A Bell biking helmet, along with other cycling helmets, is tested to withstand an impact up to 12mph.
Here’s the standard: Helmets are tested to withstand an impact equivalent to an average sized rider traveling up to 12 mph, falling onto a stationary curb-shaped object from the height of one meter.
That’s the reason there’s a vocal group of cyclists who oppose the mandatory use of cycling helmets. They point out that because most serious cycling injuries involve an automobile, helmets are ill-equipped to protect from such an impact.
They think they’re worthless.
But you’re not too interested in all that controversy, or you wouldn’t be searching for a Bell biking helmet. So…let’s just get into what makes a good helmet and what you need to be looking for.
Bell Biking Helmet Review 101
In the olden days car bumpers were made tough, Ford tough! Now car bumpers are made to crumple, as is the front end of the entire car. How do I know?
Our $40,000 car was totaled after it hit a telephone pole while going under 20 mph. It didn’t help that the rotted pole broke off and landed across the car’s roof.
But the point is…the entire front end crumpled back into the engine compartment, absorbing the energy of the impact. Of course this saved the riders from dismemberment and permanent scarring, not to mention a painful, untimely death. Hey, wait! I thought we were talking about a Bell Biking helmet.
Think of motorcycle helmets as ’old school’ bumpers and cycling helmets as new ’crumple zone’ front ends. A Bell biking helmet is made of polystyrene (a coffee cup is made of the same material).
It isn’t designed to bounce off of objects, but instead to sacrifice itself by compressing. Because the energy that was aiming itself for your skull is absorbed by your helmet, your precious neurons are saved!
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Bells and Whistles In Bell Bike Helmets
There isn’t too much that can go into a Bell biking helmet, although I’ll bet it won‘t be long until something like an i-pod is included. Which leads me to another unrelated topic. The same parent company that owns ‘Riddell’ now owns Bell Helmets. Riddell is the company that makes football helmets. I guess if they can put headphones in quarterback’s helmets they can put headphones in a Bell biking helmet. But what about real time Bells and Whistles?
OK, you’ve got your outer Shell, your Ventilation Holes, your Straps, and your Visor.
Outer Shell Of A Bell Bike Helmet
There is a thin outer shell of plastic surrounding the polystyrene. This holds the helmet together and provides a good surface for Bell to put their logo onto.
You’ll Need Ventilation…And The Bell Cycling Helmet Does It With Style
Imagine how well a coffee cup would insulate if it was close to an inch thick. Well, put that same inch on top of your head and you can imagine how much ventilation holes are appreciated.
In 1995, Giro Helmets was bought up by Bell. Giro’s claim to fame was the design of a lightweight adult helmet with good aerodynamics. The designer and owner of the company even solicited the help of some NASA engineers for the shape and placement of the ventilation holes. So a Bell cycling helmet benefits from such engineering .
Straps Keep The Cover On Your Pumpkin
Of course it’s critical that your helmet stays on top of your head. Thus we have the strap system. There are also a variety of pads that you can put into your helmet if it doesn’t fit well. However, the closer the helmet can fit to your head without the extra pads, the more effective it is in a collision.
Straps for mountain bike helmets are stouter and stronger than the light, aerodynamic straps on a road bike helmet. The upper end helmets may have a ’pinch-preventing’ buckle so your tender throat isn’t irritated. It may be better if you lose some weight so there isn’t so much extra disgusting flesh under your chin. Ha!
Visors Are The Standard On Bell Mountain Bike Helmets
Built-in visors are common in mountain bike helmets and are useful because the mountain biker is seated relatively upright compared to the road cyclist.
A visor can be a problem for a road cyclist because they’re usually all bent over, just barely able to peer up under the front edge of the helmet even without a visor.
So there you have it. Bell is by far the biggest supplier of helmets.
You won’t go wrong with a Bell biking helmet, especially since you’ll be hard-pressed to find a helmet not made by them, or by one of the companies they own.
Don’t forget to check out some of the best helmet deals on the internet at Bike Nashbar.