Editor's Note: This review is part of the Mtbr All Mountain Helmet Shootout.
The Bell Super is one of the new breed of helmets solely designed to address the demands of All Mountain riding and Enduro racing. Some of these needs are for more coverage, a better and more flexible visor system, and compatibility with goggles and even Gopro POV systems.
So the Bell Super went out and attacked all these needs and came up with a great looking helmet available in a ton of designs and colors. The helmet is affordable at $125 but is hefty at 390 grams.
Fit, Pads and Retention System
One of the best things about the Bell Super its ability to fit a lot of heads. While most folks are divided into the round or oval head (viewed from the top) the Bell Super seems to accommodate both. There is a generous amount of one-piece padding in the helmet and it is able to adjust to many heads and minimize hot spots where the high spots of the head contact the helmet shell. That being said, we find the shell shape to be narrow along upper left and right corners of our head. The retention system with the speed dial and padding makes up for it by giving a snug fit, the shell shape itself is not ideal for the 'oval' head of tester.
Ventilation is addressed by 25 vents, which is the most in this shootout. But the number of vents is not everything since the size of these vents is not very big. And of course, the bigger the square area of the shell, the more vents one can put. Something cool though is there are four air ports on the brow of the helmet that can direct air flow through the helmet, right above the rider's eyebrows. With the big visor on the Bell Super helping guide the air, these over brow ports should work well. And although the vents of the Bell Super are not big, they seem to get bigger when viewed from the inside of the helmet. Also, there are channels inside the helmet that seem to direct air from front to back.
Did it work? Well, not really. We set up a ventilation test and this turned out to be one of the warmer helmets in the shootout. There's plenty of vents but they're not that big and the front vents do not provide a good entry for air. The visor has holes but the path of least resistance for the air is to go up and over the helmet. However, when when we put the visor up, the helmet performed much better in the test as air was channelled into the front ports to provide good air flow inside the helmet.
Continue to page 2 for more on the Bell Super and a full photo gallery »
Goggle and Glasses Compatibility
Goggles is where the Bell Super excels! Our test Scott goggles fit in perfectly with the Bell Super. And when not in use, such as during long climbs, the visor can be tilted up to reveal a perfect spot for the goggles. If the rider chooses to remove the visor, Bell has goggle tabs that keep the straps in place when the goggles are stored in the unused position. The goggle tabs are interesting but are more trouble than they're worth since it's simpler to just place the goggle straps lower in the back to secure the goggles.
Sunglasses are ok with the Bell Super but putting them on can be difficult since the sides of the helmet drop so low near the ear. To put on glasses, the arms should be angled up so the arms slide in to position.
Extras, Weight and Value
One of the nice design features of the Bell Super is GoPro mount compatibility. One of the vents serves as receiver for a Gopro as the mount is velcro'd in to place and the straps are covered by pads. It would have been nice to have a bike light mount as well in addition to the Gopro mount as a small handlebar 'tube' will accommodate most bike lights.
Weight is portly at 396 grams as the Bell Super is the second heaviest helmet in our Shootout. Price is a very reasonable at $125 given all the features of this helmet.
This helmet is a great value and is reason for many mountain bikers to ditch their road helmets and buy a new one this season. Some of the features like the Gopro mount, Goggle tabs and hard side protection may be overkill and add to the weight and cost of this helmet. But given the fit, padding and retention and good aesthetics of this helmet, it is a winner.
- Price: $125.00
- Claimed Weight: 390 grams
- Measured Weight: 396 grams
- Number of Vents: 25
- Visor: Adjustable
- Retention System: Speed Dial Fit
- Padding: X-Static
For more information visit www.bellhelmets.com.
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