Sweet Protection

Dissenter MIPS Helmet

This summer, TotalMTB hooked me up with a brand I’d never heard of, for some new riding kit I needed which they needed reviewing. Enter Sweet Protection and their Dissenter mountain bike helmet. In the stylish British Racing Green I’d opted for, I was very impressed by how good this helmet looked when it arrived on my doorstep. Having ridden in it plenty of times throughout the summer, here’s what I think….

The model I chose included the MIPS liner because I really value this technology and believe that it can make all the difference if the worst thing happened and I hit my head when I fall (which I do more regularly than I would like to admit!). The Dissenter model helmet can also be purchased without a MIPS liner for a lower cost, so a buyer can make their own choice on what’s right for them. The M/L size fits my head comfortably and the adjustable mechanism they call the Occigrip Turn Dial accommodates for when I’m wearing a headband under the helmet to keep my ears warm, so I can always get that snug fit. Once it’s on my head and buckled up, it feels secure and doesn’t move around at all. That alone provides a sense of safety for me.

The chin strap has a standard buckle rather than any of the different types of clasps found on a range of Enduro/Downhill helmets from other manufacturers. Perhaps the trend is moving away from this type of buckle/clasp to something that is more robust and reliable on impact, but I’ve never known one of this traditional style to fail, so I’m quite happy with this for now.

With lots of ventilation I haven’t once felt the need to take the helmet off because I was too hot, and at 370g I almost forget I have it on sometimes, it really is that comfortable. This level of comfort is almost surprising considering that there seems to be less padding in this helmet than others I’ve owned in the past, it must just fit my head perfectly. However, as an amateur Gravity Enduro racer, I am used to putting the miles in and working up a sweat. I did find that the small piece of padding that sits against my forehead would reach saturation point much sooner than I’ve experienced with my previous helmets, meaning I’d have sweat dripping down my brow and into my eyes much earlier into a ride. This is definitely not a welcome addition to the ride, especially during a downhill race stage. To counteract this issue, I found myself wearing a bandana under the helmet in summer to soak up my perspiration, which worked a treat. Then as the temperature dropped through autumn and into winter, wearing the extra layer around my head to keep my ears warm also takes care of that problem. Despite the issues I found with the sweat, the pads still look like new and most importantly smell clean, despite never having been washed yet. The anti-bacterial properties of this padding must work exactly as it claims it should.

I love the matte effect finish of the paint, and in one of my favourite colours too. When I look at the helmet up close now, there are plenty of somewhat glossy scuffs on it where the colour has darkened ever so slightly. This is probably from all the low branches in the woods, where I’ve ducked just enough to avoid being hit in the face, but the helmet has taken the slap instead. With that said, none of the marks have removed any of the green paint to show whatever colour is underneath, so from more than a few feet away, I really can’t tell that it’s even been worn.

As a rider who likes to wear an action camera to capture all the fun (and all the unexpected falls), there are a few things to note…

The Dissenter helmet doesn’t come with any official insert well known camera brand here mount built in from the factory. It does however, have a large space in the centre of the top of the head where a sticky pad mount could be placed if a rider wished to do so.

The helmet also has a particularly small visor, which I think looks great and yet is still practical enough to keep the evening sun out of my eyes. However, if a rider prefers to place an action camera below (or indeed, on top of) a visor, there is simply not enough space to stick a standard sticky pad mount.

 

All in all, I am very pleased with this Sweet Protection Dissenter MIPS helmet, and would thoroughly recommend it to fellow riders. At a very competitive price within a growing market, Sweet Protection have come up with the goods here. I’ll continue to use it for trail riding and training sessions, but going into the 2020 Gravity Enduro season, I think I’ll opt for a little more protection for race days. My current full-face helmet is far too heavy and hot for Enduro races, because you are not permitted to ride without the helmet on the transition sections where you pedal between the downhill stages. I have my eye on the new Sweet Protection Arbitrator Helmet which looks perfect for the Enduro race scene. With a detachable chin guard, the Arbitrator may be just what I need for the full-face protection on the race stages with the open-face comfort for the transitions. Watch this space…

Review written by: Adam

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