Bell Super 3R Mips: A Mountain Bike Helmet Review
If you have been browsing through removable chin guard helmets, you must have heard of the Bell Series. It is the series that defines removable chin guard helmets. The reason for their popularity is the unceasing quality and performance.
While the first generation Super 2 and Super 2R were good but not too popular for reasons other than the removable chin guard, the new Super 3R has created a lot of buzz. Below, you will find an in-depth Bell Super 3R review of this mountain bike helmet.
Review Overview of the Super 3R
The primary thing to note in reviews is the overview of the product in good detail.
The Bell Super series had brought about the new current changes in removable chin bar technology in mountain bike head protection. In about 2017, an improved fit of the helmets in this series has brought them into the spotlight again.
Since the Bell Super 2R maintained uncomfortable pressure points around riders’ temples, Bell made significant changes to the helmet. Bell reconfigured the interior padding in the Super 2R which allowed for as significant change in comfort.
The result of many reconfigurations is the Bell Super 3R helmet. This helmet has singlehandedly changed mountain bike head protection for good.
Other than the above mentioned interior padding changes, the Super 3R has Bell Super 3R MIPS slip plane safety technology along with a Float Fit retention system.
With 6 chin bar vents, 4 brow ports, and 23 vents, ventilation is top-notch in this helmet. The reason why this product is well ventilated is that the company took reviews seriously. There is a variety of colors and sizes that this helmet is available in, which makes it of use to everybody.
The chin bar attached medium sized Bell Super 3R’s weight is 760 grams, which is 10 grams less than the Super 2R. Without the chin bar and padding, the helmet’s weight is 440 grams.
Specifications of the Helmet
The Super 3R MIPS helmet has the following specifications.
- Breakaway screws
- Newly added Float Fit
- In-mold polycarbonate shell
- Visor system is Goggleguide Adjustable
- Breakaway Camera Mount
- Ventilation over the brow
- Wraparound full face protection
- X-static Padding
- Weight – 784.1 grams
- Certification – CPSC Bicycle and CE EN1078
- Vents – 4 brow ports, 23 helmet, six chin bar vents
Features and Construction
The Bell Super 3R is a two-piece system. It features the helmet and the chin bar which utilizes the Wraparound protection System. The chin bar option is found to be great for riders who do not want the chin guard to be in contact with their face. The helmet settles in one place with the help of three ski boot-style buckles.
Since the Super 3R features the Float Fit retention system that revised the inner and outer shape of the helmet, the fit is exemplary and the helmet is very comfortable. The Bell Super 3r MIPS integration reduces the rotational forces on the head as a slip-plane technology.
The polycarbonate shell has EPS foam lining along with goggleguide adjustable visor system. It has 23 vents along with an integrated camera mount.
The copyright 2020 Bell Super 3R meets CPSC and EN1078 certification but doesn’t meet the the ASTM 1952 downhill certification. This is because Bell helmets are great for standard bicycling instead of downhill cycling.
The ventilation in the Super 3R helmets is superior than much competitors such as Giro and Fox. The helmet features 23 helmet vents along with 6 chin guard vents and brow ports as well which makes it a well ventilated helmet.
All of these vents combine to facilitate air movement that regulated temperature perfectly. If this was a full face helmet, it would have been more warm and comfortable. However, the ventilation provided by this one is decent with respect to its convertibility features.
Using this without the chin bar is much more advisable since the chin guard might interfere with air flow. The convertible features – the possibility of making it of use without the chin bar – of this helmet is found to have made it one well ventilated and robust helmet.
Sizing and Fit System
The best part about the Bell Super 3R is that it addresses the problem faced by riders with the 2R. It has a newly integrated Float Fit which allows for a smug fit on the head. The 3 height adjustments along with the wheel system increases adjustability and comfort.
This helmet can be well-adjusted by the use of only your thumb and index fingers, but insertion might be a little difficult at the lowest height level.
Since the ear straps are directly tied into the helmet and the adjusters use snap locks, the fitting you get is like a skull cap. The helmet does not even interfere with the ears and help provide a good field of vision.
The chin strap system is comfortable due to the standard quick release buckle towards the back. The X-Static padding is perfectly thick to promote comfort without giving any pressure or heat patches.
Since the helmet can be found in various sizes sizes, fitting is not a problem. You can get the one that fits your head perfectly and provides good visor angle along with proper front and back ventilation
Helmet Coverage and Visor
Even though this cannot compete with full face helmets, it provides the maximum support possible. It covers the head and stabilizes it so that the helmet does not tilt backward and interfere with vision.
The Bell Super 3R allows for a large range of visor motion. This helps to switch between regular goggles and sun-protection according to what is needed.
