Why Do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors?

If you compare the old mountain bike helmets with newer iterations, you will see that helmets have come a long way due to improvements and technology. The new mountain bike helmet visors are unique and offer additional protection. However, some of you are wondering why do mountain bike helmets have visors?

The simple answer to the question is for protection! The mountain bike helmet without visor additions can be daunting to ride with when you have significant sun. It will also reduce the additional protection from low-hanging branches. With the addition of the visor, you have significantly more protection from the elements.

The mountain bike helmet visor is a unique concept and to fully understand it, we should dive deeper into the purpose and the design. This article aims to do exactly that and to focus closer on the fundamentals of helmet visors and offer some assistance to riders. We will take a deep-dive approach to help you understand how they work.

Why Do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors

Mountain Bike Helmet Visor Explained

The traditional helmet you buy for cruising around town or for your road bike will not have a visor. One simple example of this is the Tour de France, which is also the most competitive cycling race in the world. The visor can be distracting and it adds a bit of weight. However, you don’t have to deal with branches and other possible issues.

For the mountain bike, you are riding on difficult terrains and it is hard to determine where you will need additional protection. With the addition of the visor, you are placing yourself in a position to deal with low-hanging branches and account for situations that could cause your harm and frustration on the trail.

The visor will take some of the force from obstacles, which means you don’t have to damage your expensive glasses when you are riding. It can even take some of the small stones thrown up while riding to protect your riding glasses.

Top 5 Reasons Your Mountain Bike Helmet Needs A Visor

The best way to understand the purposes of the mountain bike helmet visor is to look at the reasons stated by manufacturers for including them. Once you understand why they have been added, you should see the sense behind having one on your helmet. We have identified some of the main reasons for you to consider the visor for your helmet:

  1. Sun Protection

While you might have access to some of the best glasses available, the addition of the visor means it could keep the sun out of your eyes. Mountain bike glasses like the Polarized Sports Bike Glasses offer a bit of protection, but occasionally they can fog up. If they do not fog up, they might allow dust particles to enter the frame.

You can see how this might force you to take them off or ride without them. Once you remove them, you have no protection from the sun. Fortunately, the visor will help with protection for the human eye. UV rays could do significant damage to your eyes when you are dealing with direct sunlight. 

  1. Rain Protection

Protecting your eyes from the rain has always been a challenging prospect. Rain can nullify the use of glasses and you might find your cycling glasses can fog up more significantly with the swing in temperatures. The best way to alleviate some of the rain will be to have some sort of shield over your eyes to keep the rain coming down in check.

The helmet visor on a helmet like the Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Mountain Cycling Helmet will offer you plenty of protection from the rain. It should make it possible to withstand the rain and allow you to continue riding freely without any hindrances. This is one of the top helmets we would recommend for cycling.

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  1. Preventing Injury From Branches

Another massive issue with mountain bike trails we see is a lack of maintenance. With many trails, the trees are often overgrown, especially in the summer months and this could lead to branches hanging low. If you ride into one of these branches, you might get injured and you could take a big knock on your head.

Fortunately, the visor can mitigate the effects of the branches on your skull. It should deflect the branches and enable you to have a comfortable riding experience. You will notice the benefit of the visor when you are dealing with narrow tracks. Keep in mind the visor is not made to shield you from large bulky branches.

  1. Protects From Gravel, Stones, And Mud

If you have ever ridden your bike on a dusty or wet trail, you will notice that mud and small stones could pop up and shoot directly for your face. Additionally, riding your bike in a peloton and following someone else could also lead to stones and other lead to some of the stones and dirt being shot up into your driving lane.

The visor might not protect your eyes, but when used with a good set of cycling glasses, you can see the difference in protection. It should enable you to stop stones and other small objects from coming into your face and causing significant damage. The visor should serve as the ultimate protective barrier from debris popping up.

  1. Wind Protection

Finally, riding your bike with significant wind in your eyes can be daunting. The wind can pick up and this might be daunting for your eyes. If you are dealing with a massive breeze, you will notice your eyes tearing up. After tearing up, the next phase would be for your eyes to start drying out. Dried eyes can damage your corneas.

According to the Australian Medical Association, dealing with significant wind in the eyes can lead to foreign objects coming into your eyes and causing damage. It is better to have either cycling glasses or a helmet with a visor to protect you from the wind. The wind should not be an issue for your eyes anymore.

