If you are going to ride a bike, then you are going to need a helmet. So it is worth making sure you get the appropriate one. I have been testing out the 2021 version of the IXS Trigger MIPS AM helmet, which, as the name suggests, is aimed at the all-mountain and trail end of the spectrum.
The lid boasts 19 vents and weighs 360 grams (in the S/M size) which puts it bang in the middle of the weight game for a mid-priced helmet. In addition, it comes in six different colors, two different sizes, and you can get one for $189 (available at Backcountry and other online retailers). The helmet might not necessarily be the most modern in terms of looks, but it comes with several useful features.
For starters, the Trigger utilizes the MIPS rotational protection system, which you can read more about here, to protect your brain from rotational impacts. This addition is not necessarily revolutionary these days, but it is certainly welcome. Another impressive feature of the helmet is how it adjusts to your head. The ErgoFit Ultra(TM) allows adjustment of the vertical and the horizontal fitting on the go. So, in simple terms, it will fit your head better and, having used this and many other helmets, I can say that I found it to be one of the better fit systems out there. But, of course, given that there are only two sizes in the range, if those two sizes do not work for you, it is unlikely that the ErgoFit system will make enough of a difference.
Another welcome highlight is the magnetic closure system for the chin strap, which is one of those little additions that just works and is so easy to use. There is also an adjustable visor — though it is relatively short compared to some other all-mountain helmets out there — that tips up to make space for goggle storage.
When putting the helmet on for the first time, I was impressed with how light it felt on my head. This sense has been reinforced during hot rides over the summer when my head was slightly less sweaty than with my MET Roam or Sweet Protection Bushwacker. Despite the lighter weight, the helmet does feel sturdy and does not feel like it will fall apart on impact. However, this is perhaps more relevant in terms of confidence than any particular scientific observation.
The magnetic strap closure, which allowed me to keep my gloves on while fiddling with the helmet or taking it off and on, didn’t pop open halfway down the descents — contrary to my fears. I also like the high-viz stripes at the back of the helmet; these could help if you’re commuting in low-light conditions.
I did find the helmet a bit short at the back for an all-mountain offering, which made me feel a little less confident on some descents. This design, in my mind, puts the use category of this helmet more toward trail these days. In addition to the short back protection, I found the length of the visor a little bit short for my liking. I ended up using this helmet on a few gravel rides instead, where it felt a bit more at home.
Overall I found the helmet an excellent option for trail riding (and the occasional gravel ride), thanks in part to the excellent features packed inside and the mid-range price tag. Provided that one of the two sizes fits you, and you do not mind the slightly limited coverage, then it is a great, lighter-weight option.
I would recommend this helmet for people that enjoy cross country or a trail rides. However, if you are looking for a helmet for more all-mountain and enduro-style riding, you might want to look elsewhere. That larger helmet will probably come with a weight penalty in comparison.
- Magnetic chin strap clasp
- Adjustable visor
- Lightweight and good ventilation
The pros and cons.
- Limited rear coverage
- Short visor
- Only two size options