ABUS MoDrop Helmet Makes Riding Alone Safer [Review]

Abus MoDrop helmet
Photo: Leah Barber

The Abus MoDrop is one of the brand’s best selling helmets in Europe, and it’s now available in US. The basic MoDrop half-shell helmet is priced at just $99, and there’s an upgraded MIPS version too. I’ve been testing the Abus MoDrop MIPS helmet ($139.99), which includes an integrated QUIN crash sensor, and here’s what I’ve learned.

Abus MoDrop MIPS helmet specs

Starting at the top, the Abus MoDrop features a 3-position visor with enough clearance for goggle storage. There are 14 vents — six fore, and eight aft — and three of the front vents feature protective netting to keep the bugs out. Sadly there is nowhere to securely stash sunglasses on the helmet. The top of the helmet is flat-ish in case you want to mount a camera or light, though as always be sure to choose a mount than can easily break away on impact. Abus uses a quality in-mold process to bond the helmet shell to the EPS liner.

Full ponytail mode activated.

Riders with long hair will be stoked on the ponytail-friendly design. The ratcheted retention system can be pushed up or pulled down in the rear to accommodate various hair styles. Also at the back of the helmet there’s a reflective decal and a notch for holding a QUIN crash sensor.

Inside, the helmet features a MIPS Evolve Core liner for rotational impact protection. The liner has medium-thick padding attached along the brow, and thinner pads running along the top. All three liner pieces are removable for washing or replacement down the road.

The 15mm-wide straps run through a unique Y-shaped connector that attaches to the chin straps. A basic plastic buckle at the chin connects everything together.

There are two sizes of the Abus MoDrop helmet, medium and large. My size large sample weighs 390g.

QUIN crash sensor

The QUIN crash sensor is a tiny Bluetooth widget designed to send a notification to your smartphone in the event of an accident. It’s rechargeable via USB and “wakes up” whenever you pick up the helmet before a ride. Riders set up a list of emergency contacts in the Abus app, and if the sensor detects a crash event it starts a countdown before notifying your list. Riders should be able to get several rides — up to a month according to Abus — in between charges.

Abus MoDrop fit and function

As it turns out my head size falls in between medium and large on the Abus MoDrop, and ignoring the advice Chris from Lazer shared in our podcast interview about helmets, I decided to go with the larger size. To reiterate, if you’re in between sizes, go with the smaller size, assuming it fits on your head. The MoDrop ratcheting retention system provides a ton of range though, and the size large I tested could fit much smaller heads than mine.

The MIPS Evolve liner is surprisingly slippy in multiple directions (front to back, side to side), which I guess shouldn’t be a surprise given that’s the point of it. Still, it makes the helmet feel a touch unstable. Not only that, the MIPS layer plus the brow padding peeks out just below the front of the helmet, and when I was wearing it at least one person commented that it looked a little odd.

I also got a few comments about the QUIN sensor on the back of the helmet. Well, not really comments, mostly questions. Like, what’s that blinky blue light on your helmet? Annoying blue light aside, the sensor really isn’t noticeable, especially to the wearer. I did fall off the bike while testing the Abus MoDrop, though apparently it wasn’t enough to activate the crash sensor. That’s a good thing because the impact of my fall was minor, and I didn’t hit my head. A friend mentioned he tried a feature on his smartwatch that’s designed to detect falls, and it kept giving him false alarms. If anything the QUIN seems to correctly ignore minor spills.

There’s a test mode for the QUIN sensor you can activate in the Abus app to ensure the sensor is working, and I highly recommend going through the exercise before you’re involved in a real accident. The key learning is that you can cancel an emergency alert before it’s sent out, again to prevent false alarms. The Abus app can also do other things like track your rides, but like most riders I already have plenty of (better) options for doing that.

At 390g, the Abus MoDrop is fairly lightweight, and I found it’s plenty comfortable for both short and long rides. The chin straps don’t involve a lot of futzing to adjust or even out, and there’s good strap management for any excess.

Bottom line: The Abus MoDrop is a great choice for riders who value safety features like rotational impact protection, and the QUIN crash sensor is a smart feature for those who often ride alone.

  • Price: $139.99 (MIPS)
  • Buy from Amazon (note: this version does not include a QUIN sensor).

Party laps

  • Good safety tech
  • Lightweight
  • Ponytail-compatible
  • Easy to adjust straps

Pros and cons of the Abus MoDrop helmet

Dirt naps

  • MIPS liner produces a slightly unstable feel
  • No storage for sunglasses
  • Cheap chin buckle

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