Bell helmets - Interbike 2013

Trickledown technology in mountain and urban helmets

Interbike is generally a time for companies to showcase the best and most expensive product offerings — the “halo product” that draws customers in. Bell Helmets is bucking that trend this year by using the annual industry tradeshow to show off a new line of mid-range helmets, which pack a lot of features into lids with very approachable price tags.

Transfer-9

The Transfer-9 is a new full-face that follows closely in the footsteps of the US$400 Full-9 helmet. Bell was able to pack 90-percent of the features in a helmet that will retail for half the price by using a fiberglass, rather than carbon, shell and simplifying features with what appears to be very little decrease in functionality.

The Transfer-9 (right) packs most of the features of the Full-9 (left) into a much more affordable helmet

All the major features of the Full-9 carry over to the more affordable Transfer-9. It has three overbrow vents to aid in ventilation, removable cheek pads, a padded chin strap with a D-ring closure, and it’s compatible with the Eject helmet removal system as well as the Soundtrax audio system. Both the visor and removable GoPro mount are designed to break away in the event of an impact.

As one might expect, the switch from carbon to polycarbonate does come with a weight penalty; the Transfer-9 has a claimed weight of 1200g, which is 150g more than Bell’s Full-9. The Transfer-9 will retail for US$200 (UK pricing TBD) and will be available in February 2014.

Stoker

The Stoker can be thought of as a slimmed down version of Bell’s Super trail/enduro helmet. Slimmed down in terms of features, but also in terms of weight. Although the US$70 Stoker will cost US$55 less than the Super, its claimed weight of 316g makes it 74g lighter than the Super. These weight and price cuts were made possible by incorporating a simpler, non-adjustable visor, ditching the GoPro mount and simplifying the brow ports. There are also only 13 vents on the Stoker, compared to 25 on the Super.

The value-oriented Stoker (right) is lighter on features and grams than the top-end Super (left)

The Stoker is expected to be available by the end of October.

Intersect

The Intersect is a new urban model that takes design cues from the Segment. Like the Segment, the Intersect uses a series of interior EPS foam segments connected by a reinforcing skeleton. It adds features such as a removable visor and an integrated mount for a rear light (sold separately through Blackburn).

The Intersect (right) shares a similar design to the Segment (left) in a more urban-focused package

The Intersect has a claimed weight of 450g and will retail for US$60. It will be available in February 2014.  

For more information on Bell products visit www.bellhelmets.com.

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