|Bell Super 2R Helmet|
There's never been a better time to be a mountain biker. Thanks to advances in frame and suspension technology, trails that were once ruled by heavy DH rigs are now doable on the latest batch of all-mountain bikes, allowing riders to push their limits on both the climbs and the descents. In response to the growing number of riders who are venturing into more and more technical terrain, or testing the waters of the enduro race scene, Bell created the Super 2R, a full-face helmet with a chin bar that can be removed for the climbs. It's meant to fill the gap between a half shell helmet and a dedicated full face, giving riders the ability to have greater coverage but without needing to carry two separate helmets.
• In-Mold Polycarbonate shell
• Detachable chin bar
• CE EN1078, CPSC Bicycle certified
• Sizes: S, M, L
• Weight (with chinbar, size L): 780g
• Six color options
• MSRP: $200 USD, $220 with MIPS
Design and Construction
The Super 2R's chin bar wraps completely around the helmet, and is secured in three places by ski boot buckle style closures.
At the heart of the new helmet is an updated version of the Super, Bell's all-mountain / enduro lid that was released in 2013. The helmet's shell and EPS liner have been modified slightly, mainly in the area directly above the ears, in order to create a spot for the chin bar to mount on to. The chin bar completely encircles the helmet (Bell calls this 'Wraparound Protection'), with three ski boot-style buckles, one at the rear and two at the sides, to lock it into place. Installing and removing the chin bar doesn't require any tools, and can be accomplished without taking the helmet off. Other features include a breakaway camera mount, a ratcheting dial to adjust the fit around the head, and Bell's Overbrow Ventilation, which is designed to direct air over the top of the skull to provide additional cooling. The helmet itself has 23 vents, not including the 6 vents found on the chin bar. The Super 2R also has an adjustable visor with enough range of motion to fit a pair of goggles on the top of the helmet when they're not in use.
The helmet is based around an updated version of the Super, which will also be available for purchase without the chin bar.
The Super 2R is CPSC and CE EN1078 certified, but does not have the ASTM F1952 endorsement that is used to certify downhill helmets. That doesn't mean that the chin bar is superfluous, and you can be sure that Bell conducted their own in-house testing to ensure its integrity, but the ASTM F1952 requires a level of penetration resistance that a helmet with as many vents as the Super would be unable to achieve.
On the Trail
Kelend Hawks gives the Super 2R a try during the Oregon Enduro Series Finals.
Bell had a number of helmets on hand at the last round of the Oregon Enduro Series, which took place on trails of the Mount Hood Skibowl and Sandy Ridge, giving us the opportunity try the new system on a number of rides and in a race setting. After only a few tries, installing or removing the chin bar became second nature, and all it entails is making sure the buckles are open, guiding it into the two vent holes on the rear of the helmet, and then securing the buckles, working from front to back. With a little practices, it was only a matter of seconds before everything was in place and the conversion was complete. When climbing, it was easy to stash the chin bar in a backpack
or loop it over the waist belt of a fanny pack. On its own, the chin bar weighs 350 grams, about the weight of a light XC helmet.
Riders who have spent time with the Super won't find any surprises with the fit of the new version - the shape is relatively unchanged. As far as half shell helmets go, the Super is a little on the heavier side, but with the chin bar installed the helmet felt well balanced, and very light for a full face. We were even able to witness a bit of real life crash testing, when one of Bell's employees took a high speed header on a trail at the Mt. Hood Skibowl. He was shaken up, and had crashed hard enough to crack the shell of his helmet, but his jaw and all of his pearly whites remained intact, which might not have been the case had he been wearing only a half shell. Pinkbike's Take:
|It's too early to comment on the durability of the Super 2R's construction, which is why we have one on hand for long term testing, but so far we're impressed with the helmet's execution. The chin bar attaches quickly and securely, with no wiggling or rattling, and it's well integrated with the rest of the helmet. For riders who envision themselves as being the next Red Bull Rampage champion, and fall asleep dreaming about hucking backflips over canyons, the Super 2R probably isn't the best choice, but for anyone who's ever struggled to decide whether or not to bring their full face helmet on a ride, the Super 2R makes the decision process a little bit easier. - Mike Kazimer |