Why Do Mountain Bike Helmets Have Visors? (Explained)

Mountain biking helmets come in different shapes and sizes, and they all have one common feature: a helmet visor.

Many mountain bikers, might be wondering why do mountain bike helmets have visors?

The reason mountain bike helmets have visors is to help protect your eyes from the sun, keep out the mud and dirt from your eyes, and protect your face from getting hit by low hanging branches while you’re riding.

The Purpose of Visor in a Mountain bike Helmet:

The primary purpose of a visor in a bike helmet is to protect the rider’s face. When you’re on a ride on some mountain, there are bound to be some trails filled with leafy branches.

In that case, the visor will provide eye protection, so you can ride faster and safer, without worrying about your vision.

Visors also help in reducing glare during sunsets while also enhancing the rider’s vision. Visors are also effective in protecting the rider against the harshness of the weather conditions.

You can ride out windy weather, rain, or even in the snow with complete focus and a clear vision.

Some people prefer Full face MTB helmets without visors, and you might not feel the need if you wear glasses or goggles during the ride.

While everyone has their own preference when it comes to picking a cycling helmet, a visor provides additional protection for your face as you do the riding.

If your mountain bike helmet doesn’t have a visor, you can attach one to it. Some visors can easily be attached to any type of MTB helmet.

Wearing MTB helmets with visors will help you keep an eye out for other riders whenever you go on a ride with your friends.

We’ll be explaining all the advantages in the section below. But, in short, a visor is there to provide the ultimate protection for your eyes.

Why do MTB Helmets Have Visors (6 Reasons):

1) Protection from the sun:

Riding a mountain bike can be a fantastic experience during sunsets and sunrise.

It gives you an opportunity to appreciate and enjoy nature at its finest. However, it can become difficult to ride a mountain bike during such times due to the sun’s position.

When the sun is at eye level, it can easily make it difficult for you to see clearly, resulting in an accident.

A visor helps you in keeping your eyes on the road while stopping the sun from messing with your vision. Visors also block the sun’s UV rays, which can harm your eyes.

2) Protection from the Weather:

Weather isn’t something that can stop mountain bikers from going on a ride.

The best thing a visor does is keep the rider’s vision clear under any type of weather. You can go out in heavy rain or during heavy snow on your mountain bike.

A visor extends to provide the ultimate protection for your eyes in such harsh weather conditions.

It is also quite common for the wind to make your eyes watery during winter.

A visor can easily prevent that from happening, so you won’t be squinting your eyes and will be able to focus on the trail completely.

3) Protection during Races and Group Rides:

Mounting biking is best enjoyed with friends. If you’re out on the ride with a couple of friends, you’ll have to keep your eyes, so you don’t bump into them.

There’s also going to be a lot of dirt and dust splashing over, even worse if you’re on a muddy trail.

A helmet visor will reduce your chances of getting distracted on narrow trails because of all this.

4) Help’s you avoid one-handed riding:

Mountain biking on single-track trails can be difficult since there’s only enough space for one rider at a time. Due to the lack of space, the rider is likely to bump into branches.

Most riders will use their hand to block the branches while also protecting their face and riding the bike with only one arm.

This can be extremely dangerous as the rider can lose balance at any time.

However, wearing an MTB helmet with a visor can protect your eyes against these branches and everything the trail throws at you.

You can easily control your bike and ride with both of your hands on the handles while wearing a helmet with a visor.

5) Shock absorption:

A mountain biking helmet with a visor can protect you in case of a collision or accident by protecting your face and especially your eyes from any type of serious damage.

A helmet’s visor is designed to spread any impact over to the entire skull and the rest of the helmet, reducing any chances of severe injury.

6) Useful for attaching add-ons:

An MTB helmet with a visor can help you attach several add-ons and other cycling accessories to it.

For example, you can attach a POV camera to record the whole ride.

You can also attach a night light to your helmet visor so you can ride without any problems in bad lighting conditions or during the night.

Also, if you’re interested in mountain biking add-ons, you should check out our list of the best action cameras of bike helmets.

How Do Bike Helmet Visors Work?

A visor’s job is to protect your face and your vision from all types of forces of nature that you can encounter on your mountain biking adventures.

A visor is made out of thin transparent material, which helps in keeping your vision clear, despite any weather conditions.

Some mountain biking helmets come with a detachable visor, while some have a permanently attached visor screwed into the helmet.

Keep in mind that not all mountain bike helmets need a visor.

Cross country mountain bikers might not need a visor since they lean down while riding to go faster. You’d also notice that regular road bike helmets don’t have visors.

That is because an accident on a mountain trail and an accident on the road are fairly different from each other.

If you get in an accident on the road, the visor will most likely come in the way as you’re sliding down the pavement, which can cause further injuries to the rider.

In contrast, the rider is getting launched in the air in most mountain riding accidents.

If you’re getting launched and falling into rocks and whatnot stuff is there on the mountain, a visor will help in protecting your face from having a direct impact with anything that might cause a more severe injury.

Tips to Protect & Keep Clean Helmet Visor:

Mountain bike helmets are sturdy since they’re made to protect you in case of a collision. But, it doesn’t mean that you should let them get dirty. It’s Always a good practice to regularly clean your cycling helmet.

If the helmet falls on the ground or has a strap broken, it won’t be able to keep your head safe.

Make sure to check if your mountain bike helmet follows the required safety standards and has everything in top shape before going for a ride.

You’ll also have to make sure there aren’t any scratches on the visor. A scratched visor can obstruct your vision, which can be dangerous.

Keep the helmet in someplace where you’re sure it won’t drop to the ground.

If you have a detachable visor, make sure you also store it in a safe place. You can use a storage bag to keep your helmet protected.


While glasses and goggles can also protect your eyes during mountain biking, they are not as effective as a helmet visor on dimly lit trails.

If you’re out on a mountain riding session, taking an MTB helmet with a visor is a good choice since it offers you better vision and better safety against any head injuries.

If you’re going to buy a new mountain bike helmet, make sure to check if it’s comfortable and has all the features you’d want it to have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you use a Visor At All Times?

It depends on where you’re going to ride. If you’re on the road, a visor might not be able to protect you as much as it would on mountain terrain.

Are there different size visors?

There are enormous visors out there, and some small ones as well if you prefer those. You should choose the visor that you’re comfortable with.

Should you choose a helmet with a visor for mountain biking?

A mountain bike helmet with a visor can provide better protection while also helping you in keeping your focus on the trail. You have to deal with a lot of dust, debris, bugs, leaves, and mud splashes while riding on the mountains, so you need something to protect your eyes through all that, and a bike helmet visor does exactly that.

Why don’t road bike helmets have visors?

In road accidents, the rider slides across the pavement in most cases. If the rider slides with his visor down, the visor might break or get stuck in something, which can cause even further injuries for the rider.

Why is there no need for visors on bike helmets?

Bike riders who lean down while riding to go at top speed may not need visors since their helmet provides all the protection they need.

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