Bell Helmets will soon release a model dubbed the Super. It’s made to fill a niche in the fast-growing “enduro” category of mountain biking.
Enduro is a genre of mountain bike racing that pits riders against a clock on terrain that we’d typically call all-mountain. While it shares some speed-freak elements of downhill racing, the rider will need fitness as well as skill to excel.
To ride some enduro-like terrain, I attended an early-release test session for the Super in Sedona last week. (See my post “Red, steep, bumpy, good. Mountain Bike gear test in Sedona” for photos from the test.)
The Super is not the first helmet targeted at the enduro crowd, though it does pick up where others have left off. Notable are the Super’s two integration features: A flip-up visor with a “goggle guide” and a built-in GoPro camera mount.
For goggle-wearing riders, Bell gave the Super a generous-size visor that pivots up 30 degrees to create a space for goggles to sit when not in use. This may seem like a small detail, but it’s highly convenient and easy to use with one hand. I give this feature a thumbs up.
If you don’t like the visor but still want to use goggles (winter commuting, one example) the helmet comes with goggle retention arms.
A built-in GoPro mount will be a hit with those looking to document their off-road exploits. Bell designed the mount to be removable and lightweight. Velcro straps hold it firmly in place while a thin foam pad limits vibration. One caveat: No other camera brand beyond GoPro is supported at this time with the mount.
At 390 grams, I found the Super to be noticeably bulkier and heavier than my usual XC helmet. But it is far lighter than a full-face helmet or polycarbonate-shelled helmets.
The added burliness is welcome when the terrain gets gnarly. I was even fortunate enough to get a firsthand demo of the helmet’s strength when I flew off the trail at speed last week. Injury report: Head — fine; pinky finger — dislocated, but healing fast.
“Ventilation is robust for this style of helmet,” Bell brand manager Benny Cruickshank told me. 25 vents in the shell combined with four “over-brow” vents kept air moving and heads cool in Sedona.
Color and graphics options range from “look-at-me” hi-vis green to classic racing stripes. Sizes small (51-55cm), medium (55-59), or large (59-63cm) should fit nearly any noggin.
The 3/4-coverage lid will retail for $125 when it goes on sale this May. With the combined safety, comfort and convenience features, we think it’s a great deal for those looking to ride aggressively this coming season with speed. Just watch those pinkies out there.