Ticks every box
With fantastic quality, finish and features, the Bell 4Forty ticks all the boxes. Performs exactly as you’d want from an all-day trail helmet.
Leading brand Bell has two brand new trail helmets for 2018. The cheaper 4Forty here comes with MIPS rotational impact protection for under £90, and, with a slick shape, two-tone colour and full hardshell wrap, looks a proper bargain on paper.
Bell now incorporates MIPS into the retention system, rather than use a separate twistable liner, which keeps the profile lower and reduces heat build up. The unique interior padding design is also new, using brow pads that overlap the underside of the shell to direct sweat outwards away from the forehead to reduce dripping straight into eyes, and we found it works really well.
The 4Forty is secured by a rear tensioning dial that pulls a comfy plastic cradle into the skull and can be adjusted through four indexed tilt positions. The inner pads are relatively thin so they don’t get too saturated, but well placed for excellent comfort with no pressure points. The interior isn’t as deep as some enduro lids, so will likely suit rounder, rather than taller, head shapes.
Ventilation is very good with plenty air passing over the head while moving, but it’s not quite as exceptionally breezy as Bell’s new Sixer lid we’ve also tried. This flagship model has more brow vents and even more minimal MIPS integration if you can afford the extra £60 cost. Both helmets can stash googles under the peak, but the 4Forty’s bendy visor can get twisted easily and the new ‘wrap underneath’ pad design gets sprayed with mud more easily too, so the removable padding might need cleaning more frequently.
It’s super snug and lighter than Bell’s new top-end Sixer helmet, but lacks an indexed peak that stops it going wonky and also runs a bit hotter due to less venting and a chunkier internal webbing. Riders with tall heads might long for a deeper interior from both Bell offerings too.
Overall, this new Bell lid is fantastic quality though, stable in use, and lighter than the more expensive Sixer model, so ticks just about every box for a great value price.