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Sweet Protection Ripper helmet review

Sweet Protection’s Ripper has it's signature Swedish style at a newly affordable price. How does the simplified, single size design work on the trail though?

Sweet Protection Ripper MIPS helmet
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Bike Perfect Verdict

A good looking, enhanced protection helmet that works okay, but single fit option definitely favours larger, rounder heads

Pros

  • +

    Stylish looks

  • +

    Enhanced and extended protection

  • +

    Affordable price

  • +

    Reasonable ventilation

Cons

  • -

    One size doesn’t fit all

  • -

    MIPS makes it hotter

The Ripper drops the price of Sweet Protection helmets into a whole new bracket, but still delivers its signature style and MIPS cradle protection - it's a genuine option in terms of the best mountain bike helmets. Overall cooling is okay rather than outstanding though and the single sizing definitely works better for bigger heads.

Performance 

Ripper might hit a whole new price point for the Swedish brand but it’s still definitely a Sweet Protection design taking visual cues and shaping from its more expensive Trailblazer and Bushwhacker helmets. There’s extended coverage behind the ears and you get a full MIPS liner to reduce rotational force transfer in a crash. The adjustable OCCIGRIP cradle is slightly simpler, but the dial mechanism is still crisply finished. While the straps are attached internally rather than in the edge of the shell, and the lower edges are exposed to drop damage, the buckles are decent quality.  

Twelve mid to large vents over the top and front of the shell give reasonable venting when you’re moving and some radiation cooling when you’re crawling up a climb. Internal channelling is shallow however and the yellow plastic MIPS liner creates a lot of direct contact which can make it sweaty. There is a non-MIPS version for £49.99 that vents better. While it comes in five colours Sweet Protection have minimised production costs by only producing one size of Ripper. This is intended to cover a 51-63cm fit range but even with the fatter option of the two pad sets installed it definitely favours bigger heads as there is masses of overhang and free movement otherwise, even with the cradle cranked up. The fixed peak doesn’t project any further into your eye line than the lower helmet rim either, so it’s more cosmetic than weather protective.

Verdict

If you’ve got a big head and want Enduro style extended protection with or without MIPS then Ripper is a stylish and affordable option. Cooling performance is okay rather than amazing though and the single size fit definitely works better for bigger heads.

Tech spec: Sweet Protection Ripper MIPS helmet  

  • Weight: 372g 
  • Colours: 5
  • Price: $89.95 / £79.95

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg