Inside Bell Helmets and the Development of the Full-9 1

<b>"Born in a garage, fueled by grease and will, guided by pure intent..." - These are the beginnings of Bell.</b>

<b>Decades of history line the wall inside Bell's headquarters in Scotts Valley, California, including the 1989 Moto-5.</b>

<b>The early 1980's BMX explosion yielded the world's first full-face bike helmet, paving the way for the next few decades.</b>

<b>If there's a quote that screams Bell, this is it. Aided by confidence in their gear, Bell's athletes have been innovators and pace setters since the beginning.</b>

<b>The James Stewart inspired Moto-9 paved the way for Bell's latest downhill specific helmet.</b>

<b>Introducing the Full-9. Two years in the making, it's finally here.</b>

<b>From Proto-9 to Full-9, the new lid has been tested at the World Cup level. - Photos by Sven Martin and Duncan Philpott</b>

<b>Even with a proven prototype in the Moto-9, the bike specific Full-9 was built from the ground up.</b>

<b>Aaron Gwin's input was an integral part of the Full-9's development. It took several revisions before he signed off on the design.</b>

<b>Even though Gwin is no longer with the brand, this poster says it all. Bell was proud to work with him.</b>

<b>Bell's design process is second to none. Clay models, "eggs," CAD drawings, and 3D-prints along the way.</b>

<b>Try and try again until it's perfect - that's lead designer Amy Martin's way. This was her baby from start to finish.</b>

<b>Bell "set out to build the most fully featured bike helmet ever," and they've done just that for a $400 price tag.</b>

<b>Silver embedded X-Static padding keeps your face clean and helmet smelling fresh.</b>

<b>An integrated, removable camera/light mount eliminates the need for stick-on alternatives.</b>

<b>With safety at the center of the Full-9 project, Amy Martin is developing a new breakaway standard.</b>

<b>The fit is snug, but it'll give when it needs to.</b>

<b>Run it if you want it, or take it off it you don't. The camera mount is sleek and slim.</b>

<b>Breakaway visor screws function in a similar manner.</b>

<b>Thinking ahead, Bell made the Full-9 Eject System compatible. Medics inflate the Eject bladder to safely remove your helmet after a crash.</b>

<b>Soundtrax speaker pockets allow the clean use of earbuds or a purpose built speaker system.</b>

<b>Note the deep channels that run through the helmet and out the back.</b>

<b>The Overbrow Ventilation System is Bell's best ventilation solution to date, and they've come up with some good ones before.</b>

<b>First seen on the Moto-9, the Magnefusion cheekpads are easily removable while the helmet is still on.</b>

<b>Three sizable magnets keep things secure.</b>

<b>Lab tested and proven, the Full-9 exceeds several safety standards.</b>

<b>SMASH! While we can't imagine crashing this hard, it's reassuring to know that'll hold up. Tests are done for all sizes and in various environmental conditions.</b>

<b>Ever wondered if your helmet was toast? Painted EPS foam gives a visual that's hard to miss.</b>

<b>The UD carbon shell helps keep the weight to 1050 grams (2.3 pounds). Is a fiberglass version on the horizon? It's certainly possible...</b>

<b>The Full-9 is purpose built for a reason...</b>

<b>...and that reason has been researched thoroughly.</b>

<b>Several years ago Bell built the Bellistic, the first downhill specific full-face.</b>

<b>Now they're re-staking a claim with the Full-9.</b>

<b>March 23rd marks the official launch of the Full-9, and the continuation of Bell's mission. "Bell is back," and in a big way.</b>

There are few companies with a heritage and experience that run as deep as Bell Helmets. Combining the info, history, and knowledge gained from being at the forefront of dozens of sports, their helmets lay claim to many safety milestones and innovations. We recently stopped by their California headquarters to chat with Benny Cruickshank, Amy Martin, and Shannan Valette about the brand and their latest creation, the Full-9. Coming in at $400, the new downhill specific helmet incorporates more well thought-out features than we've ever seen before.

Once you're familiar with where it came from, be sure to catch the Vital MTB Bell Full-9 helmet review as well.
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1 comment
  • sspomer

    3/18/2013 2:27 PM

    the breakaway camera mount is killer!

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