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  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Chin Bar 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Visor 100% 100%
  • Features 100% 100%

Weight: 487g

Helmet Weight with Chin Bar: 850g

Vents: 19 helmet, 2 brow ports, 4 chin-bar vents

Adjustable Visor: Yes

Use: Enduro, All Mountain, Downhill

Price: $299.95

What We Like: Epic protection in half shell mode, MIPS Spherical, Best in class ventilation and visor, Fully certified downhill helmet with and without chin bar

What We Don’t: Pricey if not on sale

The Bell Super 2R was one of the original convertible helmets and was hugely innovative for its time. Now, the Bell Super DH takes everything that Bell learned from the Super 2R and Super 3R helmets, and uses it to make the best convertible mountain bike helmet on the market. This is the helmet that convinced us that convertible helmets are the future of mountain bike helmets.

  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Chin Bar 90% 90%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Visor 100% 100%
  • Features 100% 100%

Pros

Epic protection in half shell mode

Best in class ventilation and visor

Fully certified downhill helmet with and without chin bar

MIPS Spherical

Cons

Pricey if not on sale

Weight: 487g

Helmet Weight with Chin Bar: 850g

Vents: 19 helmet, 2 brow ports, 4 chin-bar vents

Adjustable Visor: Yes

Use: Enduro, All Mountain, Downhill

  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Chin Bar 60% 60%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Visor 60% 60%
  • Features 90% 90%

Pros

Lightweight

Leatt Turbine Technology

Well ventilated

Cons

Not as robust as other convertible helmets

Flimsy chin bar attachment

Limited visor mobility

Weight: 834g (size L)

Helmet Weight with Chin Bar: 750g

Vents: 23 vents

Adjustable Visor: Yes

Use: Enduro, All Mountain

  • Safety Tech 80% 80%
  • Chin Bar 70% 70%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Ventilation 90% 90%
  • Visor 100% 100%
  • Features 70% 70%

Pros

Lightweight

Tried and True Design

Best in Class Visor

Well Ventilated

Cons

Lack of MIPS spherical and other high end features found on the Bell SUPER DH

Not fully downhill certified

Helmet Weight: 433g

Helmet Weight with Chin Bar: 783g

Number of Vents: 23 helmet, 4 brow ports, 6 chin-bar vents

Adjustable Visor: Yes

Use: All mountain, Enduro

  • Safety Tech 100% 100%
  • Chin Bar 90% 90%
  • Weight 40% 40%
  • Ventilation 40% 40%
  • Visor 90% 90%
  • Features 80% 80%

Pros

The best protection on the market without a chin bar

Fully downhill certified

Cons

Too hot and too heavy without the chin bar

Weight: 800g

Weight with Chin Bar: 1100g

Vents: 20 vents

Adjustable Visor: Yes

Weight & Ventilation

Weight has not traditionally been a strong point for convertible helmets. While the Bell Super DH might not win any ultralight awards, it is not obscenely heavy, either. The Super DH weighs in at 487g in open face mode and 896g with the chin bar attached. This puts it on par with the 6D ATB 1-T Evo open face helmet, and only about 100g heavier than the average ultralight full face helmet. While not quite as light as its top open face or full face competition, the Bell Super DH gives you two helmets in one, and that is something that we are more than willing to give up 100g for.

 

Another problem with the first crop of convertible mountain bike helmets was that they were hot. This was especially true of the Giro Switchblade. Fortunately, this is yet another area where the Bell Super DH has raised the bar. It features 19 standard ports, plus an additional two on the brow and four in the chin bar. In open face mode, the Bell Super DH is as cool as all but the airiest open face helmets, and as a full face helmet, it is only just behind the likes of the ultra well ventilated Fox Proframe.

 

Finally, the addition of two brow ports does a great job keeping your goggles fog free whether you are wearing them or have them stashed under the visor.

 

Chin Bar & Safety Tech

While some convertible chin bars themselves, or their attachment points, felt flimsy, this was not an issue with the Bell Super DH. The wraparound chin bar feels well anchored via a clamp in the rear and one on each side. It also hugs the helmet well all the way around, contributing to its solid feel. It is worth noting that it is downhill certified as a full face and open face helmet, further reinforcing our confidence in the chin bar. That said, installing and removing the chin bar is quick and easy, whether the helmet is on your head or off.

 

While the rock-solid chin bar might be the most obvious safety feature of the Bell Super DH, its real strength lies within. The Bell Super DH features Bell’s own innovative MIPS Spherical safety technology.

 

MIPS Spherical is one of the newest and most impressive safety features on the market, and one of our very favorites. The result of a partnership between Bell and MIPS, MIPS spherical features two separate shells not molded together, similar to the 6D ATB-1T Evo. The outer layer is made of denser EPS foam, while the inner shell is formed from softer EPP foam.

 

The two shells work like a ball in a socket. Each is polished smooth and the two are connected by Yellow rubber bands. In the event of a crash, the inner shell is able to freely rotate within the outer shell, helping to dissipate rotational impacts, in the manner of a standard MIPS helmet. However, the two separate shells also put a soft foam against the riders head, helping to absorb impacts of all varieties, particularly low G impacts.

 

This solution is more expensive to produce than the standard MIPS insert, but adds a layer of safety that only a select few helmets, open or full face can match.

Finally, the Bell Super DH has outstanding coverage in open face mode. In fact, it would probably be our top pick for coverage, as an open face helmet.

Visor & Additional Features

The Bell Super DH also features the best visor out of any convertible or full face helmet that we reviewed. It is extremely adjustable up and down, and long enough to be useful when trying to keep the sun or rain out of your eyes. It easily accommodates goggles on your face while bombing down hills, and stows them just as easily under the visor while climbing. The visor is attached via a tension screw on each side, which can be easily manipulated without tools. In addition to working well with goggles, the Bell Super DH also works well with sunglasses, which is rare for a helmet with this much coverage.

 

The Bell Super DH features the Float Fit DH retention system, which we feel is a huge step up from the standard Float Fit retention system found on the Bell Super 3R and Sixer. The Float Fit DH uses a large, easy to adjust rubber dial, and really feels as though it wraps around your head like a beanie, rather than the narrow headband sensation that lesser retention systems offer.

 

The straps are another selling point for the Super DH. Bell has done away with adjustments for the Y-shaped ear sections of the straps. Instead, they are simply cut very large so that they do not rub your ears. The chin strap itself features a single adjustment on one side, making it easier than ever to adjust on the fly. This is all held together by a magnetic Fidlock buckle, which is just the cherry on top of the Bell Super DH’s amazing fit system.

 

The Bell Super DH also ships with an integrated camera and light mount, which we feel should be included with all expensive helmets, rather than sold separately (We are looking at you Smith).

 

Finally, the X-Static and XT-2 liner is shaped into a sweat guide, which does a surprisingly good job of making the sweat drip down in front of your forehead, rather than directly onto it and into your eyes.

The Bottom Line

The Bell Super DH is our top pick for the best convertible mountain bike helmet, and it really isn’t even close. It is lightweight (for a convertible mountain bike helmet), well ventilated, and offers unbelievable protection and safety features. In fact, we are so fond of this helmet that we feel it could easily compete for our top choice as an open face helmet without the chin bar and our top choice for full face mountain bike helmet with it.

 

The downside of the Bell Super DH is its list price of $299. However, it can frequently be found on sale between ~$210 and ~$260. And if you consider the fact that this helmet could save you from having to buy two separate helmets, it actually becomes a pretty good value buy.

 

As the ultimate endorsement, after testing multiple helmets, I chose the Bell Super DH to keep my own head safe on the trails.

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