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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Helmet Mount Safety

    I've been in the market for a new helmet the past few weeks. Light mountability is one of the most important factors I have in mind. I've been heavily considering some of the newer helmets with breakaway light/GoPro mounts. Those include the Giro Montaro, Bontrager Lithos, Smith Forefront, and Lazer Revolution.

    From what I understand, part of the whole MIPS helmet rotational force absorption thing is unobstructed outer helmet to reduce snagging. I'm all for less brain damage in the event of impact. There's also the danger of a hard piece of flashlight metal focusing the energy in a crash on just one small area of the helmet, reducing the effectiveness of the helmet's impact energy dispersion.

    On the other hand, it seems like on all mountain bike helmets out there the visors are also designed to be breakaway parts. I'm starting to question if I need one of the helmets with a specific breakaway mount, or if I should just mount a light on the visor. I'm also wondering why I don't see many photos of people mounting lights on their visor.

    There's not much information on this forum about the safety of these lights and mounting styles. Let's talk about it!

  2. #2
    RAKC Industries
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    First thing is that you cant mount a decent light to a visor. Visors are all too flexible and light weight. Doubt their is any really useable helmet light out there that would not push a visor down or cause it to flex and the light bounce all over the place. Not to mention if you come face down in the dirt you would be getting an aluminum "rock" right in the face. Visors aren't break away, they just have little holding them because they do nothing beisdes support a few grams of plastic to keep the sun and such off your face.

    Actually there was this exact thread about a year ago. Thing is there is no "safety concern" because except in a rare case, they have no realy effect nor have they been the cause of anything worse happening that wouldn't have without them.

    Basic answer: use plastic gopro mounts. Done. they have been designed as "breakaway" for many years. and the mounts fail long before resulting in further injury caused by them. Youll never land in a way that will put inline force through the light and into a helmet. You would have to come straight down on your head at that exact angle (which light or not your in deep trouble) for the light not to be deflected and sheered away from the mount.

    Im am yet to find a case anywhere reported where a light caused any sort of injury that wouldn't have been sustained without the light mounted. But plenty of broken mounts. reason why all those things are replaceable and easily available.

    Now thats not to say extra neck strain from landing just right may not result, but the effectiveness of a helmet is not compromised. would be no different then taking a direct impact to a rock. Same localized impact forces.

    Your only real concern is snags from low hanging branches and such. This is why the attempts to warn people about lights that are mounted really high and them being a bad idea. See them in threads all over the place. Because snags are very real, so keeping a light low and forward of the top of the helmet is best. You see something hanging low, you duck which also means your head tilted down, removing the light as a problem as its now in front as another thing for the branch to bounce off of. being on top and high, you may not duck low enough and the light snags. Mount will break but your neck isnt going to be happy about it.
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport. Head injury due to a lamp being mounted on a helmet is a rarity. That's probably because basic instinct is to do anything you can to protect your head in the advent of an accident in which you might impact something "headfirst". This assumes of course that one has time to react to protect one's head from a traumatic impact. My advice is to ride with more caution at night than what you might normally do during a day ride. If it makes you feel better use a break-away or low-profile helmet/lamp setup. Either way, overall you're safer riding with a helmet/bar setup than with just a bar setup ( IMO ).

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