 2005. His mission is to simplify mountain biking for everyone. All Biking KnowHow content piece is thoroughly fact-checked. Our content is backed up with leading research and inputs from expert cyclists.

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