WHERE WE WERE AND WHERE WE ARE; THE TRAIL HELMET

MY TROY LEE EDGE COMP. IT SERVED ME WELL.
MY TROY LEE EDGE COMP.
IT SERVED ME WELL.

When I look back at all my years of mountain bike riding and racing I have done, then come across something I have kept as a memento from my early days, it makes me think just how far we have progressed with bikes, parts, and riding gear.
While reorganizing my mountain bike area of my garage I came across my first DH helmet. This was one of Troy Lee Designs first helmets that he brought out, sort of, but he did and it was the “Sh_t to have” (read on).
After strolling through memory lane in my mind of those fun DH days, it made me think about what this helmet resembles or more about what it represents today. There’s no way this would be close to a DH helmet by today’s standard. Then it hits me! It’s more like an Enduro or All-Mountain helmet.

THE FUTURE IN THE PAST
It was called the EDGE Comp, but what most of you out there may not know is, the Edge Comp started life with a well-known helmet company. My guess is they thought their name would make the sales in mountain biking, but as we all know this may not be the case and back in the early days of mountain biking this really didn’t work to often by name and reputation alone.

FULL REMOVABLE CHINBAR PROTECTION WITH ONLY FOUR SCREWS
FULL REMOVABLE CHINBAR PROTECTION WITH ONLY FOUR SCREWS

Shoei Helmets brought out their first mountain bike helmet with no chin bar at the time, it was a new cool style XC helmet. Something way different then the traditional XC helmet (which had about as much style as an all foam helmet from KMART).
We go back to 1990, Shoei helmets (big in the moto market) thought to break into the MTB market, calling the new helmet the RC3 it came with no removable chin bar (like the TLD Comp) and looking to capture the XC crowd by storm Shoei was heading in the right direction, or so they thought.
Shoei knowing Troy Lee for being a leading graphics painter in Moto race circles, thought Troy Lee could do something with it, spice it up a bit, make it look COOOOOL.
Troy Lee recognized the potential with the helmet. He tweaked the peak, added a decal graphics package with it so you could make it cool and “BAM” you have a seller.
BIG VENTS KEPT YOU COOL UNDER PRESSURE.
BIG VENTS KEPT YOU COOL UNDER PRESSURE.

Next you have some of the top pro riders at the time wear it, BAM!! Pros loved this helmet, Troy Lee eventually acquired the rights to the RC3 and Troy Lee called it the Edge Comp.
With Downhill becoming more and more popular in the mid 90’s, Troy Lee saw the need for more protection. At this point he added a chinbar that could be removed simply by unscrewing the four screws. suddenly you have the best of both worlds, a DH helmet or an open face XC helmet.
Something we call All-Mountain, Trail, or Enduro helmets today.

THE FUTURE NOW
I started noticing what made this helmet so unique in itself is that when you look at all the features it has, you see what a lot of the newer helmets have in them. The DNA of the Troy Lee EDGE Comp is evident with the new designs out there from Its full rear / side head coverage, removable chinbar, large venting and overall fit, not to mention cool style.

TROY LEE STILL MAKING COOL HELMETS. LOOK AT THE GREAT REAR PROTECTION
TROY LEE STILL MAKING COOL HELMETS.
LOOK AT THE GREAT REAR PROTECTION

I found it funny to look at it and think, “Wow, the new helmets out there today are not that much different in the style and design structure (OK structure is different, but you know what I’m talking about).
FOX ALL MOUNTAIN TRAIL HELMET
FOX ALL MOUNTAIN TRAIL HELMET

GIANT BICYCLES RAIL HELMET MIPS.
GIANT BICYCLES RAIL HELMET MIPS.

THE BELL AND THEIR SUPER 2R CHINBAR REMOVED.
THE BELL AND THEIR SUPER 2R CHINBAR REMOVED.

Just look at the Bell Super 2R, Giro Switchblade, Leatt DBX 3.0., 6D, Fox and so many more. When you compare the look of these helmets in full-face or All-Mountain mode to the older Troy Lee Edge [RC3] they share the same general DNA features. Some may be a full-face helmet with removable chinbar, big venting, or All-Mountain / trail helmets like 6D, FOX, and others. In other words you get great coverage and comfort for long rides all in one.
THE LEATT DBX 3.0 LIKE THE BELL HAS A SIMPLE REMOVAL SYSTEM
THE LEATT DBX 3.0 LIKE THE BELL HAS A SIMPLE REMOVAL SYSTEM

GIRO SWITCHBLADE LOOKS LIKE A DH HELMET, BUT NOT RATED FOR THE HARDCORE STUFF
GIRO SWITCHBLADE LOOKS LIKE A DH HELMET, BUT NOT RATED FOR THE HARDCORE STUFF

QUICK CHINBAR REMOVAL ON THE GIRO.
QUICK CHINBAR REMOVAL ON THE GIRO.

