Mountain biking is the perfect activity for riders who love to blend the fun of biking with adrenaline, as it entails an unpredictable, passionate, and exhilarating experience.
I’ve observed that mountain bike helmets with removable chin bars seem to have grown in popularity among newbie or intermediate riders who value the importance of extra protection and versatility.
The latest crop of mountain bike helmets with removable chin bars come more refined than their earlier editions.
Although they are suitable for all mountain bike riders, they are especially suitable for racers who may want to alternate their helmet depending on their current race requirements.
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Let’s face it, the best mountain bike helmet is a full face mtb helmet. And the best full face mtb helmet is a full face mtb helmet removable chin guard! Hands down!
Removable Chin Bars
The detachable chin bar is a very handy innovation for any rider who explores variable terrains and conditions.
So, in order not to lumber with a full-face on rides that demand endurance, this type of helmet allows you to remove the chin bar for weight reduction as you climb uphill. Once you’re ready to hit the downhill, you can reattach the chin bar.
Here are 4 of the best mountain bike helmets with removable chin bar on the market today.
MTB Helmets with Removable Chin Guard Comparison Table
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1. Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult MTB Helmet
The Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult MTB Helmet is known for piloting the emergence of the current generation of removable chin bar technology.
I actually began my love of detachable chin bar helmets with the Bell 2R way before it got an upgrade in 2017, which focused on improved fit.
Bell Super 3R is a perfect upgrade from Bell 2R. Bell removed and reconfigured certain areas of the interior padding to solve the problem and remade a Super 3R with an added Float Fit retention system.
Another important element was the incorporation of the MIPS slip-plane safety technology.
The Bell Super 3R MIPS Adult MTB Helmet is available on Amazon.
Why should you choose the Bell Super 3R MIPS MTB helmet?
There are multiple reasons to make the Bell Super 3R your go-to choice, and it’s not just because your protection is number one, even though Bell ensured that this model is MIPS-equipped so that you can benefit from optimal protection.
MIPS is short for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and it describes the cutting-edge slip-plane technology built into the interior of the helmet. Its function is to reduce rotational forces that can come from certain impacts during accidents.
No-Twist Tri-glides: You also get quick-adjustable fasteners that help the straps to stay in position.
There are X-static and Xt2 padding that are composed of quick-drying material plus original silver fibers that help inhibit bacterial and fungal growth that can initiate bad odor inside the highly durable and sturdy polycarbonate shell.
Overbrow Ventilation: I’ve always been impressed by the ventilation ports the helmet offers on its brow for cool air intake. They push the air through the air-channel matrix so that riders get full-head ventilation.
With 23 vents, 4 brow ports, and 6 chin bar vents, wearing the super 3R keeps you in rare freshness all the time.
With 6 color choices, three sizes, alongside safety certification for standard bicycle use it’s hard to go past this MTB helmet. At a price ranging between USD220 – USD230, I think you’re onto a worthy investment while also having your safety guaranteed.
- Full ventilation
- Easily removable chin bar
- MIPS incorporated
- Breakaway camera mount
- Smooth integration with goggles
- Adjustable visor
- Adequate vision
- Great variety of color choices
- Not downhill certified
- Should have a place to carry chin bar when unused
Bell Super 3r MIPS Review 2018 – Awesome Helmet
2. Bell Super DH MIPS MTB Helmet
After upgrading the Bell 2R to the Super 3R in 2017, Bell went further to build the Super DH in 2018. The Super DH is among the comfiest MTB helmets I’ve worn on long-distance rides. It is essentially a beefier version of the Super 3R.
The Super DH is BMX and DH-certified. It seems more comfortable for enduro racers, any uphill and downhill riders or those seeking to make a single helmet trip involving both bike park and singletrack so as to save space in their duffel bag.
The Bell Super DH MIPS MTB Helmet is available on Amazon.
Why choose the Bell Super DH MIPS MTB Helmet?
First off, this convertible lid is not only comfy but built solidly with a fusion in-mold polycarbonate shell, plus progressive layering to protect you and have you feel amazing every time.
The Super DH is the first of Bell’s convertible mtb helmets with the ASTM F1952 downhill standard for full-face mode riding. It’s pretty much like the brand’s Full-9 helmet, used widely in the World Cup ranks.
One other unique thing I personally appreciate about this model is that you can remove and fit its chin bar without having to take it off.
Besides that, the lightweight Super DH includes a new in-built MIPS Spherical system that protects your head against any impact resulting from rotational forces upon impact. That’s why its low-density EPP foam is placed in the inner shell inside its main EPS foam shell and then fixed to cover the interior of the helmet’s polycarbonate outer shell.
How good is the ventilation?
Combining the light weight, 19 vents with deep internal channeling, and two brow ports, the Super DH turns quite airy when worn with no chin bar in place.
However, with or without the chin bar on, users of this helmet, experience great airflow. With four mesh-free vents built on the chin bar, breathing remains seamless throughout even on your wildest riding adventures.
The helmet goes for between USD300 and USD330 which is pretty good value for its versatility, not to mention that it’s almost as if you’re buying 2 helmets in one.
