The Bell Super is one of the new breed of “enduro” style helmets that seem to be popping up in every brand’s lineup. The idea is to provide more head coverage and protection for riders who are attacking the downs, but who also have to pedal uphill and don’t want to be encumbered with full face DH helmets.
The Super meets that goal with more helmet at the rear of the head and over the ears than what you would have seen a couple years ago from a typical mountain bike lid. It has some interesting features like a dedicated GoPro mount that’s detachable and a large adjustable visor that is big enough to really block out the sun or protect your eyes from rain.
The sizing runs a bit large on these helmets so it’s worth trying on before you buy and if you are between sizes I’d recommend going for the smaller one. I typically wear a L/XL and the large Super just fits me with the retention system as tight as it will go and the medium is a much better fit. It has an easy to adjust fit system with a retention dial at the back you can tweak with gloves on. The padding is two-piece and is removable for washing. The Super fits my big head really well and comes down low on all sides for great coverage. If you have a smaller than average melon you might find it comes down too low – particularly at the brow and ear.
I’ve been using this helmet during the winter months so testing out its venting performance is going to have to wait until summer. The Super has a lot of vents (something like 25) and I think it will be great for our climate since crazy hot days are rare.
The fit and finish quality is excellent. It looks well-constructed and up to the task of being trashed on the trails. The Super looks more burly than a XC helmet, but Bell has kept the bulk in check so it does look like you are riding around with a styrofoam cooler on your head. 😉 You can buy the Super in white, black, black with white stripe, bright green and red. Most of the colours look good, but I think the red is fairly dull looking like it’s been in the sun too long.
If you are a goggle user the Super was designed to interface with them and there is room to push the goggles up under the visor when you are climbing. If want to remove the visor Bell includes a set of goggle guides that mount on the sides to keep your goggle straps in place. I haven’t tried the Super with goggles so I won’t comment, but it works fine with sunglasses.
All this coverage comes with a bit of a weight penalty. The large Super weighs 414g or nearly 100g more than some of its competition. However, the Super fits so well on my head that I would have guessed it was on the lighter end of the enduro helmet spectrum so I wouldn’t let the extra grams turn you off.
As far as protection value the Super is CE EN1078 and CPSC Bicycle certified and the excellent coverage bodes well for your head should you crash. Sharon suggested I pedal into a brick wall on my bike to test out the Super, but I declined. My interest in bicycle journalism only goes so far! 😉
With a MSRP of $125USD the Super is a reasonable value and priced in line with its peers.