Product Type: Bell Bicycle Helmets
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Sideburns not needed with this helmet
Bell Bella Bike Helmet - Ice Violet
Member Name: jillycat
Bell Bella Bike Helmet - Ice Violet
Advantages: good adjustable features nice colour sturdy design breathable design
Disadvantages: needs a chin guard and some better protection for some of the plastic bits
Bike helmets are essential in my book for bike riding but as I am no Bradley Wiggins I don't need too flash a helmet just one that I can adjust to fit my head comfortably and that will protect my head and give me a bit of protection from the elements and the bugs as I ride.
I bought this helmet a couple of years ago from Halfords and have been very happy with it since. The helmet is from Bell who make various helmets including children's, racing helmets and ones for mountain biking but this one from the recreation section.
The helmet I have is in a colour called ice violet in the same design there is a blue and grey colours helmet. I choose the violet as to me this was a nice colour and a bit different to the other colours and I thought it was more girly. The colour outer contrasts nicely against the grey of the high density foam giving it a lovely look. The visor which is clip on and off is in black which again looks good against the violet.
The helmet has several vents cut into the design and I find that the amount that there is gives the helmet a good amount of breathability to it. What this means is that when I take my helmet off my hair isn't too sweaty as sweaty hair isn't a good look especially if you arriving at work for the day. The vents are of varying shape and sizes across the whole helmet and this seems mean the whole of my head gets some air and be able to breath.
The shape of the helmet is built up at the back with indentations to the foam. This shape seems to be designed to protect the rear of my head. Having never fallen off my bike it is hard to say if this shape would protect my head. However this gives the helmet a good shape and is comfortable to wear because of it. The shape also seems to be designed to be more aerodynamic with is sleek lines and shape.
The helmet is adjusted via a button style dial at the rear of the helmet now this is described in the handbook as being able to do one handed and I would disagree about this. I personally find that you need to depress the button and turn the dial but try as I might I can't do it one handed and I need to use both hands to do this. Once in place however it doesn't move or adjust till you press the button again. This I find is great as it means that no matter how much I move my head around the helmet stays in place. I personally would have liked to see some foam protection around the plastic adjusting sections as this can on longer bike rides become uncomfortable, unlike my sons helmet which has this protection. The straps to the side of the helmet adjusts in the traditional way of fastening clips but rather than them just going straight through to the holes there is a little press button that actually locks the strap in place once you have it to the correct size. These little locking devises are great in that they keep it in place and again no matter how much you move around the strap keeps at the size you want. I personally find the plastic clasp to be a bit uncomfortable when it rests against my chin. I would again of liked a bit of further protection such as a foam style chin guard as it can rub if I have my helmet too tight or I yawn.
Inside the helmet there are various foam liners to protect your head from the roughness of the inside of the helmet these make the helmet nice and comfortable to wear. They are robust and stay in place well over the constant use that the helmet gets. Over the couple of years this helmet has been in use they have started to wear down a bit but are still in place albeit a bit thinner than they were but they are still nice and comfortable to wear and reduce any friction between my head and the helmet.
The helmet has a clip on clip off visor so if you wanted to wear it when off roading you could. I personally just ride my bike on roads and cycle tracks so the visor remains in place. I have tried to take it off on occasions but I find this really tricky to do and it almost feels as if you are going to break it as you put in on and take it off. Because of this worry that it may snap I keep it on. The visor gives good protection against the elements such as a fine drizzle or the sun in my eyes. Against heavy rain it fairs less well at protecting my eyes but it is definitely better than nothing at all.
Safety wise I have never fallen off my bike so far whilst wearing the helmet so it is impossible to say if it will stand up to a fall on the road and how much protection it will give me. However the high density of it and the fact that it has passed various safety standards does give me confidence that should I fall it the helmet would protect my head. As the fit is good for me if I should fall then I have the confidence that the helmet will remain in the correct place and hence provide good protection.
Overall I am very pleased with this helmet it looks good and feels very comfortable to wear. During my bike rides I am mainly on the road and cycle paths it provides good protect and the visor keeps the sun and light rain out of my eyes. The adjustable sections of the helmet gives me a great fit on my small head. I have a few minor issue in that I would prefer the adjusting sections to be a bit more padded and to have a soft chin guard on the strap but none of these make it so uncomfortable that I can't wear it for several hours on a bike ride. The vents are well placed and stop my head from becoming too sweaty. Priced around £30 it is a mid-range helmet and is worth its money. But if you are doing serious bike riding or mountain biking this is may not be sufficient your needs due to the issues taking on and off the visor and how to adjust it at the back takes both hands rather than one. For me as a leisure cyclist rather than a Bradley Wiggins wannabe it suits my needs so I am giving it 4 stars.
Summary: A good leisure bike helmet that is good for road and cycle tracks