- Easy to move
- Wicks sweat well
- Polycarbonate outer shell
- Easily removed/re-attached chin bar
- Awesome ventilation
- ASTM F1952 (DH) & ASTM F2032 (BMX)) certified
- Easily twisted straps
Two Helmets in One – Bryn Atkinson Unleashes the New Bell Super DH
3. Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB Helmet
The Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB helmet is an ASTM DH-certified helmet with removable chin-bar. From all the tests we ran on the GIRO Switchblade as well as vetting user reviews, there’s no doubt it’s an excellent choice for any rider.
Although I found it felt hotter with the chin bar removed, particularly whilst idle, it was fine when mobile again and not so uncomfortable as to be irritating or annoying. I would certainly be comfortable wearing it for aggressive downhill rides.
The Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB Helmet is available on Amazon.
Why should you buy the Giro Switchblade MIPS MTB Helmet?
We always put your protection first and we wasted no time in considering the Switchblade an extremely unique and heavy-duty convertible MTB helmet.
It comprises of a MIPS system for smart head protection which means it has you covered when it comes to aggressive and safe riding.
No wonder it features pads with layers of material underneath and on top of the helmet’s foam, all designed to move slightly during any angled impact, limiting rotational forces on the brain.
With the Switchblade, you can get good ventilation in each setting. But there needs to be improvement when it comes to the airflow you get in the half-shell mode.
It allows you to breathe much better than with non-convertible helmets with over-the-ear extensions and a high-cheek zone that reduces airflow. When set at full-face setting, speeding down the trail comes with impressive airflow and that’s important.
The visor of the Switchblade is pretty solid and works excellently in full-face mode though it always looks a little weird when pointed towards the sky.
The box includes a spare visor that features a camera mount. In terms of pricing, it sells from between USD250 and USD270 which is more than reasonable.
- Great fit system
- Easily switchable between full and half-shell configurations
- Awesome ventilation for the category
- Additional coverage in half-shell mode
- Fully downhill certified
- Thick chin strap which builds up heat
- Hotter and heavier without the chin bar
Giro Switchblade Review
4. Bell Super Air R MIPS Spherical MTB Helmet
The team at Bell continues on their quest to continually improve removable chin bar technology by bringing us the Bell Super Air R MIPS Spherical Helmet.
With safety at the forefront, the Super Air R has been built with Bell’s patented Spherical Technology by layering both EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) foam and EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam inside the shell to add a ‘ball and socket’ effect to the existing MIPS brain protection system. Brilliant and effective.
The Bell Super Air R MIPS Spherical MTB Helmet is available from Amazon.
Why choose the Bell Super Air R MIPS MTB Helmet?
First and foremost, the Super Air R is a lightweight convertible mtb helmet that is extremely comfortable.
It’s a new model helmet that has been inspired by its predecessors and designed to assist you to transition from full-face shred while riding downhill to an open-face design as you traverse to the next stage all with the same helmet.
When it comes to your safety, Bell’s fusion in-mold process for bonding the outer polycarbonate shell with the inner EPS foam liner, along with the progressive layering of variable EPS foam densities makes this helmet particularly durable adding further to your protection.
The wraparound chin bar is easily removed with 2 clicks making it the ultimate convertible mountain bike helmet for serious trail riders.
Being 22% lighter than its predecessor, the Bell Super 3R, you won’t even notice that you’re wearing a helmet at all. But, don’t be fooled by its light weight though, it is fully CPSC 1203 and CE-EN 1078 compliant.
The Float-Fit dial at the rear of the helmet, which integrates with MIPS, makes it easy to adjust the helmet to perfectly fit your head size and shape without undue pressure.
The visor is adjustable and has three positions which it can easily click into by pushing upwards or downwards as necessary.
Just like me, you too will appreciate the excellent breathable, moisture-wicking X-static padding, woven with real silver fibers that help inhibit bacterial and fungal growth in your helmet’s interior.
And who wouldn’t be excited having eighteen strategically placed vents in the main body of the helmet plus four brow ports, as well as an additional eight vents in the removable chin bar to provide superior ventilation for the hottest of rides.
What’s not to like about this well-ventilated, lightweight convertible mtb helmet from one of the leaders in removable chin bar technology. Available in 8 colors and 3 sizes with prices ranging around USD270 to USD280. Definitely worthy of your consideration.
- MIPS Spherical
- Extremely lightweight
- Excellent ventilation
- Adjustable visor
- 2 click removable chin bar
- Compatible with googles
- Comes with replacement pads
- Breakaway camera mount
- Very comfortable
- Not downhill certified
- Short visor
So Which One To Choose?
Making a decision on which one of these best helmets you should pick is a difficult one. The best helmet for any rider is the one that fits them best, like a new pair of shoes. (Be sure to check our Helmet Size Charts to be sure of the best size for your head).
Besides, all these helmets with the removable chin bar in this review are much more protective, even during the most aggressive rides, than a standard trail helmet.
After giving it considerable thought, I’ve narrowed my choice down to the Bell Super DH and the Giro Switchblade!
That decision was based on the fact that they are both certified for downhill riding, i.e ASTM F1952. Having the downhill certification I think is pretty important, at least it is for me as that’s what I want the helmet for.
I eventually decided to go for the Bell Super DH for its comfort, better airflow, and convenience of adding and removing the chin bar. Nothing wrong with the Switchblade, it came a very close second to the Super DH.