Mountain biking is completely different from road biking and that makes the circumstances totally different.
Unlike on a flat road, with a mountain bike, you are constantly going through different types of surfaces, different terrains, and sometimes uphill and downhill.
While most of the job is done by the bike itself, thanks to the suspension design, rider safety is a completely different thing and you have to take care of yourself. Hence, mountain bikers usually wear dedicated helmets.
But what’s the Visor for and what are they?
Visor on helmets: reasons and uses
A Visor is a peak that is attached to the front of a helmet and is usually present to protect the rider’s face in mountain biking.
In simple road biking, you don’t need a visor as the conditions are not very difficult or rough. On uneven terrains like mountains and forests, the routes are natural and have many obstacles.
Visors extend from the front of a helmet and protect the rider’s face from tree branches, debris, sunlight, and even rain. While they are not 100% perfect in protection against all of them, they still eliminate a lot of causes for injuries.
When a rider is on a mountain bike, he is in a more upright position than on a road bike and naturally, this exposes the face more to the dangers from above as well as natural causes like sunlight that can put difficulties in riding.
Riding in woods particularly is more challenging where the branches can hit you from any side and the constantly changing light conditions can put difficulties in a clear vision. Hence, visors help a lot in maintaining a clear vision and also keep the distance between the obstacles and the rider’s face.
Even if the rider falls down, he will be much safer from facial injuries than with a helmet with no visor.
One thing to note is that the visor isn’t essentially there to protect from brutal accidents like the chin of a helmet which absorbs the impact when falling. Instead, the visor is only for protection against the environment and cannot absorb big impacts.
Types of visor helmets
Visor helmets are categorized based on how they are attached to the helmets. Currently, we have two types of visor helmets that are available in the market:
- Snap Visor Helmets
- Screw Visor Helmets
As the name suggests, snap visor helmets have visors attached to the helmets through snaps. Generally, visors are attached through 3 or 5 snaps and they are much weaker than screen visor helmets.
Simple contact with obstacles such as a branch may remove the visor from the helmet and that’s why mountain bikers prefer screw visor helmets as they are properly secured through the screws that go into molded nuts. This type of helmet allows tilt adjustments and can be cleaned easily.
This helps the screw visor helmet users to adjust the visor according to their needs. They can tilt the visor upwards if they want to fit goggles or don’t want any obstacles in sight but snap visor helmets don’t provide any tilt at all.
Some visor helmets also come with goggles that allow even further protection from rain and debris and are often preferred by mountain bikers.
Some visor bike helmets are full-face that provide maximum protection but are heavier than the standard visor helmets. They have a chin protection guard that can absorb impacts. These are usually suited for downhill rides but are more suitable for beginners.
Should you use a visor helmet while biking?
The answer to that depends on the terrain where you are going to bike. If you are biking on a trail, then you might not need a visor on your helmet but it’s always better to be on the safe side if you know the landscape changes and becomes more difficult.
However, if you are in the woods or biking downhill or uphill, you should definitely have a visor helmet to protect your face from possible injuries and from the entrance of dirt and rain.
Visors can have different lengths and it is recommended that you get a longer visor if you are going downhill and a shorter one if the path is less difficult like a trail.
In simple words, mountain biking specifically needs a visor helmet and you can only feel its necessity when you are inside the woods or biking uphill/downhill.