- A relatively light weight ~1.6 lb full-face mountain biking helmet with removable jaw guard, comes with a GoPro action camera velcro mount on top for filming rides
- Available in a wide range of colors including blue, red, neon green, white and matte black as well as special edition Star Wars themes, you can get the helmet in small, medium or large and with a MIPS sliding cage for added protection
- While not officially rated for downhill use by the ASTM, this helmet is a big step up in protection from a half-only design and offers excellent ventilation
- The MIPS edition is $70 more expensive than standard, you can get replacement chin bars but they only come in matte black and might not match the ret of the helmet perfectly
Bell makes some of my favorite bicycle helmets because they fit my head well. The company doesn’t come off quite as cool as Fox or Specialized in my opinion but their prices are reasonable and the Super 2, Super 2R and Super 2R with MIPS look great. I love that they’re each available in multiple colors ranging from classic white to matte black, blue or red and a few wild combinations including neon green, bright orange and matte camouflage. I opted for the special edition Stormtrooper white theme because most of my gear is white, I wanted to keep my head as cool as possible by reflecting heat and I sometimes ride at night… so visibility is important. In short, the Super 2R helmets are two in one with a standard top piece (the Super 2) that can be worn on its own for less aggressive rides. When used this way, the helmet weighs significantly less at just 376 grams and exposes your mouth and jaw to more airflow which also makes speaking easier. When you’re ready for mountain biking and light downhill rides a chinbar piece can be clipped onto the main helmet for added protection creating the full Super 2R setup. I was told when purchasing the helmet that it isn’t rated for true hardcore downhill riding by the ASTM but that it would offer more protection than a standard half helmet only. I’m okay with that and actually bought the helmet for use with GoPro cameras more than for its added protection characteristics.
The chin guard and helmet are well ventilated with large holes placed strategically for air penetration. The chin guard itself has four of them right up front but I ended up covering two when I mounted my GoPro Hero Session there. As shown in the video, I actually modified the plastic and used Steel metal strapping to mount a GoTough quick release metal mount but you could also use something like this to add a camera without permanent alteration. Aside from being able to reduce the weight of this helmet by removing the chin guard, it’s nice to be able to take your camera off easily without modifying how it’s mounted and I found that most of my work on the chin piece was done with it off the main helmet… it made drilling and taping edges much easier and overall, this helmet really shines as a platform for cameras and microphones. I used a standard vented helmet adapter to hang a Zoom H2n microphone off the back which balanced out the weight on the chin.
In total, before I mounted any of my cameras to this helmet it weighed about 1.6 lbs which felt much better than the other one-piece downhill helmets I was testing. The chin guard connects solidly and doesn’t rattle, it’s easy to do and looks beautiful once fully secured. If you’re a tinkerer like me and want to experiment with different mounts, note that you can buy additional chin sections for ~$75 though I’ve only seen them in matte black (which ties into most helmet color schemes well). Make sure you get the correct size as the helmet comes in small, medium and large. I paid extra for the MIPS version of the Super 2R and have enjoyed the diameter and vertical crown adjustments. There’s a little wheel on the back of the plastic cage inside the helmet that lets you tighten it easily. This feature has allwed me to more easily wear a skull cap sweat sock inside the helmet which I’m hoping keeps the foam pads cleaner over time.
All things considered, I’m very happy with the Bell Super 2R’s modular design, light weight AND the included GoPro action camera mount on top. You don’t have to modify this helmet to add a camera as it already includes a very nice plastic clip secured with velcro at the top. I chose the chin because I wanted a lower perspective when riding and sometimes hit my head on branches but most people will fare just fine using the top mount. Goggles also work well with this helmet and the visor can be angled up or down (or even removed) and this is another spot where an action cam could be added. I think that’s about it, feel free to add anything I missed or share your own design ideas and videos. I film a lot but have a sensitive neck and back so this helmet suites me perfectly and the addition of a protective helmet sock for storing and transporting it is the icing on the cake.
- The removable chinbar is great if you want to mount a camera and modify the helmet, it’s easier to work with when you take it off and is replaceable so you could design multiple mounts
- Lighter weight than a lot of the other full face helmets I tested, even with the extra buckles and mounting points (which surely add weight) this thing comes in at just 1.61 lbs (just 732 grams) and for me this reduces back and neck strain while riding
- I love that the helmet comes with a sleek Velcro-attached GoPro action camera mount on top… you can keep it forward or flip it backwards to change the position slightly or remove it entirely as I did for the video review
- The helmet circulates air well, it felt very cool to me while riding even with the chin guard modifications… these larger holes might reduce the overall strength of the helmet which could be why it’s not ASTM rated
- I like the MIPS “multidirectional impact protection system” slider piece and crown tightener (with diameter and height) because the helmet feels snug and can be dialed in to fit your head just right but still allows for play in the event of a fall
- The Bell Super 2 and 2R are available in three sizes… I chose medium after testing out a bunch of helmets at a local shop in Denver Colorado
- Lots of color choices available including some special edition Star Wars themed designs, I liked the Stormtrooper style because it’s mostly white (great for safety, more visible and possibly more cool reflecting sunlight), but the camouflage edition is very cool as well
- The visor can tilt up or down and is completely removable if you don’t want it, I’ve seen several riders tip it up and mount GoPro HERO Session cameras below… I mounted mine on the chin
- Apparently the helmet is not ASTM rated for true downhill riding… so if you’re really going at it, consider something like the Specialized Dissident which does not have a removable chin guard or ventilation holes and weighs more
- In my opinion, the Bell Super 2R is very expensive with the MIPS equipped version… if only because I paid full retail MSRP at $220… you can buy the non-MIPS version for ~$70 less on Amazon here but you’re more likely to get knocked out with it
- I like that you can get a replacement chin bar but wish it was available in more colors than just matte black… maybe gloss white or black and white?
- Official Site: http://www.bellhelmets.com/cycling/helmets/super-2r-mips-equipped
- Amazon Store: http://amzn.to/2aGeuhU
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/HarRcriqkVV4BpPM9