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Bell Stoker Helmet

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Tested: Bell Stoker Helmet

Rating: Vital Review

by Colt Maule // Projekt Roam

Established in 1954, Bell Helmets exists to 'inspire and enable the next generation of boundary breakers'. The goggle-compatible Bell Stoker Helmet is a go-to, all-mountain helmet with just the right amount of substance and style. Featuring air channeling vents, an adjustable visor, a SpeedDial Fit System, and extended rear coverage, the Stoker keeps you cool and confident while riding any terrain. I brought this helmet along for a few months of road tripping and bike shredding, and I’m glad I did... because it saved my head.

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Bell Stoker Helmet Highlights

  • Airflow Brow Band
  • Channeled Ventilation
  • Coolmax Padding
  • Goggle Compatible
  • SpeedDial Fit System
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Colors: Black/Red Haze, Matte Blue, Matte Glow Green, Matte Safety Orange, White/Silver Haze, Matte Black, Matte Titanium
  • Weight: 316g
  • Vents: 13 vents, 4 brow ports
  • Certification: CE 1078, CPSC Bicycle
  • MSRP: $70.00 USD

Initial Impressions

I pulled this helmet out of the box and was immediately impressed with the quality of helmet $70 could get you. It was comfy and easy to adjust to my head thanks to the SpeedDial Fit System. The flat black color looked great, it didn’t feel bulky or heavy,and I was pleased to have the extra protection the helmet offered for the back of my head in case of a crash.

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Initial fitting of the helmet to my head went very smoothly and was less time consuming than helmets I have used in the past. The SpeedDial Fit System offered a quick way to adjust the helmet without the need to remove or add any padding. The neck straps hung from the helmet in the right spots and were easy to adjust around my ears. Neither too long nor too short, the strap also fit comfortably beneath my chin.

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On The Trail

I took this helmet on the road with me for a few months to wear while riding in different environments. From the desert to the sea, this helmet held up strong, until it met its abrupt end. The temperatures in the areas I visited ranged from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire time on trail, my head felt adequately ventilated and I had minimal brow sweat dripping onto my glasses. The Stoker's adjustments work well and the helmet fits properly, thus it never rattled around or applied awkward pressure on my head. My sunglasses fit in the helmet without any contact and I rarely even noticed the helmet on my head. The short visor stayed up and out of the way, going almost unnoticed, but still offered a sliver of protection from the glaring sun.

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I never thought I would actually find the opportunity to fully test a helmet while testing a helmet, but things don't always go as planned.... isn't that the reason we wear helmets? I took a high-speed digger; my bike high-sided and catapulted me into the air which ended with me slamming my head into the ground. Thankfully, I was wearing the Bell Stoker helmet. It took the brunt of the impact, and I immediately hopped back onto my feet. My friends asked if I was OK to which I honestly replied yes. Then they asked why my helmet looked so funny. I took it off and noticed the crack in the front right temple of the helmet and the missing visor... I shook my head in disbelief, picked the visor up off the ground, snapped it back into the helmet, strapped it on my head, and finished the ride. I have never slammed my head hard enough to crack a helmet, let alone be able to immediately get up and have no adverse side effects. I was thankful I was wearing the Stoker that day. The helmet worked and my head is A-ok!

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Things That Could Be Improved

The matte finish on this helmet shows signs of wear very easily. Within the first day of use the helmet already had scuff marks. After a couple months of constant use, the helmet is scuffed and the area around the visor shows wear marks. Otherwise, I like this helmet as is. Some individuals may prefer more adjustability of the visor, but I felt the visor's placement and size were perfect. I was never worried about the visor coming loose with the lock in system and it still offered minimal adjustment if needed.

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Long Term Durability

Minus stuffing the helmet head first into the ground and cracking it, I've had no issues with durability; straps, buckles, and the visor are still hanging tough. The matte finish on this helmet will scuff easily but this will not adversely impact overall longevity.

What's The Bottom Line?

Bell has been making quality helmets for a long time and it shows. The Bell Stoker Helmet is a good choice of helmet for riders of any skill level. It's simple and affordable, yet stylish and effective. It has good ventilation and it's comfortable. With a full range of sizes and the easy-to-use SpeedDial Fit System, the Stoker should fit most heads out there, providing the protection and confidence that a good helmet should. I liked this helmet and I am pretty bummed I crashed and cracked it. I enjoyed using it and most of the time I forgot it was even on my head. [editor's note: Bell offers a crash replacement program for US customers, which provides a discount on a new replacement helmet following crash damage].

Visit www.bellhelmets.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Colt Maule's mountain biking roots took hold during his youth in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, and bikes have been a part of his life from that point on. Over the past four years, he has submersed himself completely in the world of mountain biking. He travels full time to numerous trail systems and mountainous locations that generally put his long travel or extra squish suspension to good use. Since he spends quite a bit of time in new areas, it's a common theme for Colt to be riding a trail for the first time, pinned with local riders. No matter where he is, his trail style keeps him constantly accelerating; whether he's manualing, popping off rocks and rollers, or railing corners. He's probably happiest though, on a good, technical descent. The benefit of riding a mountain bike full time for a living, in continually changing locations, accompanied by his demanding riding style, allows Colt to put his products to the test in every situation.

Specifications

Product Bell Stoker Helmet
Riding Type Trail
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 13 Vents, 4 Brow Ports
Construction Fusion In-Mold Microshell with Lower Strap Anchor Shell, SpeedDial Fit System, Blade Visor, Cam-Lock Levers, Channeled Ventilation
Adjustable Padding Coolmax Padding
Certification CE 1078 and CPSC Bicycle
Bag
Size S, M, L, and XL
Colors Black/Red Haze, White/Silver Haze, Matte Titanium, Matte Safety Orange, Matte Glow Green, Matte Blue, and Matte Black
Weight 0 lb 11.1 oz (316 g)
Miscellaneous Goggle Compatible
Price $70
More Info

Bell Website

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