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It’s likely no surprise one of the oldest brands in arguably one of the most dangerous extreme sports around also makes its own helmets. I’m talking about Mongoose, which is a truly original American BMX brand that’s been around since the birth of the sport, and nowadays also makes some of the best budget mountain bikes, full-suspension bikes as well as dirt jump bikes.
The Mongoose Title is the brand's new best full-face helmet that’s available in tons of sizes from Youth right through to Adult XL to protect riders from impacts in any of the disciplines Mongoose covers.
Design and aesthetics
Lightweight at 840g in size Medium, the Mongoose Title uses the same kind of construction methods as many other full-face helmets with harder shells and expanded polystyrene inside to absorb impacts. The outside here is made from ABS rather than the more common Polycarbonate found in pricier helmets; this is purely a cost-based decision as ABS is less flexible and has lower-impact resistance. That’s not to say protection here is lacking as the helmet has passed the stiffer US F1952 ASTM Standard for downhill.
For under a hundred dollars, there’s no extra rotational protection like a MIPs liner or similar that would help absorb energy in a glancing blow, but I wouldn’t expect it either at this price point. A pivoting visor moves to tune shade but is also flexible so it doesn’t twist your neck in a crash.
Ten vents aid airflow over the head and help maintain the low weight (in combination with the thinner outer shell that’s slightly flexible and bendy if you squish it). Pads inside between the skull and outer are on the thinner side too, but whether you like fat cushy pads or skinny ones will be a personal preference. One benefit of being thinner, though, is the helmet sits closer to the head so there’s a more streamlined look; I’d argue the squared-off, angular shape looks good and is closer to a stylish, Troy Lee-style DH full-face than a bulbous motorbike lid.
The Mongoose Title is presumably not exclusively targeting Mongoose owners, but the huge brand logo wrapping around the whole helmet here might be a little off-putting for some riders seeking subtler graphics. Mongoose also offers a much more stealth, matte black colorway and, to be fair, the goggle strap that most riders will use with this helmet lives in the channel littered with the logo anyway and obscures it once you’re actually riding.
Most of the vents are in the lower part of the helmet and chin guard area, rather than on top of the skull. Two vents feed onto the side of the forehead and another pair of exhaust ports lie at rear of the skull. This minimal venting delivers a pretty clean look and the chin protector is also a decent, modern, sculpted shape with mesh lining and air ducts that look aggro without overdoing it.
Aside from the noisy graphics hurting your eyes, the Mongoose Title does a good job of protecting all your other senses. There are no annoying creaks or squeaks while riding rough trails and outward vision from inside is great – there’s a broad viewing window and no brow edges or visor interrupting your line of vision, even scanning far down the trail. I tried both Leatt and Smith goggles with the Title and both worked fine; there was no pressure on the bridge of the nose either, which is a common issue you can get with some full-face lids where the “window“ is tighter.
Mongoose’s helmet feels light on your head, but the padding is definitely on the thin side, so there’s less of a fully wrapped and “cosseted” fit here. It also doesn’t really feel like you’re inside a stiff and secure downhill helmet with the shell being a bit thin and the chin guard more flexible than plenty of DH lids either (admittedly many of these will be a bit heavier and pricier). The sensation comes over more like a convertible lid and extends to the way the main shell is less planted on your head than lids with thick padding and cushioned tensioning dials. In fact, on really rough downhills and dropping-off steps or landing jumps the Title can occasionally waggle back and forwards a bit.
A further downside of the thinner padding is it also doesn’t absorb as much sweat as thicker pads. This wasn’t an issue testing in spring conditions, but I can imagine the interior getting really hot in summer as way less air pumps through over the scalp compared to full-face helmets littered with many more top vents.
Being spoilt by helmets costing hundreds of pounds, I’m used to a stiffer main chassis and significantly better ventilation than the Mongoose Title delivers. The price, looks, and weight are decent but, despite the DH certification, this feels more like a “mucking about” helmet than something approaching a DH racing helmet. A bit flimsy, it doesn’t wrap around the scalp as securely or offer extra rotational protection like some rivals in this price bracket (such as the Leatt MTB 1.0 DH, which offers rotational impact protection and a Polycarbonate shell for similar cash; and the Bell Sanction, which is very similar to the Title for a little extra cash, depending on conversion rates). With fewer vents, the Mongoose Title also runs hot in warmer weather.
Tech Specs: Mongoose Title full-face helmet
- Style: Full-face with ABS plastic shell and chin guard
- Weight (adult Medium): 840g
- Colors: Matte Black / Team Grey & Orange (tested)
- Sizes: Youth S, M, L. Adult XS, S, M, L, XL
- Price: $99 (US) / Not currently available in the UK (except on import)