Bell Super DH Helmet

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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Bell Super DH Helmet Bell Super DH Helmet
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Two Helmets in One - Bell's New Super DH is Built for Today's Rides

As speeds continue to increase on all-mountain and enduro bikes, Bell's new Super DH helmet adapts quickly from general trail use to downhill shredding thanks to a removable chin bar.

Rating: Vital Review
Two Helmets in One - Bell's New Super DH is Built for Today's Rides

Just a few years ago we were all wrapped up in full body amor and burly helmets while racing our downhill bikes. Today's enduro-craze has us racing and riding the same trails at the same speeds on smaller bikes with less protection. Seems odd, doesn't it? Enter the convertible helmet – one where you can go from something suitable for trail riding and climbing to full-on downhill gnar with the flip of a few clasps – as a solution to keep us all protected. Riders who can only afford one helmet or those who want to climb without the airflow restrictions of a dedicated full face will be pleased with the new Bell Super DH while smashing Read More »

Just a few years ago we were all wrapped up in full body amor and burly helmets while racing our downhill bikes. Today's enduro-craze has us racing and riding the same trails at the same speeds on smaller bikes with less protection. Seems odd, doesn't it? Enter the convertible helmet – one where you can go from something suitable for trail riding and climbing to full-on downhill gnar with the flip of a few clasps – as a solution to keep us all protected. Riders who can only afford one helmet or those who want to climb without the airflow restrictions of a dedicated full face will be pleased with the new Bell Super DH while smashing high-consequence singletrack.Not only does this version look better than ever, but it also integrates a new MIPS Spherical system that protects against a broader range of impacts.

We had the opportunity to catch up with super-shredder Bryn Atkinson for a closer look at the new design and a quick rip on Whistler's trails:

Super DH Highlights

  • Meets ASTM 1952-00 DH // ASTM F2032-06 BMX // CPSC Bicycle // CE EN1078 certifications
  • Tool-free detachable chin bar
  • MIPS Spherical energy management
  • Progressive dual-density EPS/EPP foam layering
  • Fusion in-mold polycarbonate shell
  • Snap-in breakaway camera/light mount
  • Overbrow ventilation
  • 19 helmet vents, 4 chin bar vents, 2 brow ports
  • Goggle friendly visor adjustment
  • Adjustable Float Fit DH system
  • Magnetic Fidlock buckle
  • Sweat guide
  • X-Static padding
  • No-Twist Tri-Glide strap management
  • Sizes: S / M / L (52-62cm)
  • Weight: 850g (size medium)
  • Colors: Black, Black/Gum, Copper, Red/White/Black Recourse, Yellow/Smoke/Black Recourse, White/Emerald/Hibiscus Recourse
  • MSRP: $300 USD
  • Available: December 2017

MIPS Spherical

The Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is a slip-plane technology developed to reduce rotational forces in the event of a crash. Bell's Super DH introduces the next evolution of the system.

Modeled after a ball-and-socket style interface, the helmet uses two independent foam layers of different densities. The firmer EPS foam on the outside is designed to absorb high-speed impacts while the softer EPP foam surrounding your head improves protection in low-speed scenarios. Each layer has a thin hard shell, and the MIPS Spherical slip-plane is integrated between the layers with elastomers to hold things in place and return it to center. Moving the inner layer around with our fingers we noted a much wider range of controlled movement than the sometimes noisy and jiggly older MIPS versions. In addition, Bell says they've been able to improve the helmet's ventilation by moving to MIPS Spherical.

Initial Impressions

Until recently, most helmets of this style have been downright ugly, but Bell succeeded in improving both form and function over the Super 3R. In our opinion, this lid looks good as both a half shell and a full face.

The chin bar is noticeably stiffer and easier to install than the previous version. Aided by an improved rear clasp, it's just a matter of lining things up (which the design helps you do), flipping three buckles, and you're off.

When the trail points back uphill, removing the chin bar creates a noticeable increase in air flow and makes it easier to breathe. Though large, the wrap-around chin bar design is easy to secure to a pack, and Bell is working on a lightweight carrying accessory for riders who want to ride without a bag.

Those looking to record the fun or light up the trail will be pleased with the new spring-loaded camera/light mount that takes just seconds to install and is much more secure than the old velcro version.

Bell's focus on improving the fit was apparent to dozens of people who tried it on in our presence, with the new head form, 4-position height adjustment, and dial cinch system allowing everyone to find the perfect combination for their dome. The adjustable Float Fit DH system gently tightens small plastic straps and padding around your head nearly 360-degrees, essentially creating a custom fit for everyone without any hot spots.

Bell's focus on improving the fit was apparent to dozens of people who tried it on in our presence, with the new head form, 4-position height adjustment, and dial cinch system allowing everyone to find the perfect combination for their dome.

Securing the helmet with the magnetic FidLock clasp is very easy, although it's quite large and can be mildly irritating when cinched up tight under the chin.

