Bell Super 2R and 3R Helmet
Review by Tara Reddinger-Adams
Part I: The Bell Super 2R
A few years ago, before the advent of MIPS technology, a friend crashed in a race and ended up with a concussion whose side effects lasted for months. After hearing of her injury I swore off wearing road style helmets for mountain biking, my brain was just too valuable and the lack of temporal and occipital lobe protection left something to be desired in my opinion. After extensive research I settled on the Bell Super 2R with MIPS, and it has been my helmet of choice since.
The Super 2R is two helmets in one, without the chin bar it’s a full coverage all-mountain helmet, snap on the chin bar and you have a lightweight, well vented, full-face, brain bucket for burly terrain. The Super 2R’s 23 vents have provided me with plenty of ventilation in temps over 90 degrees and the visor is long enough to provide protection from the sun. I found the fit of the Super 2R to work well for my head, sitting low and even on my forehead. I also appreciate the straps being integrated into the side of the helmet, so I don’t have to worry about them being pulled unevenly to one side.
To convert the helmet to a full-face you snap three metal ski boot type clamps on the chin bar into the helmet, which securely attaches the chin bar to the helmet. The helmet provides great peripheral vision and is incredibly well vented and I am able to comfortably wear it for a long day in the park. The Super 2R easily accommodates goggles, which tuck up under the visor when not in use, a very nice feature.
Inside the helmet there is the MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) liner, a technology which is designed to reduce the rotational force from impact. I hoped to never test this technology, but during an enduro in 2016, I went endo and struck the ground head first. The chinbar took the initial impact before I rolled downhill. Later that evening as I was being checked out in the ER, the doctor said he was amazed I did not have a concussion. After giving the doc my helmet for inspection, he said there must be something to the MIPS and thought that it helped me. That was enough affirmation for me, and I got out my phone and promptly ordered a new one, since you should always replace your helmet after a crash.
Part II: The Super 3R
Fast forward to 2017 and I now have the new Bell Super 3R Joy Ride Women’s helmet. But, why you may ask, you just said how great the 2R was? Because Bell released the women’s version in matte emerald which matches my bike, and well, I wanted to be matchy, matchy. So, when I unpacked the box and tried it on I was pleasantly impressed with the tweaks Bell had made to the helmet. Bell totally redesigned the fit system, including the padding, and the result is a fit which is more comfortable than than 2R, (and the 2R was just fine for me). With the same features as the 2R and a better fit, I’m now pretty stoked on the 3R.
I’ve been incredibly happy with both the Bell Super 2R MIPS and Super 3R MIPS Equipped helmets and would highly recommend either to anyone looking for a new lid. I’ve worn them now for over two years of cross-country, all-mountain, and downhill riding and am impressed with it’s performance.
The Bell Super 3R is available with or without chin bar and in eight colors to suit your riding needs and aesthetic liking. Choose from unisex or women's fit, and styles with and without chinbar, starting at $155.00.