If you use the helmet without the chin bar, you will have a full field of vision, but the full face protection design will be lost. The loss of well vision due to the chin bar is common in all full face designs. The addition of a visor can accentuate this problem. The only problem with the convertible feature of this helmet is that the chin bar requires a place to be stashed in.
When using the Bell Super 3R helmet with the chin bar and a camera mount, the weight adds up to 784 grams. When you are getting full face protection, this is a decently well weight.
The helmet itself weighs 433 grams and the chin weighs about 335 grams. When compared to the average AM helmet or any Giro helmet, the helmet itself is on the heavier side. That is acceptable, though, because the helmet covers full face protection including the neck and ears.
Since this helmet is not downhill certified, it does not have to follow the 1000-1200 grams downhill bike helmet standard. This allows the Bell Super 3R helmet to be lighter than some.
The GoPro mount can make the Bell Super 3R a little heavier. However, the sloppiness of the same hardly ever allows GoPro usage.
Is the Bell Super 3R Downhill Certified?
The Bell Super 3R helmets are not ASTM downhill certified. This means that these helmets should only be used for things like standard bicycling or simple mountain bike trail. It should not be used for downhill cycling.
The lack of this certification demands for higher impact protection in case you will require to ride in risky trail.
Bell Super 3R vs Giro Switchblade
The Bell Super 3R helmet is similar to Giro Switchblade which is a splendid helmet too. However, the Giro Switchblade has better safety features.
The Bell Super 3R is much better ventilated, however. Since only professional mountain bike riders require downhill protection, the Bell Super 3R is a much suiter option for most riders.
A likeable factor of Super 3R is that it is a versatile option. It would take advantage of the chin bar whenever needed. Due to its convertible features, the weight of the entire helmet becomes adjustable.
In comparison to the other tail helmets, this helmet is a little heavier at 430 grams. Montaro’s weight is 381 grams and the POC Tectal Race weighs 355 grams.
Open Face or Full Face – Which Protection is Better for Mountain Biking?
The choice between open and full face protection is a big one in the mountain biking community. This debate is amplified because if the helmet is not properly covered, the rider can face fatal injuries or even death.
Getting a helmet that fits your riding style and necessity is important. If you are a no-risk cyclist, there is no need to invest in an expensive full face helmet. However, if you are into rough terrain riding, taking complete precautions is a must.
Most riders prefer Super 3R MIPS helmet because it has the option of removing the chin bar that removes the chin guard. Therefore, when in need of a stable cycling experience, the rider can be assured of full face security with the chin guard. When not in need, riding without the chin bar allows the rider to be relieved of added weight.
Exploration riding requires a chin bar. This is because anything can be come in the rider’s path. Safety is the priority in that scenario.
The most necessary thing to consider is wearing a helmet that has MIPS technology. The Bell Super 3R MIPS helmet fulfils the required safety for most mountain biking necessities.
It is important to remember in this review that full face helmets (open face helmets) do not well insure complete safety. Even with cheek pads, the chin and teeth are exposed, and when in trouble, they will be of no use.
The addition of an optional chin bar and chin guard allows for great protection when required. You can switch from a normal helmet to the Bell Super 3R MIPS helmet. This convertible feature of the helmet in review is exemplary.
Key Advantages of the Super 3R
From reviews of this helmet, here are the some key pros of the Bell Super 3R.
- Ample ventilation
- Less weight than the predecessor and competitors
- Conveniently removable chin bar
- Addressed the problem with the predecessor
- Easily fitting adjust fit system
- Camera point
- Great goggle integration
- Adjustable visor
- Wide vision field
- Bell Super 3R MIPS slip plane safety technology
- Compatible with backwards chin bars
- Comes in a lot of colors
- Full face coverage
- Only a three click switch system to convert from normal to full face helmet
Key Disadvantages of the Super 3R
The Bell Super 3R has some key disadvantages that are mentioned in several reviews. They are as follows.
- No downhill safety certification
- Does not follow ASTM DH safety standards
- Stiffly operational chin guard clips
- No padding on the Float Fit retention system
- Sloppy GoPro mount
- The helmet can interfere with frames of sunglasses
- The helmet’s weight can be a little lighter
- unpleasing mushroom like aesthetic
- Lack of cheek pads
- If you want to use the helmet without the chin bar, you must have a place to keep it.
Yes, the 3R was made after reviews on 2R were read. I is a well ventilated helmet that gives smug fit to the visor, goggles and recording equipment. Yes, you should get it if you have read the reviews and are convinces that it is the right fit for your needs.
If you get his helmet, however, do not attempt risky downhill trails. This review aims to give you a proper understanding of whether this helmet is worth your money.