Bell Stoker Helmet - Review

Nov 19, 2013 at 20:00
Nov 19, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

Bell Stoker review test

Bell Stoker Helmet

Bell recently released their new Stoker helmet, which takes style cues from the company's flagship enduro lid, the Super, but comes in at a much lower price point. The Stoker features the extended rear coverage that's quickly becoming the norm for helmets intended for trail and all-mountain riding, along with a Speed Dial fit system and extensive venting.


Details
• Fusion In-Mold Microshell
• CE 1078, CPSC Bicycle certified
• Sizes: S-XL
• Weight: 316 grams
• Colors: black/red haze, blue, green, orange, white/silver, black, titanium
• MSRP: $70 USD
Construction

The Stoker is constructed using Bell's Fusion In-Mold technique, which entails injecting the EPS foam into the outer shell while the helmet is still in the mold to securely join the two materials. To keep things cool, the helmet has thirteen large vents in addition to three channels found on the brow of the helmet. These channels are intended to direct air over the head to provide additional airflow. To further aid in temperature regulation, Coolmax's proprietary fabric is used for the pads inside the helmet to help wick away sweat on those hot rides. Four sizes are available (S-XL), and the fit around the head can be fine tuned by turning a ratcheting dial in the rear of the helmet. There are also three possible positions to adjust where the rear strap fits on the back of the head. The visor is attached in two spots on the sides of the helmet, and can be easily removed, although it has a fairly limited range of adjustment.

Bell Stoker review test

The Stoker offers extra protection at the back of the head while still providing good ventilation via thirteen large vents.



Fit / On Trail Performance

A helmet's looks might be one thing, but how it fits is what really matters. The Stoker's fit proved to be excellent, sitting in just the right spot on the forehead and at the back of the head. Each click of the Speed Dial adjustment system makes a noticeable change in the snugness of the helmet, and while it doesn't allow for as fine of an adjustment as some other retention systems, we were still able to find a position that was comfortable for all-day rides.

The ventilation of the Stoker was on par, if not better, than higher end helmets in this same category, and we never felt overheated, even when grinding up long dirt road climbs under a blazing mid-day sun. The weight of the helmet was barely noticeable - for comparison, the Stoker weighs 316 grams, 74 grams less than its big brother, the Super. On the trail, the Stoker stayed securely in place, even on the chunkiest, choppiest terrain. There weren't any fit issues when wearing sunglasses, and there is plenty of real estate at the rear of the helmet so that goggles can be worn without trouble.


Bell Stoker review test

Bell's Speed Dial retention system helps keeps the helmet in place, while vents above the brow work to increase airflow over the top of the head. The Stoker's small visor attaches at each side of the helmet, and is easily removed and installed.



Issues

The one thing we'd like to see on the Stoker is a wider range of visor positions. Most of the time it remained out of our field of vision, but we'd sometimes catch a glimpse of it, typically on steep climbs. A few degrees of additional adjustment is all it would take to correct this, although this small quibble is certainly not a deal breaker, especially given the Stoker's price.



Pinkbike's take:
bigquotes The Stoker's fit and ventilation surpassed our expectations, and we regularly found ourselves selecting this helmet over higher priced options. It departs from the trend of trying to cram as many features as possible into a helmet, and focuses instead on simplicity and comfort, an approach we fully support. The Stoker's extended coverage, good fit, and competitive weight are worthy of praise, and the fact that it comes in at a reasonable price point makes this an extremely solid contender in the trail / all-mountain helmet arena. - Mike Kazimer


www.bellhelmets.com
Must Read This Week









73 Comments

  • + 140
 Did anyone else see the first picture and think it was a mini helmet on the someones finger?
  • - 33
 no
  • + 41
 normal helmet on a giant finger
  • + 34
 you guys high or what?
  • + 11
 Oh my, can't believe that I was not the only one.
  • + 4
 now that you say it, yes, quite funny
  • + 11
 i thought it was placed on a knee
  • - 17
 you are wrong
  • + 5
 I actually thought it was a minihelmet as well.
  • + 11
 #crap-PB'ers-do - scanned first page for potential funnies, clicked on article and immediately scrolled down to see if someone from Canada with better biking and a time zone advantage had beaten me to it....
  • - 11
 Am I the only one who thought it was a normal sized helmet on a giant finger?
  • + 9
 Not if the most propped reply above is anything to go by...
  • + 2
 I totally did, kinda freaked me out too.
  • + 5
 Pink bike poll:

Is it a mini helmet on a finger?

Is it a normal helmet on a giant finger?

Are some readers high?

1 and 3?

2 and 3?

3 mostly but 1?
[Reply]
  • + 37
 Thank you Bell for building good value helmets and donating $$$$,$$$.$$ for bike projects last Fall!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 11
 MSRP is $70, so street price should be $50ish, not bad at all. Wish it had a slightly different vent lay-out that would work better with Go-Pro and light mounts, but overall, I like it.
  • + 2
 finally a bike company that concern.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Where does my helmet light go, which uses a velcor strap through 2 slots, equidistant from tne center of the helmet around the top of the helmet. From the pictures I could not fit my setup to this helmet, where I can to all my other helmets. Now that is a simple input requirements failure. I have this requirement 4 times a week for 6 months of the year.
  • + 1
 Same problem with the Giro Feature. It would be my preferred winter helmet, since it is less vented than my others helmets, but it is not conducive to mounting lights.
  • + 1
 Ive been using a magicshine on my giro feature without any problems at all. Just lace the elastic strap into the helmet mount then get some industrial velcro strip to go through the plastic helmet mount and then get the velcro strip going through the 2 central vents so the mounting rests on the ridge between both vents. Im on a trip so I cant really post any pictures but the setup is perfect.
  • + 1
 PLC07 - you're right. The Magicshine mount does work, since you basically are just going into the vents to meet inside. After your post, I went and did it. My Nightrider mount loops in than back out to connect to the mount again. I've been using the NR, since it is really nice to have an all in one unit and no cords.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I see all these awesome helmets but have no way of knowing if they fit or not. This is because my head is slightly narrower than normal. I have bought many a helmet only to give them away after finding out they crush my forehead while leaving a large gap above each ear.

