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There are few things that can identify someone as a mountain biker as opposed to a run-of-the-mill cyclist; shorn of the obvious signifier (a mountain bike, duh) the two most obvious cues are baggy shorts, and the helmet. If we’re being honest, it’s the peak more than anything, but being mountain bikers, the type of helmet we choose also says a lot about the sub-clique we cleave to.

Calling something a trail helmet is a pretty broad umbrella term – essentially you could be referring to something which is a pure cross-country lid, or something that goes the full enduro. But full enduro is almost a full-face lid, and essentially a cross-country helmet is pretty much a road lid with a lolly stick for a peak. So for the purposes of this test, I’ve just chosen to define it as a helmet you’d ride trails on. Not a full-face helmet, and not – necessarily – something that you’d use with goggles (seriously, does anyone ride regular trails with goggles anyhow, unless they’re racing?). But I’ve chosen helmets which perhaps have some of the features of the enduro – coverage as a priority over light weight, for example. More of an emphasis on protection over venting. But these helmets all have to be comfortable to ride in all day, rain or shine, fair weather or foul. And there’s plenty to choose from…

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About Singletrack

Hans Rey – No Way? Yes Way! 30 years as a sponsored bike rider. Hans must be doing something right. We chat over burgers and beer. Bike Test: Hardcore Hardtails – We test three examples of that very British of bike categories: the long forked hardtail, with bikes from Ritchey, Onza and Chromag. Classic Calderdale – Sim ponders our need to name trails and places on a guided tour of Singletrack’s own home trails. Trail helmets – 12 (count them!) trail helmets ridden and rated. Early Rider – a profile of a company that’s making kids’ bikes cool again Nepal – Spectacular views and bikepacking courtesy of Miranda Murphy, Todd Weselake and Steve Shannon. Joe Barnes – A profile of enduro racer, former downhill racer and Dude of Hazzard Joe Barnes. Shimano: behind the blue veil – Chipps goes to Japan (and Singapore) to see what makes this very private company tick. Retro Bikes – Were the good old days better, or just different? Warning: may contain pictures of alarming outfits.

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