Review|Bell Super Helmet

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The word ‘enduro’ is a hot topic of conversation in mountain biking right now and one that the industry has embraced to the point of overload. For me it’s not that manufactures are making new products and bikes for this new discipline or riding style, but that they have finally caught up with the style of riding that most have us have been doing since we picked up a bike; going out into the woods and having fun. Not one to be being pigeon holed into a category, there have been some great products released under this new banner or aggressive riding on a short travel bike and more notable than most, is this, the Super from Bell…


Helmet manufacturers have been making trail helmets that give a bit more protection around the back of the head (compared to a traditional XC lid) for some time now, but with the arrival of the ‘enduro’ word in the MTB dictionary, the trail helmet has had a new direction, a new purpose, and a podium place that can make big sales for those leading the charge. Bell’s flagship All Mountain helmet is the Super, a helmet packed full of features and the looks that mean business for those who like to get wild on their ‘little bikes’. So lets look at what makes the Bell Super stand out from the other big names.

Bell Super Main Features

  • Goggle Guide adjustable visor system – For me this is the biggest selling feature for this helmet and one that makes it stand out from the rest of the new bread of trail helmets. Yes you can put goggles on most helmets but this helmet has been made to accommodate a set of goggles in a way that you won’t lose them and they will always be in the right place. You can do this by placing the goggle strap under the edge of the visor or using the unique goggle retention arms.
  • Integrated/removable GoPro camera mount – This feature is a bracket that is made for a GoPro camera (mounts for Contour are available) to be fitted onto it. The bracket neatly fits with the aid of a bit of Velcro into one of the front central air vents. Personally I can live without filming every ride and just live in the moment, but if you are a fan and own a GoPro this is a very useful feature as it is seamlessly integrated into the helmet and you don’t have to leave or keep putting GoPro’s sticky backed mounts onto your helmet.
  • Overbrow Ventilation – When you look into this feature you realise that there has been a lot of thought put into this helmet and what your money is buying you. Here’s what Bell have to say about it: “The Super’s Overbrow Ventilation™ system is tuned for trail riding and actively ushers cool air over the head via four intake ports on the brow of the helmet. A specially designed bridge keeps the ducting free from obstruction while the Super’s air-channel matrix works in concert with the helmet’s 25 vents for maximum high speed airflow, as well as optimized passive ventilation at low speed.”
  • Speed Dial fit system – Most helmets have a adjustable strap at the back to dial in the fit. The Super’s dial is very easy to use even with gloves on. It also locks into place which is means its always set in the position you want it to be, you just push the dial up to unlock it and turn to alter the size.
  • X-Static PaddingThere are a lot of mind blowing technical materials out there. This one is laced with Silver!! Click this link to find out more on X-Static
bell super back

The first think you notice is the amount of large holes in the helmet making up a total of 25 vents in all. Then there is the long back that tells you it offers a bit more protection than the average helmet. The fit is good and there is a good helping of padding inside although I did have a bit of an issue with the fitting around the adjustable cradle at the back. As the helmet comes so far down at the back, this also meant that the cradle at the back sat very low.

When I had my head tilted back the cradle would dig into the back of my neck, but luckily there are three positions in the shell allowing you to alter the hight of the cradle. I ended up adjusting it into the highest position which tucked the cradle up into the helmet. This removed the problem and made the fit even better.

When you first put the Helmet on you know that your not using a light weight XC lid. There is a bit of noticeable extra weight, but it’s still relativity light at 390g. You’re buying this helmet for extra protection (and gnarly looks!) and I think Bell have done a good job of bringing this helmet in at such a respectable weight and it certainly doesn’t feel heavy on the trail.

Ventilation is also very good for this style of helmet and the sweat doesn’t just poor out of it as soon as you stop unlike some other helmets I have used…

bell super front

Now lets get back to the feature that makes this helmet really stand for me; goggle fit. The open face helmet and goggle look is an interesting one… Some might say Euro or Enduro. For me its a, “I don’t care, I’m just here to have as much fun as possible look!” – I can remember one winter probably about 10 years ago and I used to wear a piss pot (it was Bell Fraction, which links it all up nicely) with goggles on, and just playing about in the forest riding to all the good sections to then put the goggles on and blasting the bike in the mud! It was a such good time and probably those memories of just riding a bike without a care in the world made the Super stand out as a helmet to pursue. Nowadays if I go for a play on the local mini DH track on the trail bike, I sometimes still rock this look.