LEATT'S DBX3.0 IS A CLEAN HELMET FROM THE GUYS THAT INVENTED THE SAFETY NECK BRACE. YEAH THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF
LEATT’S DBX3.0 IS A CLEAN HELMET FROM THE GUYS THAT INVENTED THE SAFETY NECK BRACE.
YEAH THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF

LOOKING AT THE NEW
With the advent to new technologies, better materials, and better understandings of head trauma, cycling helmets have become far better safety wise these days.
Style is everything to most of us, I mean really, we have to look good on the trail. From the moment you pull up to the trail and unload your bike the style points are starting with your peers, Lol.
All kidding aside we do care about safety and the manufactures care as well, especially to the head.
You will find many companies out there using the regular old EPS designs still and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but if you have the chance to help save your head with a bit more safety, why not be smart and do this for yourself.

We may all know someone that may have had a head injury from mountain biking, I know I have and with what’s out there now makes me wonder if it would have made a difference had my friend been wearing one of these new helmets today.

THE NEW MOUSE TRAP
These new designs come in many acronyms. The most well-known of them all and I believe one of the first was MIPS. You have 360Deg Turbine Technology by Leatt, and 6D has ODS.
These new technologies have been the big game changer for off-road cycling helmets today. Manufactures are making helmets that will help the rider to better survive a nasty shot to the old noddle. Even if you may not have a whole lot up in that area, let’s keep what you do have intact, shell we.
What do these safety features do? There are two things that are being achieved here, one is the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and number two is the absorption of energy during impact at concussion level.
So, let me give a brief explanation of what these do for you, told by the companies that make them.

MIPS

GIANT SHOWS HOW THE MIPS SYSTEM WORKS WITHIN THEIR HELMETS
GIANT SHOWS HOW THE MIPS SYSTEM WORKS WITHIN THEIR HELMETS

Most of you out there may know or have heard of what MIPS is. The MIPS system is used widely by many companies.
Some will simply add this to their helmets EPS liners, while other companies will design it into their helmets for better fit with your head.
Bell uses it in their Super 2R, Giro in the new Switchblade, and many bicycle manufactures like GIANT use the MIPS systems with their MTB helmets.
MIPS PLACEMENT WITHIN THE BELL SUPER 2R HELMET
MIPS PLACEMENT WITHIN THE BELL SUPER 2R HELMET

BELL SUPER 2R WITH MIPS INCORPORATED. YOU CAN SEE IT WITHIN THE HELMET
BELL SUPER 2R WITH MIPS
INCORPORATED. YOU CAN SEE IT WITHIN THE HELMET

MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, this is a leading slip-plane system placed within the helmet to help reduce the rotational forces that result from impact.
Kind of like having a floating layer the will move when hit.

360Deg Turbine Technology

LEATT TURBINE 360 WITHIN THE EPS.
LEATT TURBINE 360 WITHIN THE EPS.

LEATT, a leading safety company known for the development of neck brace protection has developed their own system called 360Deg Turbine Technology. Turbines made of 3D molded energy absorbing material.
The best way to describe this is they look like small rubber disc that are placed within the EPS liner around the helmet.
The two advantages to this are the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and the absorption of energy upon impact at concussion level.

ODS

THE 6D ODS IN THE EPS
THE 6D ODS IN THE EPS

6D helmets is another company that takes their helmet safety seriously. They have developed their system called Omni-Directional Suspension technology (ODS for short).
What make their helmet safety unique is how it works. You will notice the word Suspension in their description of the technology.
That’s right, suspension in a nut shell or brain bucket in this case. 6D has dual EPS liners with Elastomeric Isolation Dampers in between. What this does is allow for downward and upward, rotational, and side to side impact safety.

UP CLOSE AT 6D SUSPENSION FOR YOUR HEAD
UP CLOSE AT 6D SUSPENSION FOR YOUR HEAD

SAFETY AT ITS BEST FOR THE HEAD
SAFETY AT ITS BEST FOR THE HEAD

If you look at one of their cut-away, it seems like it would be free floating within the two EPS liners with little rubber shocks so to speak. Very cool.

