Ask MBA – Helmet Safety


Q: I think that the stronger the helmet, the safer the biker is. I’m riding downhill with a motocross helmet and I feel much safer. Am I wrong?


A: Yes, you are, unless you are on the fastest downhill section ever and you hit a rock wall. In any and every other case, a helmet certified to be used while riding a motorbike is simply too stiff. This means that with a minor hit, you may experience no deformation in the EPS inside your helmet, which means no dissipation of the impact, causing major injuries. It makes it even worse that it’s also bigger, which puts even more stress on your cervical vertebrae. Is there any compromise? Yes, and it is having dual-density EPS in the helmet. The lower density layer dissipates the force of minor impacts, while the stiffer layer handles the most violent ones. Speaking of safety, you should always wear a neck brace.

Check out MBA’s Story on How To Find The Best Helmet


Q: Sorry for saying this and for doing so probably with a poor choice of words, but I think there is something wrong in how you are showing our sport, most always with big jumps and risky moves. I love mountain biking for the simple joy of being out in the woods with friends. We would never risk hurting ourselves doing what you do with the bikes. I’m not criticizing the ability of your riders, testers and photographers; still, I’m afraid you’re giving a wrong idea of our sport, especially to absolute beginners.


A: We understand your concern; however, when we are testing bikes, we are obliged to push every bike and component to its limit, if not beyond. Therefore, we’re almost always riding as fast and as hard as possible. Also, we like to have fun, and so our expertise and zeal for the sport are exhibited in those photos of us flying off jumps and doing manuals or a wheelie at the end of a curve. If you are just a beginner, we honestly hope the images in our magazine inspire you to dream of being in our shoes, whether that means having greater ability or riding on the amazing trails we get to experience. Of course, we don’t mind if you never ride as fast or do the stunts that we do. We love all riders, just like we love any kind of bike.

Have a question for the MBA crew?

You can send your brain busters to [email protected].


Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun. Start a subscription by clicking here or calling (800) 767-0345.

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