The Bell Super was the catalyst for the ever-increasing number of convertible open/full-face lids on the market, and the 3R is the latest iteration.
It features a few upgrades over the 2R, notably better internal shaping and a new cradle design with a rubberised wheel for adjusting fit. The result is a helmet that is, without the chin guard, very comfy.
The cradle is supportive and easy to tweak — even though the top of the wheel can be hidden by the helmet’s lower edge, its light feel means it can still be turned. Being really critical, when the cradle is done up super tight, releasing tension in the system is perhaps a bit too light.
The fit feels relatively secure without the chin guard, but the MIPS liner, which protects against rotational injury, does mean the shell can move a touch. Wearing the Super 3R with goggles increases its secure feel.
At 435g (size M) without the chin guard, it’s relatively heavy but adding the chin guard only takes it up to 755g, which is certainly reasonable for the protection levels. Inside there’s lots of padding, but 23 vents, as well as over-brow venting, help to prevent heat build-up.
Clipping on the chin guard is simple, but the ends of the clips lie close to the helmet — this makes them difficult to get fingers under, especially when gloved or with cold hands, and with their stiff action, makes unclipping a bit of a pain.
The chin piece itself has thick-ish cheek pads, but removing the inserts makes the fit more comfy for those with chunkier faces (tester included!). The guard has six vents, reducing the claustrophobic feel and again keeping things cool.
Externally there’s a large visor, which shifts well out the way if you want to pop your goggles under the visor on climbs, and up top there’s an optional GoPro mount, which is designed to break away in a crash, further reducing injury risk.
Adding the guard no doubt increases protection in a crash, but it doesn’t comply to full DH safety standards. Without it, it’s a perfectly reasonable trail helmet, although one that most testers found aesthetically to be a little mushroom-like.
There are three sizes as well as female options. The blue/white colourway sadly won’t be available in the UK.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.