Interbike: Bell partners with Paul Frank

Kid's lids get the Julius treatment

As we reported recently, Bell Sports is teaming up with some prolific artists and image makers to spice up its kid's helmet line. Bell introduced its US$40 line of Paul Frank Faction and Fraction helmets at Interbike, in styles sure to inspire more grommits to ride with style.

The universally-sized helmets are Bell's answer to a growing legion of kids who decide early on what's cool or not: wearing a drab helmet and not riding their bike out of embarassment, or grabbing something cool and taking to the streets and bike paths.

Bell originally launched the Faction as a hardcore dirt jump/trail helmet, but has seen it adapted by everyone from bike messengers to people on beach cruisers as well as kids riding to school. It’s with the latter categories that the Santa Cruz, California company decided to diversify the graphics a bit.

According to Bell's Don Palermini, it made sense to partner with Paul Frank, a fellow iconic California brand made universally famous by Julius the monkey and a growing fan base among adults as well.

"Even my wife wanted me to get her the whole collection of Bell Paul Frank helmets," he told BikeRadar last week at Interbike. "There's something about the Paul Frank brand that speaks to people of all ages."

According to Palermini, the Faction has been one of Bell’s top-selling helmets since its introduction in 2004. In 2009, Bell added the Fraction, a smaller version of the helmet for kids. The helmets are certified to the CPSC and CE1078 bicycle standards as well as the ASTM 1492 skate standard. They feature a durable ABS plastic hard shell, dual density EPS foam, colour-matched buckles, printed interior pads and coordinated strap webbing.

The Bell Paul Frank Faction weighs 14.8oz./422g, while the Fraction -- a smaller version for younger kids -- weighs just 9oz./255g. Both models retail for US$40. Standard colours are also available for the Paul Frank-averse kids.

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