Enduro racing may be the next big
thing because long-travel trailbikes
have become incredibly capable. Yet,
while a lot of emphasis has been placed
on the bikes in this category, there
hasn’t been as much done to address
the additional protective needs of riders as they tackle burlier trails against
the clock. The Super is Bell’s answer to
the needs of enduro and all-mountain
riders. Rather than adding more coverage to an existing cross-country model,
Bell started from scratch and designed
a product specifically tailored to the all-mountain crowd.
The Super provides
abundant protection by surrounding
the rider’s head much more completely
than cross-country helmets, which
tend to sit higher. Bell created a vent
bridge system above the brow of the
helmet that pulls air directly into channels that run the length of the helmet.
This structural bridge design keeps the
anti-microbial padding from interfering
with the ventilation as it is compressed
against the rider’s head. For days
when you might be shuttling instead
of climbing, Bell added a more durable,
injection-molded lower section to keep
the helmet from being dented when it’s
thrown into the truck.
The Super’s visor has 30 degrees
of adjustability, which allows riders to pull the goggles off and slide
them above the brow of the helmet in between downhill runs. With the
visor removed, goggle strap guides can
be installed in its place if visors aren’t
your thing. Additionally, the visor’s
bolts feature a breakaway function so
that in a crash the visor won’t cause
additional damage by stopping the rider’s head abruptly. Bell also integrated
a removable GoPro camera-mounting
system into the Super.
Field test results:
The Bell Super
gave us a sense of confidence we have
only experienced with one other helmet, the Troy Lee Designs A1, which
also belongs to this emerging class of
all-mountain helmets. In a way, riding
burly terrain in anything less now feels
inadequate. The Super is comfortable
and has ample padding. The Speed Dial
system and straps function well but feel
a bit clunky compared to some higher-end offerings. The ventilation is okay
given the amount of coverage, but it is
definitely not on par with a lightweight
trail or cross-country lid’s ventilation.
If you already run goggles or want to,
the Super is a first of its kind, having
been purpose-built for them. Rather
than feeling clunky and out of place,
our Spy goggles integrated with the
Super seamlessly. While we haven’t
taken to wearing goggles on all of
our trail rides, it’s easy to see why
enduro riders prefer to wear them.
The protection from wind and
dust goes far beyond what glasses
are capable of, allowing you to see
what’s ahead more easily.
While goggles work great
with the Super, we have
had less luck with
traditional glasses, such as our
go-to Oakley Radars. As with the
TLD A1, the cause is the extra temple protection, which interferes with the frame of the glasses.
The GoPro mount is easy to work
with and installs in a matter of seconds, but when you use it, make sure
you pay extra attention to low-lying
branches. Also, we recommend removing the mount and camera for hitting
climbs. After 20 minutes of climbing
with the camera mounted, we could
already feel the strain on our necks.
Besides, nobody wants to watch footage
of you climbing.
For the enduro specialist, the Super
hits the nail on the head. The added
protection is confidence-inspiring, and the goggle integration is seamless.
However, trail or all-mountain riders
looking to use glasses will have to make
sure their glasses are compatible with
the Super before purchasing one.
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