As I have already said you can put goggles on many open face helmets but there is always compromise. The Super is designed to accommodate and look after them. You are never going to wear your goggles for 100% of the ride. Only the good bits, so when not in use you can just pull them up quickly and they stay put and don’t move around or worse, pop off the helmet. This is down to the way the goggle strap sits under the edge of the visor or sits under the goggle retention arms. What impressed me the most was the fact them when you pulled them back down onto your face they were always in the right position. I could even just pull them down with one hand whilst riding and I was good to go.

The first ride I had with the Super on, the conditions couldn’t have been better. It was at a trail centre and we had just had a week of heavy rain. This meant big puddles of standing water in all the good bits… Hitting these water logged sections was so much fun and  just hitting puddles with my eyes wide open was a real pleasure. Not squinting and trying to ride round the edge of them, and instead just blasting through the middle! Pulling the goggles over your face to hit a section also made me the ride feel different. I just felt more in “the zone” and more focused, and concentrated on the track.

The one thing I did realise was that 10 years ago the dropper post wasn’t invented. I used to stop to put my seat down, goggles on and go. The problem with the Dropper is you don’t stop all the time before a fun section, I was pressing the Reverb button then having to take a hand off the bars to pull the goggles down. Now if Bell could make a remote to pull the goggles down that would be awesome! One other problem I remember from riding with goggles on a XC rides was that when you did finally have them positioned on you helmet without them popping off to climb up to the next good bit. They would steam up from the heat around the helmet, so you ended up putting on foggy goggles. I didn’t have this problem at all with the Super – it might have been due to the Overbrow Ventilation system allowing a channel of air to pass under the vents where the goggles sit on top of the helmet, but it was a relief to have fog free goggles I can tell you!

Bell super goggle

Now this is were it starts to get a bit controversial; peak on or off? You can run the Super in either one of two ways when running it with goggles…. With the peak on, you can push the peak right up giving you just enough room to sit the goggle on the front of the helmet without them getting in the way. I found that the peak sticks up quite high if you go for this option. Also: the opening along the bottom edge of the peak to sit the goggle strap into is quite tight for the initial set up of positioning the goggles, but it all work whilst still having the peak on.

So why have a option to remove the peak? If you like the idea, then why not embrace it!? That’s exactly what the peakless option offers you. Its just the same ideas as the peak option, but everything is just a little bit better. Fitting the supplied goggle retention arms is very easy and tool free. The screws on the peak are big and chunky so you can remove them (or adjust the peak) with just your hands. With the goggle retention arms fitted there is a much larger (and deeper) gap to fit the goggle strap, plus a useful hook that just happens to be the same shape as the vents for the goggles to sit when in the up position. The goggles can also sit higher on the helmet so they are completely out of view when you look out of the helmet with them up. Yes the look is a bit odd, but odd is not always a bad thing… One good point about this option is that with the peak off, the helmet looks more like a skate lid then a road lid.

The retail price for the Super is £99.99 in the UK, which might seem a bit on the high side for a trail helmet, but it is packed full of features and protection. We would all spend that if not more on a DH lid and in a age where most so called DH rides spend as much time on a trail bike as a DH bike, then the price doesn’t seem as bad? It probably works out very cheap if you were to compare the actual amount of time riding your bike over the price of the helmet compared to DH.

Bell super Collage


After a few months in the Super, I can honestly say how awesome it is and can easily see many reasons to buy this helmet. You might be a rider that just enjoys getting out on a ride and pushing your limits and want a helmet which offers a bit more protection. You might be a GoPro nut and dig the neat integrated mount, or you might be an eager Enduro racer who wants to pull the goggles down (if your not in a rule abiding event in a full-face?) and want to be in the zone when hitting a timed stage. Or you could just be a goggle wearing, wide eyed woodland slayer who wants a rad looking helmet with the features to match? For me, it’s a solid trail helmet with the option to properly run goggles, increase protection and look like it was designed for the kind of riding me and my mates spend most of our time doing. Do I recommend the Super? You bet I do!

Bell helmets are exclusively distributed in the UK by Zyro and for more on the Super and Bell’s line of helmets, tap the logo below. See you trail side with your goggles down, Tom!




In Reviews


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