The best of both worlds
Bell was one of the first to market with a convertible helmet, so it’s appropriate that the evolution of that model delivers even greater protection and earned a perfect 10 rating. The helmet in question is the Super DH MIPS, now certified to ASTM 1952 DH full-face standards. It uses a similar wrap-around chin bar and spring-loaded catches to the original Super 2R, but beefs everything up to create a super-sturdy and confidence-inspiring lid. Weight has crept up a result, but it’s still well ventilated and minimal enough to ride without the chin bar on long trail rides. Then clamp on the chin bar for alpine descents or laps at the bike park. Effectively offering two helmets in one, the Super DH is the first convertible helmet that doesn’t compromise in either configuration.
The Bell Super DH MIPS takes the removable rap-around chin bar first introduced on the Super 2R to a whole new level of protection.
Granted, the weight has crept up by over 150g, but the DH version feels so much sturdier for it; something that’s reflected in the ASTM 1952 DH safety rating.
It fits better too, thanks in part to the integrated MIPS Spherical design. It’s real strength though, is the outstanding level of ventilation. With 19 vents it keeps your head cool even as temperatures hot up, and you never feel cocooned like you do with a regular full-face helmet.
Fitting the chin bar to the Super DH is a little tricky compared to say, a Giro Switchblade, and if your doing it mid-ride, it’s handy to have a friend check to see if the small hooks at the front of the helmet are actually located correctly.
One really neat feature on the Super DH is the new camera mount. You need to make sure the spring-loaded catch snaps into place, but once in, it’s very secure. It has a breakaway feature too, which has already saving us and our GoPro from getting clotheslined by low hanging branch.
The whole point of full face lid with a removal chin bar it to have the best of both worlds in a single helmet. DH protection for enduro racing or bike park laps, and a well-vented open face for regular pedal rides. Bell delivers on both counts with the Super DH. Yes, it’s a little tricky to fit the chin bar with the helmet on, but as two-in-one options go, it’s the best we’ve tested. It’s very well vented and given its BMX and Downhill safety certifications it relatively lightweight.