What would be really useful in reviews is to describe how wide or narrow a helmet is compared to normal!

Would a length to width ratio be good for communicating that? That's an honest question. If that works, it is what every review should be doing. The most important aspect of a helmet is whether it fits well or not. The safest helmet in the world is of little use if it doesn't fit right. It is better to wear a cheap/mediocre helmet that fits well than an expensive helmet that doesn't match your head.

For some reason this is blind spot in the bike industry. It doesn't seem that anyone is even attempting to communicate how helmets are shaped. Pinkbike could lead the way and finally get the bike industry out of the dark ages of everyone merely guessing which helmets might fit or not. (not everyone has stores near to try them on)
  • + 5
 Please post a picture of your head.
  • + 2
 hahahahaha laughing till i pissed myself , TWICE!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Literally the exact same helmet as the Giro Feature (Giro, Bell same company). MSRP $70 but will actually sell for $100! Still a good deal for a great helmet (I own a Feature), however their online pricing is confusing when no Canadian stores can actually sell them for that cheap!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So when I made the switch from rigid to full suspension, I had a Bell helmet. Best inexpensive helmet ever. I switched to a Fox after a good number of crashes and have since gone back to Bell/ Giro because of the set it and forget feel.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I read Bell Stroker 1st time lol
  • + 1
 So did I! lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Helmet looks sick, but it doesnt look like i could mount my light on there for winter Cali riding. Just busted my 661 recon goin over the bars on a fast, rocky downhill... oh ya busted my wrist too. off the bike for 12 weeks and its drivin me crazy.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Looks like a great helmet! Love the price aswell, also comforting knowing this product comes from a brand that produces some awesome products.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Great looking helmet. Simple and clean lines. For $70 it looks like a good deal too
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I really don't understand why people would pay more than $100 for a trail helmet. You're not getting any more protection and the damn things are fragile. Looks like a solid product and Bells fit my enormous ugly head quite well.
  • + 4
 More expensive = More Adjustable, more comfortable and lighter in most cases.
  • + 4
 Considering it protects your head, which is really important...I'm willing to spend money on my helmet as oppose to new carbon bars or something like that
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Both my 13 year old and 8 year old sons have had these helmets since they came out and they have worked great for them. I rode a little with my older sons Stoker and it was really comfortable.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looks like it will save that rock from a fall onto another rock. How about taking a photo of it on a riders head so we can all see how it looks?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 when i saw a preview on the main page, my first impression was like it's a mini helmet lying on the palm
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looks really good and afordable,the rate I ve been going through lids the past few years I ll be using one soon!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I usually dont take care in Bell's helmets just because I always see them in walmart and toys r' us... but this helmet seems like quality and looks good Smile
  • + 21
 You also see them on the heads of the worlds fastest motor sports athletes. From moto GP to Nascar. No other helmet company has any where near the experience of Bell, whether it comes to low end or high end.
  • - 1
 I agree in some sense when it comes other action sports like mx and nascar where Bell is popular. But what I have noticed is that the majority of the mountain bike community/pinkbike is ran by other companies like Fox, Troy Lee, etc.
  • + 4
 I still see more giro and bell helmets than anything else on the trails! Remember giro is the same company (Easton).
  • + 3
 I see plenty of room for some awesome stickers on this helmet for personalization.
  • + 2
 Bell has enough brand equity that they can licensed their name for second rate products. Another income stream but not necessarily the same source as their performance equipment. Confusing since both streams sell bike helmets. You'd never confuse the manufacturing of Jeep bikes with the trucks.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The Bell Stroker
  • + 2
 The Bell End
[Reply]
  • + 1
 thnx bell for making reasonable price and great helmet!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Giro is owned and manufactured by bell
  • + 1
 that makes sense. thank you.
  • + 1
 no way. ive got more respect for bell now! my feature helmet has saved my head from some scary crashes.
  • + 2
 Seems to have better ventilation, not a bad thing since Feature is very hot.
  • + 1
 Yup. Inside the helmet there is a little sticker that says manufactured by easton/bell sports. So it's all owned by Easton. Just like the rest of the world.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looks good . May look into one for my kids
[Reply]
  • + 1
 does this look alot like a giro feature except for a couple differences
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The BELL STROKER Looks a little like girl feature
[Reply]
  • + 1
 all those pics and not one of the helmet on someones head....
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Why do so many newer helmets make me think I'll have heat stroke if I wear one??(I live in a hot climate) This looks unbearable! When did lots of vents become "uncool"??? Oh wait...it's been done...time to market a new product
  • + 7
 You'd think that's the case, but the internal air channelling makes lots of these newer helmets breath way better than you'd think. Some even better that their holey counterparts. Plus, more material = more impact absorbtion.
  • + 2
 @GlassGuy - I run hot as well! I have been riding the Super from bell for a couple months and it's ventilation is unreal! Check it out!
  • + 2
 Well I guess I'll need to try a newer design when my fairly new "normal" vented helmet has seen enough use...if they'll ride cooler then I'm all in! Thanks for the insight!!
  • + 2
 I have a Super as well, and it's cooler than my old Xar by a long shot. With short hair, you really feel the air moving under there.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 not gunna lie,i thought it said Bell Stroker...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ...as worn by Dracula...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Scott Mythic. The ONE!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Pun intended?
[Reply]
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv15 0.034636
Mobile Version of Website