Mountain bikes are in a bit of a heyday. There are few bad options out there and even an average bike will have you riding faster, and often going bigger, than it would have just a few years ago. While that means riding is more fun than ever, it also means what we expect from our helmets should shift to match. German helmet brand ABUS has two options that take two very different approaches to providing more coverage in a trail-ready helmet. The CliffHanger and the AirDrop.
The two ABUS helmets both provide good coverage but prioritize different elements of safety and design. We’re looking at the full-face AirDrop and the more standard-looking half-shell CliffHanger to show the highlights of each style and, hopefully, help you figure out which design works best for your riding style.
ABUS CliffHanger MIPS
Starting from the traditional half-shell design, ABUS extends the CliffHanger down the back and sides of the skull to provide more coverage suitable for faster riding and harder trails. The open design keeps the CliffHanger feeling light (a medium is 350g) while eight entry ports and six large exit ports keep air moving through the EPS foam and hard shell. The helmet is designed to work with sunglasses or goggles, including an adjustable visor that moves up enough to keep goggles in place while not in use.
A Fidlock magnetic clasp is easy to use and secure. If you do fall, a MIPS liner provides rotational impact protection. ABUS also designed this half-shell to work with QUIN, its crash detection chip sensor / app combo. The CliffHanger comes in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large.
Riding the CliffHanger
The CliffHanger is immediately comfortable. The large fits on the bigger side but, with suitable range on the fit system, it was easy to get it to sit right. I tend to sit between medium and large helmets, depending on brand, and the extra coverage on the CliffHanger did occasionally bump up against some larger sunglasses (think 100%) or goggles. I could easily have sized down and still felt comfortable with the coverage and fit. Some versions of MIPS liners can catch hair but, even with longer hair, ABUS’s design was always comfortable.
ABUS AirDrop MIPS
A more recent addition for ABUS, the AirDrop is the German brand’s first fixed-chinbar full face helmet. This brings the brand from trail into the realm of enduro race, downhill and eMTB. Really, anyone that wants more coverage and protection of the additional chinbar.
Deisgned to work…