A Closer Look at the New Liv Rail Mips Helmet [Review]

The Liv Rail Mips helmet is the brand's premium off-road helmet designed specifically for women, featuring Mips Air Node rotational impact technology and standout features like a Fidlock chin buckle and three-position visor.

The Liv Rail Mips helmet, introduced in July, is the newest addition to Liv’s accessory offerings and is a premium off-road helmet designed specifically with women in mind.

Liv Rail Mips helmet specs and key info

  • Available Sizes: Small (51-55cm) and medium (55-59cm)
  • Rotational impact tech: Mips Air Node
  • Standout features: Fidlock chin buckle, three-position visor
  • Weight: 335g (size small)
  • Price: $189.99

Liv Cycling, a division of Giant, is no stranger to products designed by women, for women. Over the years, Liv has steadily built a solid brand offering a wide selection of mountain bikes, ranging from cost effective models that simply aim to get more women on bikes, to the Liv Intrigue LT Advanced Pro 0, a high performance enduro mountain bike for the most serious riders in the crowd. What we haven’t seen from Liv over the years are top-of-the-line women’s accessories to match. That is, until now.

The Liv Rail Mips helmet is an ultra- lightweight trail helmet; a size small has a claimed weight of 335g and size medium helmets are said to weigh 360g. It’s beaming with new technology and is a far cry from cheaper accessories offered by the brand in the past. Liv states the Rail Mips was designed “to provide goal-driven mountain bikers a modern looking helmet with the newest upgrades in protective technology and design.” It boasts high-tech features such as a Mips Air Node liner, extended back of head coverage, a four-position snap-in rear height adjuster, Magnetic Fidlock® buckle system, and a moto-style flexible visor.

Liv Rail Mips look, fit, and feel

The Liv Rail Mips is designed for the serious mountain biker, however upon first glance it looks so minimal I had a hard time feeling confidence in this claim. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the simple gloss top, matte trim design and feminine color (Diamond) because it matches the Liv Intrigue LT Advanced Pro I tested. However it does look pretty basic compared to other high-end helmets.  For a price of $190 I’d prefer it to be *little* more flashy or more than one solid color. Even a smidgen of flair would elevate the aesthetic to the next level. However, I’m not one who prefers to remain muted on the trails, and I’ve heard other women describe the helmet as “classy” and “versatile” (from MTB to gravel) so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

The Liv Rail Mips is available in two sizes, small (51-55cm) and medium (55-59cm). I have a head circumference of 52cm and opted for a size small, which allowed for a snug fit. However, if you have a larger than 59cm circumference head, you may have to pop over to the Giant site and find the comparable unisex Rail Mips helmet which is roughly the same, but is available in different colors and also size large (59-63cm).

While the Rail did fit my head generally, Liv states the Rail “was created with an all-new rounder head form for increased fit range.” I have a slightly oval shaped head and unfortunately the front of the helmet presses into my forehead a fair amount. It’s not unbearable to wear, it just takes 20 minutes for the red indentation to subside after removal. Aside from the shape, the preference of which is dictated by your noggin, the size ranges are pleasantly customizable and suitable for most heads. My adivice is to always try helmets on before purchasing.

The Rail is outfitted with a dual-arm, four-position, snap-in rear height adjustment system and a 360 degree dial tension system that goes all the way around the helmet, allowing for movement up and down and even tightening wherever the rider chooses to position the height. This is a nice feature for those with deeper heads, and for those who would like to fit a ponytail through the back somewhere. I do not have a deep head or hair, so these are moot points for my testing purposes, but I can see how the adjustments suit a variety of riders.

The three-position visor on the Rail provides views aplenty. It is the correct length and shape in relation to the helmet size and I did not find it to be in the way of clear vision. I tested the Rail with a sunglasses in a variety of sizes and shapes and found it is compatible with most styles. The one feature that seems to be missing, however, is a secure sunglasses dock. Many high-tech helmets offer this feature, but it’s not a necessity and honestly I end up losing many sunglasses on the trail because I forget that I have stowed them during a snack break. This feature, while “nice to have,” does not impact the overall function. I’m not one to wear goggles with a half dome helmet, but I did try a pair and they fit nicely around and underneath.  

Liv Rail Mips design and features

Though the look is basic, the design and features of the Rail are plentiful and in line with many top tier half dome mountain bike helmets on the market.

The primary selling point of the Liv Rail Mips is the Mips Air Node system which helps protect against rotational impact concussions and is one of the lightest, most minimal Mips systems on the market. Get up to speed on Mips and other rotational impact tech here.

The Mips Air Node liner is integrated into the interior comfort liner. Fortunately I did not take a violent crash in this helmet, so I cannot attest to its overall protection, but Virginia Tech gave it a 5-Star rating which speaks highly of the protection provided.  

The features I enjoyed most on the Rail are the Magnetic Fidlock® buckle system and plethora of vents, 21 to be exact. The minimal weight (335g) combined with superb ventilation made this helmet the feel completely unnoticeable even in the summer months. On the flip side, if it’s cold, rainy or buggy, the vents are large and open to the elements; unlike other helmets of similar quality, there are no “blockades” to stop the elements from getting in.

Adjusting the helmet straps to the correct over-ear placement was easy, thanks in-part to the under ear strap divider. However, the chin straps are extremely long for a small helmet, which left me with a lot of excess strap.  I don’t like a dangle off my chin, so I chose to cut the strap shorter, singe the end with a lighter, and tuck the tail into the rubber tab on the right side.

I won’t buy a helmet without the Fidlock system; it’s impeccably secure and easy to affix and requires only one hand. I can’t go back to regular prog snaps, I won’t. No one should.

Pros and cons of the Liv Rail Mips mountain bike helmet


  • Ultra Lightweight
  • Magnetic Fidlock® buckle system
  • Well-ventilated
  • 5 Star Rating from Virginia Tech


  • Basic Aesthetic
  • No sunglasses dock
  • Too ventilated for cold/rainy conditions
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

The Liv Rail Mips is a versatile helmet overall.  It is ultra lightweight, and offers impressive protection given its minimal, no frills design. While the dome shape is more suited for round heads, the maximum adjustability made for a decently comfortable wear and the integrated Mips Air Node liner gives me confidence that in the event of a crash my head will be as protected as possible. The Rail is a bit pricey, but overall it’s a solid do-all trail helmet suited for serious riders and novices alike.

  • Price: $189.99
  • Buy from Giant dealers.

Check out our mountain bike helmet buyers guide and our picks for the best mountain bike helmets.