PICK YOU POISON
This is just the tip of what is out there when it come to new helmet safety. It blows me away to look at my old Troy Lee and see what we have today versus what we have now. It makes me think, “WOW, I rode in that thing and took a killer hit to my head in it while racing a Big Bear AM-CUP. I rang my bell for sure and it saved my head, but how would that hit have differed to my head while using one of the new helmets with this new safety technology in.
With all research in head trauma, new technology and materials, it has made one thing clear.
Companies care about their customers well-being, not just making a buck off of us.
So, when you are out there and you are ready to make that next helmet purchase give a little thanks to guys like Troy Lee and Shoei for seeing the future, pushing the envelope and making us safe.
And give thanks to all the new guys that are pushing forward on how to keep us riding everyday.

GIANT RAIL MIPS IN ACTION
GIANT RAIL MIPS IN ACTION

Ride safe and ride on….

INTERBIKE 2015: BELL HELMETS & STAR WARS??

OK ITS TIME TO GEEK OUT, YEAH I'M A STAR WARS FAN.
OK ITS TIME TO GEEK OUT, YEAH I’M A STAR WARS FAN.

GEEK TIME

Allow me to geek out for a minute OK. “YES, YES, YES!!! Limited edition Star Wars helmets!!! Yeah!!!”
Now that I got that out of my system, Bell helmets will be offering two Super 2R MIPS equipped helmets, plus the Segment and Segment Jr with Star Wars graphics on them for a limited time.
Now you can have the SUPER 2R MIPS BOBA FETT helmet and go collect your bounty at the Enduro races or trails.
Why not be STORM TROOPER TK-421. You remember him don’t you, the Trooper that HAN SOLO and LUKE called into the Falcon to get his armor while on the Death Star. I’m pretty sure HAN shot first on that one, but we will never know.
You also have the SEGMENT Darth Vader black helmet with Imperial Cog on the side and for that Jr shredder check out the BOBA FETT BOUNTY HUNTER SEGMENT JR, or Millennium Falcon SEGMENT JR.
I have to say this is a first time I have ever seen something like this before and find it very cool for all the SW fan boys.

The BOBA FETT SUPER 2R
The BOBA FETT SUPER 2R

The mark of the Mandalorian
The mark of the Mandalorian

The cool STORM TROOPER SUPER 2R helmet
The cool STORM TROOPER SUPER 2R helmet

Chinbar complete with TROOPER breathing ports
Chinbar complete with TROOPER breathing ports

"STORM TROOPER!!" "Your designation is TK-421!!"  "DO YOU HEAR ME TROOPER!!"
“STORM TROOPER!!” “Your designation is TK-421!!”
“DO YOU HEAR ME TROOPER!!”

SEGMENT & SEGMENT JR

SEGMENT DARTH VADER
SEGMENT DARTH VADER

BOUNTY HUNTER JR
BOUNTY HUNTER JR

MILLENNIUM FALCON SEGMENT JR
MILLENNIUM FALCON SEGMENT JR

SUPER & SUPER 2R MIPS

Some cool colors for the 2016 Super 2R and Super will pop out at you. Aggression Blue, Matte Kryptonite, and Matte White/ Glacier Blue.
Bell is also doing the Joy Ride Women’s collection which will have the Super and Super 2R with a cool color.
Here’s a look at what you can expect from BELL HELMETS.

BELL's cool colors
BELL’s cool colors

IMG_9539
IMG_9540IMG_9543

JOY RIDE WOMEN’S HELMETS

IMG_9535
IMG_9536
IMG_9537

I love the Super helmet we reviewed when they came out and with the new SUPER 2R’s added quick release chinbar it makes for one versatile trail/Enduro helmet. Another thing that’s great, BELL did update the SUPER to allow you to purchase the chinbar separately if you want later.
Look for the BELL STAR WARS Limited Edition helmets other Bell Helmets at your local dealers near you.

SEA OTTER : BELL HELMETS

If you recall we did a review on the BELL super helmet last year as a part of our Enduro product reviews. At that time BELL had not yet released the Super 2R or Super 2R MIPS. These are the latest in the All-Mountain / Enduro type line up for BELL Helmets along with the Super 2.
The Super 2R come as a standard foam type EPS liner with a In-Mold Polycarbonate Shell, while the Super 2R equipped MIPS steps up the protection in the shell. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. This allows for better protection to the head.
The key feature to both Super 2R helmets is that they use a detachable chinbar. This is great because it allows you to remove the chinbar while say climbing, put it in your pack, and then allowing you to simply reattach it back to the helmet with three clips.
The other cool thing is the fact that you get not just a CPSC Bicycle safety rating, but also a CE EN1078 rating.

BELL Helmets was quite busy at the Sea Otter Classic showing off the good.

BELL Helmets showing off the goods.
BELL Helmets showing off the goods.

