Bell Sanction 2 DLX Full Face Helmet

Photos Vik Banerjee (title), Niels van Kampenhout (inline)
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The Sanction 2 is Bell's newest full face helmet, aimed at new or casual park riders and shuttlers. It sits at the value end of the price spectrum with the base model coming in at 120 USD and a MIPS-equipped model at 180 USD*. Both versions are ASTM DH and ASTM BMX certified and they are available in sizes XXS-XL and in a variety of colourways, ranging from plain black to something called "Bonehead Gloss Pink/Turqoise".

Bell sent me a matte black Sanction 2 DLX which is the MIPS version. My head measures somewhere between 58 and 59 cm (depending on my hair of the day) and the size L Sanction (57-59 cm) sits nice and snug around my scalp. New out of the box, the 30mm thick one-size-fits-all cheek pads pushed uncomfortably into my jawline but after some use they've started packing out a bit. Being able to customize fit with cheek pads of different thickness would have been nice but at this price point there are bound to be trade-offs.

* Canadian pricing unknown at the time of writing.

I took the Sanction for some bike park laps as well as a trail ride. While riding, the 14 vents worked remarkably well to keep things cool as long as I kept moving at a decent pace. While descending or even just pedalling undulating terrain, I mostly forgot it was there which is what I look for in a helmet. The Sanction got pretty sweaty on sustained uphill efforts which isn't surprising for a DH helmet. Removing the cheek pads is an option but the helmet doesn't sit as stable without them.

The DLX model uses the MIPS Essential system to reduce rotational forces on impacts. This is the basic version of MIPS, using a thin shell rotating inside the helmet. While wearing the helmet, the MIPS shell didn't get in the way of comfort and I never noticed any movement while riding. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether MIPS is worth the additional cost.

The Fidlock buckle is easy to open with a single gloved hand, although I needed two to close it. The visor position is adjustable with big screws on either side. Staying with the budget theme, I used 100% Strata 2 goggles which fit the Sanction without issues. The size L Sanction weighs 1114 g, barely heavier than Bell's top tier Full 10.


Chairlift tested with 100% Strata 2 goggles.

Overall I found the Sanction 2 DLX to be a perfectly fine full face helmet for casual park and shuttle laps. Fit is not adjustable so make sure to try before you buy but if it suits your head shape, the Sanction is a great DH helmet at a very reasonable price.

Find all the info about the Sanction 2 and Sanction 2 DLX at Bell Helmets.

Niels van Kampenhout

Location: Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, BC
Model Year: 1980
Height: 6'2" / 187 cm
Weight: 176 lbs / 80 kg
Inseam: 35" / 89 cm
Ape Index: 1.005
Riding style: Zenduro(TM)

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+4 Niels van Kampenhout Vik Banerjee Mammal thaaad

Nice title shot, Vik. I think Niels has a contender for tattoos for people who identify as mountain bikers in the forearm leaf shadows.


0 Niels van Kampenhout Andy Eunson

Noticed that too. "Sick sleeve, I didn't know... Oh."


+1 Niels van Kampenhout

Bell helmets fit me well, but I’m curious about other brands as well next time I search for a new helmet. Anyone know of brands with similar fit? 

I’ve tried sweet protection as I love their look, but the fit is not great for me.


+2 Niels van Kampenhout Tadpoledancer

Not sure if Giro and Bell fit the same (same company and all) but if you have a Giro shaped noggin, give Kali a try - similar shape, just slightly better fitting for my dome.



Cheers, I can give those brands a try 🙂



Is this meant to replace the fusion line?



I'm not too familiar with the Bell catalogue but I think this replaces the original Sanction.


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