Sweat management and venting are excellent. It's one of those "Why did it take so long for someone to do this?" things, but the addition of a small piece of padding extending outward from the brow makes sweat drip further in front of your face, goggles, or glasses, preventing them from getting drenched and blurring your vision. We rode the helmet on two very hot days with nothing but good things to report back.

Combined with a large viewing area that works well with a variety of goggle sizes, overall the new Super DH is an excellent evolution of the convertible helmet design and one we'd be happy to wear on any ride.

Vital MTB First Ride Rating: 4.5 Stars - Outstanding


Also New - Sixer Helmet

Bell's 2018 line includes a few other big updates, including the new Sixer, Sixer Joyride, 4Forty, and Hela helmets.

The Sixer and Sixer Joyride are the brand's new top-of-the-line half shell helmets, replacing the 2017 Super half shell with a new shape and styling. Similar to the Super DH, the Sixer uses dual-density foam materials to protect from a wider range of impacts. Unlike the Super DH, the two layers are combined and the MIPS system is integrated into the Float Fit Race system on the inside. Bell's focus on ventilation is apparent on this lid as well, with the Dual Flow ventilation system creating paths for air to enter and exit better than standard vents. It fits similar to the Super DH with the Float Fit Race system gently hugging your noggin.

Sixer Highlights

  • Meets CPSC Bicycle // CE EN1078 certifications
  • MIPS energy management
  • Progressive dual-density EPS/EPP foam layering
  • Fusion in-mold polycarbonate shell
  • Snap-in breakaway camera/light mount
  • Dual Flow ventilation
  • 26 vents, 4 brow ports
  • Goggle friendly 4-position visor adjustment
  • Goggle gripper
  • Adjustable Float Fit Race system
  • Sweat guide
  • X-Static padding
  • No-Twist Tri-Glide strap management
  • Sizes: S / M / L / XL (52-65cm)
  • Weight: 410g (size medium)
  • Colors: Black, Black/Retina Sear, White/Black, Hibiscus/Black, Copper/Black, Emerald/Black
  • Joyride (Women's) Colors: White/Cherry Stone, Navy/Cherry Fibers, Lead/Iceberg Dissolve
  • MSRP: $150 USD
  • Available: November 2017
Time spent in our helmets is a precious escape from the day to day. The name of the game is seizing the moment, going hard, and having fun. Our job is to help protect them, to inspire them, to cultivate confidence, and to get out of the way.

Also New - 4Forty & Hela Helmets

If you're looking for value, these helmets replace the Stoker in Bell's lineup and offer many of the same features as the Sixer at a reduced cost. You lose the dual-density foam, camera mount, several vents, 4-position visor, goggle gripper, and X-Static padding, but the helmet is a good deal lighter and there's an option to get a MIPS-equipped version. 

4Forty & Hela Highlights

  • Meets CPSC Bicycle // CE EN1078 certifications
  • Optional MIPS energy management
  • Fusion in-mold polycarbonate shell
  • 15 vents
  • Goggle friendly visor adjustment
  • Adjustable Float Fit system
  • Sweat guide
  • No-Twist Tri-Glide strap management
  • Sizes: S / M / L / XL (52-65cm)
  • Weight: 338g (non-MIPS size medium) // 380g (with MIPS size medium)
  • Colors: Black, Retina Sear/Black, Hibiscus/Smoke, Copper/Black, Gunmetal/Tropic, Pacific/Black, Smoke/Pear
  • Hela (Women's) Colors: White/Cherry Fibers, Navy/Cherry Fibers, Lead Stone
  • MSRP: $95 USD (Integrated MIPS) // $75 USD (Non-MIPS)
  • Available: October 2017

Bell's continued focus on improving protection is obvious in each of their new lids, and we dig these new feature-packed, rigorously tested helmets that offer riders the trust in their equipment that's needed to charge even harder. Visit www.bellhelmets.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Brandon Turman - Age: 31 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.4kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a Mechanical Engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what’s what.

Video by Vince Smith // Music by Lame Drivers under Creative Commons // Photos by Paris Gore and Brian Chapel

Rate review: +2 Up Down
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Specifications

Product Bell Super DH Helmet
Riding Type Downhill, Freeride, Trail
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 19 helmet vents, 4 chin bar vents, 2 brow ports
Construction Progressive dual-density EPS/EPP foam layering // Fusion in-mold polycarbonate shell
Adjustable Padding Adjustable Float Fit DH system // Includes two sizes of cheek pads
Certification Meets ASTM 1952-00 DH // ASTM F2032-06 BMX // CPSC Bicycle // CE EN1078 certifications
Bag Included
Size S / M / L (52-62cm)
Colors Black, Black/Gum, Copper, Red/White/Black Recourse, Yellow/Smoke/Black Recourse, White/Emerald/Hibiscus Recourse
Weight 1 lb 14 oz (850 g)
Miscellaneous Tool-free detachable chin bar
MIPS Spherical energy management
Snap-in breakaway camera/light mount
Overbrow ventilation
Goggle friendly visor adjustment
Magnetic Fidlock buckle
Sweat guide
X-Static padding
No-Twist Tri-Glide strap management
Price $300
More Info

​Bell website

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