Different Types Of Visors For A Mountain Bike Helmet

Now that you understand why you might want a visor, you will notice that there are different visor types. These visors all serve the same purpose of protecting you from the elements. It is far better to understand what each of these visors brings to the table. This will ensure you know which one you need for the job:


The fixed visor is the standard option you find at most stores. This is the most simplistic of all the visors and it remains fixed in place while you are riding. You don’t have the luxury of moving it up and down. It offers the benefits of being sturdy and will be slightly shorter than many other types.  The Giro Fixture MIPS Adult Mountain Cycling Helmet will be one of the best options for this visor.

Adjustable Visor

The adjustable visor is slightly different and it comes with hinge points located on either side of the visor. These hinge points will enable you to move the visor up and down, which makes it easier to adjust the visor in a certain direction. These visors can be longer, but since they are adjustable, you can determine the length.

The BASE CAMP Mountain Bike Helmet comes with this type of adjustable visor. The visor should be very easy to adjust up and down and it will ensure that you have enough stability and durability.

Detachable Visor 

If you don’t need the visor all the time, you might want to consider the detachable visor. The detachable visor enables you to remove the visor once you are done or when you don’t need it. It could help a lot to detach the visor when it comes to weight reduction. If you want to use one helmet for the road and mountains, the datable visor option is the best.

The VICTGOAL Bike Helmet is one of the most unique options on the market today. The helmet does not only feature a detachable visor, but it also includes detachable goggles. These goggles will be great for those that do not want to use their expensive glasses.

How Visors Are Mounted To Mountain Bike Helmets?

There are a variety of different visors that we have already discussed. However, you need to have a basic understanding of how these visors are connected to the helmet. Once you know how the helmet is mounted, you will know how to connect the visor or even replace the visor with something different when needed.

  • Screwed On: The first one is the screwed-on visor and this is the fixed version that will take some time for you to detach. Once you detach the visor, it will take plenty of time to fix and even replace.
  • Snap-On: The Snapped-on version is different and it will be much easier to take down when you need to have it taken down. Most of the detachable visors you come across will feature the snap-on feature.
  • Molded Version: The final version is the molded version and this is the most fixed version you could find. Many adjustable visors might have the molded version that allows them to be operated. However, the fixed versions could be molded into place as well.

No matter which one you choose, with the right helmet you should find the one you need. You should refer to the previous section with the different visor options to assist you in finding the right one. All of these versions of construction will offer you great value for your money and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding how a visor works and what benefits it offers will make it much more informative for someone when making a decision. We would recommend the visor for cyclists to ensure they have optimal protection when cycling. Unfortunately, there are still a few questions that might be confusing:

Why Don’t Road Bike Helmets Have Visors?

While the visor could offer significant benefits to a road bike rider. However, in terms of safety, the helmet might offer some protection. The problem is when a rider skids off the bike and falls on their face, the visor could cause a hindrance in the skidding and damage the neck of the person sliding.

How Do I Fix A Visor On A Helmet?

You might notice that your visor will eventually get damaged or break off. The break in the visor might often be something small and with a few screws, you can have it replaced. Unfortunately, the molded visor can be more daunting. You might have to replace the complete helmet when the visor breaks off a molded helmet.

How Long Should A Visor For A Bike Helmet Be?

It is hard for us to determine how long the visor for a bike helmet should be. Depending on the rider, you will notice that the length of the visor varies depending on the rider. It will all come down to personal preference. 

Can I Have A Colored Visor?

If you want to go for something unique, you might want to choose the colored visor option for your helmet. A colored visor looks great and some colors are better at reflecting the UV rays from the sun. According to the Cancer Council in Australia, darker colors like dark blue and dark red offer the best protection for your eyes in the sun.

Why Do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors Summary

If you want a visor on your bike helmet, you should know how they work and understand the effects of having a visor. For mountain bike trails, it is one of the best additions to your kit. We would highly recommend adding a mountain bike helmet with a visor to your kit. Let us know which helmet you prefer riding with.

About Martin

I am Martin, I am the author of this blog. My main interests include cycling. That's why this blog was created. I have always been interested in technology and how bicycles are made, so I built one myself.

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