How We Tested Full Face Downhill Helmets

How We Test
By:
Luke Lydiard
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Saturday

Our helmet testers head for a warm up lap on Mammoth Mountain's Discovery chair.
Our helmet testers head for a warm up lap on Mammoth Mountain's Discovery chair.

We tested all of these helmets through at full a summer of shredding. The majority of the riding was done at the bike park in Mammoth Mountain, California. Riding lifts and shuttles in Mammoth allowed us to test multiple helmets on multiple heads in the same day. It was common for our testers to swap sweat soaked helmets between runs for the sake of testing.

Each helmet was weighed on our digital scale and rounded to the nearest tenth of an ounce. Our helmets ranged in manufacturer size from medium to extra large, which may appear that we are not comparing apples to apples but actually we are. Since all of the helmets fit the same head, it makes the weights relative to each other.

We loaned these helmets to enduro racers, bike park rangers, hobby downhill riders with a wide range of abilities, and to people participating in local downhill races. Each helmet was worn with the Leatt DBX neck brace to test for compatibility with this common safety gear. We got feedback from people with different head shapes and different riding styles. After soliciting opinions and taking the occasional digger, we were able to score and rank each one.

The Cipher works well with neck braces like the Leatt DBX.
The Cipher works well with neck braces like the Leatt DBX.

 

Unbiased.