Why Do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors? (7 Things to Know!)

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Mountain bike helmet with visor

Mountain biking is an enjoyable sport, but it’s risky. Considering that you’re trailing in areas with random yet hazardous objects that might suddenly hit your face, your safety should be your priority.

Luckily, mountain bike helmets are here to protect us from any injuries!

Now, you might be wondering: Why do mountain bike helmets have visors?

Well, visors protect you from any debris present in your surroundings. On top of that, they also shield your eyes from weather conditions, such as the rain and the sun’s intense glare.

Stick around as we dive into other reasons why mountain bike helmets have visors!

7 Reasons Why Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors

Below are various reasons why mountain bike helmets have visors:

1.   Protects You From All Kinds of Debris

Mountain bike visors protect you from all kinds of debris that can enter your eyes. This is vital, especially when you’re mountain biking on a windy day.

Debris, especially dust, is always present in the air. This is because we produce tons of these particles every day. In fact, we ingest at least 50 mg of the dust we make daily.

Furthermore, debris is highly mobile because it’s lightweight. As such, strong winds can easily transport it from one place to another. That said, when mountain bikers are trailing through any area, there’s a high chance that these tiny particles will enter their eyes.

When it happens, it can cause discomfort and slow you down. In some cases, it can even cause eye infections and scarring.

2.   Shields You From Rain and Snow

Mountain bike helmet visors protect your vision when it’s raining.

It can get challenging when you’re traversing through a trail while it’s raining or snowing. Your visibility will be compromised because water or ice particles will try to get into your eyes.

Additionally, you’re likely to enter a muddy trail when it’s raining. When wet soil gets in contact with the wheels, it can fly directly on your face. As such, a visor also protects your eyes from mud.

Keep in mind that having your eyes in direct contact with rainwater may be hazardous because the water contains pollutants. If it enters your eye, you might be at risk of developing an eye infection or Conjunctivitis.

If it happens that you’ve developed an eye infection, it will be a huge setback to your hobby because your vision is vital when mountain biking.

3.   Guards You From Ultraviolet Rays

While sunscreen can shield your skin, you don’t have any protection for your eyes when mountain biking. So, visors come in handy in this department.

A visor will protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun.

When the eyes get exposed to UV rays, this can cause photokeratitis. It’s a temporary condition that can damage the cornea. Mountain bikers are at risk of developing this issue because they spend lots of time outdoors.

Furthermore, when your eyes get exposed to ultraviolet rays for long periods, it can lead to macular degeneration and cataracts. Both of these result in decreased vision.

If your mountain bike helmet has a plastic or glass visor, keep in mind that it only blocks UVA. You should get one that specifically blocks any kind of ultraviolet rays if you want more protection.

4.   Provides Easy Transition Between Sun and Shade

When mountain biking, there’s no guarantee that you will find a shady area. That said, visors provide an easy transition between the sun and shade, especially if you have one attached to your helmet.

In comparison to wearing sunglasses that you have to take off every time you enter a shady area, you just simply have to lift up the visor. It saves time, even if we’re only talking about a few seconds.

Plus, you don’t want to stop pedaling to take off your glasses, especially when you’re in the momentum.

5.   Reduces the Risk of Injuries

If you have a mountain bike helmet visor on, you’ll be able to focus on the trail better. Your vision will be clearer because nothing will get in your way.

There are times wherein you’ll enter an area with low-hanging branches.

As crazy as it sounds, there’s a possibility that these twigs might get into your eyes when you’re biking at high speed. So, visors will serve as your shield against these natural elements.

6.   Reduces Impact During Crash

Injuries in mountain biking are more common than you think. In a study that assessed 28,000 participants, 71% of them sustained an injury. It ranges from skin damage to concussions.

Crashing sounds inevitable, even if you’re extremely careful when mountain biking. Thankfully, a mountain bike helmet visor reduces the impact of the collision.

Visors, along with the whole structure of the helmet, evenly distribute the shock. Of course, the visors might break, but you’ll rest assured that your face won’t be subject to serious injuries.

7.   Doubles as a Mount

It’s common for mountain bikers to attach a camera to their helmets to capture their rides. A mountain bike helmet visor serves as the perfect mount for said equipment.

Some bikers prefer to mount the camera under their visor. The only downside of this is that you won’t be able to pull down the part that’s covering your eyes. Instead, you’ll have to wear sunglasses for protection, which can be a hassle for others.

In addition, there are people who attach lights instead of cameras. They use the same technique, which is mounting it under the visor. This is extremely helpful for those who want to navigate trails at night or in dimly lit areas.

Final Thoughts

Now, you know the answer to the question: Why do mountain bike helmets have visors?

Visors as your protection from environmental elements such as dust, rain, and more. So, it’s best to wear visors whenever you’re mountain biking to ensure that you won’t sustain any injuries.

Considering that you’re always subject to injuries whenever you’re mountain biking, you should always remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Photo of author


Paul Tuthill
Growing up in Scotland, Paul developed a love for the outdoors and a desire for adventure from an early age.