We Tested the new ABUS Cliffhanger Enduro Helmet [Review]

The ABUS Cliffhanger trail helmet features MIPS and a 3-position visor. Unfortunately the straps may not be long enough for some wearers.
ABUS Cliffhanger mountain bike helmet

ABUS is a German security tech giant is known for their home and commercial security systems. You may be familiar with their bike lock systems sold at many bike shops, but the company also markets cycling helmets. The ABUS Cliffhanger MIPS is their flagship trail model helmet. ABUS refers to the Cliffhanger as “the helmet for modern trail riders” that gives reliable protection when riding up and down steep hills on an “enduro” bike.

ABUS Cliffhanger helmet features

The version I tested has MIPS technology. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, and it’s designed to help reduce the rotational force energy associated with a crash by up to forty percent in certain situations. ABUS does sell the same helmet without MIPS technology for a lower cost, but why skimp out on head safety; we only get one head/brain. The MIPS system rests on the head while the permanently bonded outer shell and shock-absorbing EPS material take on the hard impacts that may occur.

The Zoom Ace MTB height adjustment system allows for quick and easy fitment for various head circumferences. This system allows the helmet to stay snug on the head even on rowdy trails. I really like the height adjustment feature as it allows the helmet to sit lower on my head. This helmet sits very comfortably on my head which is hard to find for my head shape. I would say it has a similar fit to the TroyLee A1 and A3 helmet. The EPS foam is there to do its job and not get in the way of fitment, and I didn’t experience any pressure points.

You get three adjustable visor positions with a quick up or down flick. GoggFit allows riders to fix their goggles to the helmet when not in use. I rock prescription sunglasses so I couldn’t show y’all how the GoggFit works. For anyone with a ponytail, the rear has ample room to wear a low ponytail. Yes, I asked my wife to try it on with a ponytail.

The helmet is laterally adjustable with a non-slip TriVider strap system that locks via FidLock magnetic buckle. The magnetic buckle is easy and convenient to use but my biggest gripe is the strap system. First, the strap was maxed out and there was no more room for adjustment as the strap was getting snug. I made every attempt to adjust the ear straps but my ears would just not fit correctly. I never had an issue like this on many of the helmets I have owned in the past. Maybe it’s my face/ ear shape, but still, I would like more adjustability please, especially on a $200 helmet. If you wear glasses or sunglasses when riding, I will say that I was able to wear mine either under or over the straps.

The Cliffhanger is QUIN ready which means you can separately purchase the QUIN chip accelerometer that detects falls and informs emergency contacts of the injured person’s location via smartphone. It’s nifty tech to help you keep some peace of mind at a price of $69.99 for the QUIN device. ABUS also sells the Cliffhanger with QUIN already integrated if you want to jump on that model right away for a higher price tag.

This is a very well ventilated helmet with eight air inlets and six air outlets to allow air flow. The helmet has an aggressive design that looks good but also seems to be part of the aerodynamics that ABUS intended to help lead air in and out of the helmet. The ABUS Cliffhanger helmet weighs 440g.

Final thoughts on the ABUS Cliffhanger helmet

Overall the helmet’s inner shell sits comfortably on my head and the adjustable ratchet system helps dial a snug fit on my cranium. The stylish, aggressive, and sporty lines cut through the wind where the inlets and outlets create a really good air flow system, keeping my head cool during rides. After a few sweaty rides, I could detach the velcro, one-piece sweat liner and throw it in the washer. Knowing this helmet has MIPS technology also gives me some peace of mind. I can’t tell you how well MIPS works, but I will take their word for it. I’m intrigued about the QUIN system and I appreciate that the helmet is ready for it.

Now, there are many things to like about this helmet, but unfortunately, the strap system was a letdown for me. The lack of adjustability at the ears and a maxed out chin strap ruined the overall comfort and experience this helmet sought to give me. I just could not create the perfect fit for me via the straps. I really wanted to love this helmet, but it was just not designed for the shape on my chin/ears for some odd reason. We know humans come in all shapes and sizes so this helmet may work best for you. I would suggest you try one at a local bike shop if available but if you can’t and you need to order online, you can generally rely on their sizing chart. The size large fits around my noggin just fine. If you can justify the $200 price tag for the features it has and you want to give a German-engineered helmet a try, then this ABUS Cliffhanger MIPS helmet might be the right fit for you. 

Party laps

  • Well-executed, stylish ventilation
  • Dialed height and circumference fit system

Pros and cons of the ABUS Cliffhanger mountain bike helmet.

Dirt naps

  • Adjustment straps may not fit all chins and or ears. 
  • Only two color options available at the moment

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