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Lightest Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet

  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Visor 60% 60%
  • Features 90% 90%

Weight: 690g

Vents: 25 vents

Adjustable Visor: No

Use: Enduro

Price: $295

What We Like: Ultra-Lightweight, Great Ventilation, Stylish

What We Don’t: Expensive, Straps and Cheek Pads Can Irritate Ears

Troy Lee Designs is a giant in the full face helmet industry, with a motocross background. And while motocross might be the first sport that people associate Troy Lee Designs with, TLD actually makes some of the best open face and full face mountain bike helmets on the market, and the Troy Lee Designs Stage is an ultralight and ultra-stylish example of that fact.

  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Visor 60% 60%
  • Features 60% 60%

Pros

Leatt’s Turbine Tech

Great Ventilation

Good Value

Cons

Heaviest in Test

Weight: 850g

Vents: 22

  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Visor 60% 60%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

Massive Vents

Ultra-Lightweight

Cons

Non-Adjustable Visor

Weight: 735g

Vents: 24

  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Weight 100% 100%
  • Ventilation 100% 100%
  • Visor 60% 60%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Ultra-Lightweight

Great Ventilation

Stylish

Cons

Expensive

Straps and cheek pads can irritate ears

Weight: 690g

Vents: 25

Weight & Ventilation

Weighing a scant 690 grams, the Troy Lee Designs Stage is the lightest full face mountain bike helmet on the market. And with 25 well-placed vents, including massive vents in the chin bar and clever vents over the ears, it is one of the best breathing out there as well. In addition to helping you stay cool, the ear vents also make communicating with your friends on the trail a much easier proposition with the TLD Stage than with most full face mountain bike helmets.

In a category that is all about light weight and breathability on long climbs to earn your turns, the weight and ventilation of the TLD Stage are hard to beat.

Safety & Safety Tech

Like the Leatt DBX 4.0, the TLD Stage features a softer foam, EPP in this case, along with the harder EPS foam, to better protect your brain from concussions in the case of low G impacts.

 

The Stage also features the standard MIPS insert, which has become something of a constant in high end helmets. This does nothing to harm the excellent ventilation of the TLD Stage, and unlike Leatt’s Turbine tech, it comes with hardly any weight penalty at all.

Like the Fox Proframe, the Troy Lee Designs Stage uses less padding in the cheek area than the Leatt DBX 4.0. This helps to shave a few grams, and make the helmet a bit cooler, but also feel a bit less protective than the DBX 4.0.

Visor & Additional Features

The visor is a huge selling point for the TLD Stage. It is best in class and really helps to set the Stage apart from its competition. Unlike the Proframe and Leatt DBX 4.0, the Toy Lee Designs Stage features a highly adjustable visor, which you can easily stash a pair of goggles under to let your face breath on a long hot climb. This is something that we were surprised to see helmets in a category where ventilation is key not do, and it was a huge mark in the favor of the Troy Lee Designs Stage. This great visor setup is made all the more impressive by the fact that it added little to no weight.

 

Like most full-face helmets, the Troy Lee Designs Stage does not utilize Y shaped straps. Unlike most full-face helmets, however, the TLD Stage has no padding on the straps. This can lead to them rubbing uncomfortably against your ears, particularly on longer rides, or if you ride every day, in which case the irritation of one day can carry over to the next. On the plus side, though, the straps are buckled by a magnetic Fidlock. However, this does little to set it apart, as the Fox Proframe and Leatt DBX 4.0 both utilize this feature as well.

 

Like the Leatt DBX 4.0, the Troy Lee Designs Stage also features a plastic mouth guard for the chin bar. Unlike the DBX 4.0, the mouthpiece on the TLD Stage cannot be removed.

 

Finally, depending on the shape of your head and ears, you might find that the cheek pads also press and rub uncomfortably against your ears. Not everyone will experience this, but it is definitely common enough that it can’t be chalked up to being just a few isolated incidents.

The Bottom Line

In a category obsessed with great ventilation and low weight, the Troy Lee Designs Stage is an extremely attractive choice. It offers the lowest in class weight, and excellent ventilation for a full face helmet. And impressively, it manages to deliver this weight while also delivering the best visor of any helmet in the category.

However, comfort issues and a $300 price tag also set the Troy Lee Designs Stage apart from its competition for the wrong reasons.

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