The new BELL SUPER 2R helmet
The new BELL SUPER 2R helmet

Notice the quick release on the back of the helmet. You also have two more on the left and right sides of the helmet. Easy as 1, 2, 3.
Notice the quick release on the back of the helmet. You also have two more on the left and right sides of the helmet. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Inside the MIPS equipped SUPER 2R.
Inside the MIPS equipped SUPER 2R.

Retail for the SUPER 2R is $200, while the MIPS equipped SUPER 2R retails for $220.

REVIEW – BELL HELMETS SUPER

BELL HELMET’S ENDURO ALL MOUNTAIN LID

Well we tested some Enduro gear, so next had to be a helmet that would fit Enduro/All Mountain. Now we have to say that when it comes to these type specific helmets there are quite a few to choose from, so we went with the new BELL Helmets SUPER.
BELL did a fantastic job of developing this helmet. Its packed full of features that cover not only safety, but keep the rider in mind who likes to do POV videos of their rides, something no one has done at the time BELL introduced the SUPER and I don’t know if anyone has to date.
One thing we like to do is look at the safety as the number one thing, then the comfort, function, and just plain good looks.

TECH TALK

When you look at the BELL SUPER you can see that it comes full of features. First off the SUPER has a certification rating for CE EN1078 & CPSC Bicycle. Next you notice that the helmet’s shell seems stout in looks. This is due to its Fusion In-Mold Microshell, add the internal reinforcement, lightweight webbing, lightweight buckle, lightweight Cam-Lock Levers, X-Static Padding, then you finish it off with a Speed Dial Fit System to give you one nicely made helmet.

Now round all this off with A 25 vent system that would just about allow you to pedal through hurricane force winds (well maybe not, but our legal department tells us we can’t say things like that) and couple that with the 4 Overbrow Ventilation Ports to give you a cool head to attack any trail.

One of the cool things I like is the fact that BELL gave thought about what to do with your goggles. Simply lift up the GoggleGuide Adjustable Visor System and you have a spot to hold your goggles in place no problem. If you choose not to use the peak BELL provides goggle holders that replace the peak system.
Now the other great design feature BELL was hip on was the breakaway GoPro mount that goes on the top of the helmet. With all of us wanting to get that POV vid of our epic race or ride action. This is a cool feature that you just Velcro in with straps on the provided mount, put your GoPro on and you are ready to go.
The SUPER comes in at a weight (if your into counting things like this) of 390 grams.

OVERALL VIEW


When I first started wearing the SUPER I felt it was a bit heavy, now I haven’t tried any of the other brands in this category to compare it too, so I can’t say if it’s heavy or not, but in truth after wearing the SUPER I feel safer in it. The weight makes me feel safe, so is 390 grams to heavy?
No, it isn’t! Once I adjusted the Speed Dial Fit System internal arms (see pic above) and adjusted the Speed Dial, the helmet hugged my head great. You also get great rear coverage as well as side coverage.
Now you may see this kind of coverage on many brands, but I feel as though I’m wearing half a fullface with no chinbar (remember this).
What about the comfort. The X-Static padding is nice, but I would like just a little more thickness in this department, still it’s not bad on an all-day ride, plus it does a good job keeping the sweat from my eyes.
The one place I felt “literally “when riding with the SUPER is the amazing air flow you get from this helmet. These giant vents are just great. I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to make a bicycle helmet, let the air flow with venting. BELL has hit the mark here.
The goggle holding system is tops and how simple was that to think up, and you still look hip with them in this position.
The last thing is the GoPro mount. This is well thought out and a perfect position for the POV. The idea of it being a breakaway mount will save your GoPro and in the event of a crash you shouldn’t feel it pull on your head causing neck injury in comparison to a solid mount to the helmet.
I have been around BELL Helmets along time. They were my helmet of choice in my motocross days. They were known in the days to make the best, for the best racers in the world.
So what I see here is the same quality and safety in their cycling line as they do with their motorsports line.
As we post this story Enduro event courses have begun to look more like DH courses in some areas with rougher rock sections and drops, so BELL has already in the making the SUPER 2 ( remember I mentioned chinbar).
So when you’re ready to shell out those hard earned clams you saved up the retail of the SUPER is $125.00.
Not a bad price to pay when it comes to your head. BELL has in my mind made a great ENDURO All Mountain helmet here, with superb feature.

ON A SIDE NOTE
If there was one ad that BELL has done that stuck in my head all these years and I know I’m dating myself here, but this is so true and I think of it when I go to replace a helmet every time.
“If you have a $10.00 head, wear a $10.00 helmet.”

Contact bellhelmets.com or see your local bike dealer for a BELL SUPER.
Many thanks goes out to Niki Jaimes for the test product.