The All-Purpose Off-Road Bike Helmet

 Courtesy bellhelmets.com

Bell designed its new Super 2R helmet to meet the safety needs of bombing down gnarly, rock-strewn trails, while also providing the comfort and ventilation for climbing back uphill.

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Bell says the emerging Enduro race format — pedal to the top of trails before being timed on the descent — inspired the helmet. The Super 2R features a unique, removable chin guard that snaps off quickly at the top of a climb for unencumbered riding on less technical trails. The helmet was also built with 23 vents, molded air channels, and four brow ports at the front to boost airflow. And despite the sleek (and appealing) appearance, the helmet moves air over your sweaty scalp as well as any road or cross-country lid.

These smart features make the Super 2 consistently comfortable and ideal for all-day rides up and down your favorite trails, and even Enduro racing. The integrated, removable camera mount and an adjustable visor further boost the utility of the helmet. Bell also offers the 2R with MIPS technology for an extra $20 — a safety upgrade well worth the money. All cycling helmets sold in the U.S., no matter how cheap or expensive, must meet the same safety standards. So why spend extra on a helmet? Because the required CPSC safety standards only ensure a lid protects your bones, not your brain. A standard helmet’s foam absorbs the impact of a big hit to prevent a skull fracture, but that does little to help prevent a concussion as your brain is forced against the inside of your dome.

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MIPS technology can prevent potential brain injuries. Concussions are often the result of rotational forces to the head from hitting something — like the ground — at an angle. MIPS separates the liner and shell of the helmet so that the outer layer can slide around your head and absorb the rotational force.

The standard 2R still provides more protection over a standard mountain helmet, with more foam around the sides and back of the head. And Bell’s TAG Fit System ensures the helmet feels cozy and secure as you tear around trails. In fact, we found the helmet so comfortable, stylish, and confidence-inspiring, it quickly replaced our standard commuting helmet on the road. [$155; bellhelmets.com]