Sea Otter Report: First Rides With the Bell Super Helmet

By Mike Cushionbury

Bell’s new $125 Super (available in May) is the company’s first dedicated enduro/trail/all-mountain helmet. It combines the protection of a gravity helmet with the light weight and ventilation of an XC lid. Additionally, there are plenty of other useful features built into the package.

Ventilation comes from 25 ports throughout the Fusion In-Mold Microshell as well as four “Overbrow” vents with an internal air-channel matrix that effectively pushes air through the helmet, providing a noticeable amount of cooling on warm days. An adjustable GoggleGuide system utilizes a visor that articulates 30-degrees upward, allowing goggle users to slide their enduro eyewear up on the brow of the helmet and under the visor when not in use. The visor can also be removed and swapped for included goggle guide tabs to hold the strap in place. With the continued popularity of action video cameras, the Super has a removable GoPro mount. The breakaway mount plugs into the Super’s top vent and puts the camera in a perfect position to film ride action. A rubber shim dampens vibration and once tightened down with the hidden Velcro straps, it stays firmly in place with no detectable movement. Sizes are S, M and L with seven color and design options.

The Super fits low and provides plenty of protection to the back and sides of the head without ever feeling bulky or uncomfortable. Bell’s Speed Dial Fit System is secure an unobtrusive. At 390 grams it’s about 80 to 100 grams heavier than an XC helmet but generally lighter than other helmets in it’s class.

At the Sea Otter Classic I used the Super for cross-country style riding. The days were hot and dusty but that turned out to be fine with me. The Super’s weight wasn’t an issue and the vents did a fine job of cooling as speeds increased on the many fast fireroads of Laguna Seca. Obviously it’s not as useful for XC as a minimalist race cap but once I return to the rocks and roots of eastern Pennsylvania the additional protection might not be such a bad thing for all types of trail riding. One small quibble is that not all sunglass arms will fit comfortably under the low fitting shell around the temple area.

As an enduro or all-mountain specific helmet, the Super hits the mark perfectly. It’s comfortable, well vented and packed with cool features. Look for a long-term test in an upcoming issue.