Bike helmets, usually, are half-helmets and having a visor on seems out of place – especially since the chin and neck are exposed. One would prefer better safety precautions for them instead. But, a visor on a bike helmet actually serves a good purpose and in this blog, we detail them all + elaborate why MTB helmets have them.
The Benefits of Having a Visor in a Bike Helmet
A visor is, basically, a safety feature and it acts as a shield against natural dangers such as:
- It keeps dust and flying debris out of the eyes
- It shields the sun from blinding the field of vision
- It protects the rider’s face from getting wet in the rain
Why do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors and Road Cycling Helmets Don’t?
Visors are usually only present on mountain bike helmets. This is mainly because enduro riders and trail cyclists face the dangers of mud, dust and rain far more than road bike riders do. A visor shields the cyclist’s eyes from the sun, the head from getting stuck in low-hanging branches and the face from getting sun-burnt.
Road bike helmets, on the contrary, do not have visors attached simply because there is no need for them. Racers, recreational cyclists and triathletes are seated in a much lower position on the bike with their eyes facing up to see forward. Having a visor or a peak will inhibit their vision and most likely result in a crash.
All the Different Types of Visors On Bike Helmets
Visors on bike helmets have actually come a long way from being just a peak on top. There are several different styles of visors available for bike helmets and they’re mainly divided into three categories. They are as follows:
Usually present on full face bike helmets, a fixed visor is an extension of the outer shell from the crown of the helmet and it’s also known as a peak. It is designed shorter in size just to ensure the field of view isn’t obstructed for cyclists.
It isn’t adjustable or detachable but it’s lightweight. The Fox Proframe is an outperforming MTB helmet with a fixed visor.
Seen on modern bike helmets, an adjustable visor or a screw-in visor is fixed at two points on the side of the helmet which allows it to move up and down freely. Cyclists can bring it down when the sun is blinding or tilt it out of the way to improve air flow. The Giro Chronicle and the Bell Super 3R are excellent examples of bike helmets with adjustable visors.
Also known as detachable visors, these are available on higher-end bike helmets like the Kask Rex. By removing the visor, cyclists can use their MTB helmet for aero riding as well.
What is the Use of Double Visors in Bike Helmets?
A double visor bike helmet has a fixed peak on top as well as a clear pull-down visor. It is present on some full face bike helmets and helps protect the cyclist from the blinding sun and the flying debris simultaneously. Unlike adjustable visors, it does not leave the face exposed – unless the cyclist keeps the transparent visor up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all bike helmets compatible with visors?
No, most mountain bike helmets are already equipped with a visor and may be able to add another but road cycling helmets aren’t usually compatible with visors. If they are, make sure to get the visor that is recommended by the manufacturer.
Should I always have the visor attached to my bike helmet?
It is better to have the visor attached to your bike helmet, especially if it’s a mountain bike helmet or a gravel bike helmet. This way, the chances of forgetting to re-attach the visor are considerably reduced. Visors do not add much weight to the bike helmet so removing them won’t relieve any tension, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Can a bike helmet’s visor be replaced if it is broken or chipped?
Yes, there are visor replacements available for bike helmets. Just make sure it is engineered by the same brand and made for the specific helmet model you have. If the original visor broke in a light fall, ensure there are no dents on the outer shell of the helmet.
Visors on a bike helmet serve as a great safety equipment against mud, dust and harsh UV rays. If you’re an enduro rider, a downhill cyclist or an off-roader, you might want to look at a few mountain bike helmets.