REVIEW

Bell Super 2 MIPS

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Kaz Yamamura
Date Feb 16, 2016

Back in January I reviewed the fancy new Bell Super 2R. I quite liked it, and can happily report that I’m still using the removable chin bar on the majority of rides. That was until mid-April 2015. I got a bit carried away while shredding down Boogieman, lost the front in the unusually dry / loose conditions, and binned it hard down a steep section. I was so preoccupied with a dislocated finger that I hadn’t noticed I’d hit my head. After letting a couple of weeks go by to allow for the hand the heal, I went to do a ride and noticed a large dent in the shell. DAMN IT. I can say that the impact wasn’t huge when I crashed, but it was obviously hard enough to substantially deform the helmet, and the helmet certainly did its job to effectively absorb the impact. I can’t comment on crashing on the chin bar however, as only the upper shell hit the deck.

The damage. Not terrible, but the foam was crushed / cracked inside, and I thought replacing the helmet was the prudent choice.

I liked the Super 2R a lot, and wanted to keep using the removable chin bar, so I got a replacement Super 2 MIPS Equipped helmet. Unfortunately, the colours don’t match, but I can happily report that the chin bar from the Super 2R works flawlessly with the Super 2 (don’t forget to remove the little plastic caps for the side buckles to clip in to).

The Bell Super 2 MIPS in a slightly more subdued colour scheme than the Super 2R I reviewed before.

The Bell Super 2 MIPS equipped helmet weighs in at 360 grams, reportedly the same weight as the regular Super 2. I noticed no difference in the venting or weight. The MIPS equipped version did fit a tiny bit more snugly. It looks like there is a low friction plastic sheet between the pads and the shell of the helmet. I think this sheet reduces the size of the helmet ever so slightly. It’ll depend on your head, but for me the fit with the MIPS equipped version is better than the regular version. When I reviewed the Super 2R previously I was impressed with the sweat management of the Super helmet. The brow pad seemed to soak up large amounts of sweat, and only rarely under heavy compressions would I get a drip on my riding glasses. The Super 2 with MIPS remains excellent in the sweat management department.

Interior of the Bell Super 2 MIPS. The yellow is the MIPS layer that allows the helmet pads to move easily relative to the shell.

As for the MIPS system Bell claims, “MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, which is a leading slip-plane technology inside the helmet designed to reduce rotational forces that can result from certain impacts.”. The intent of the technology is to reduce the rotational impact on your head and reduce the chance of concussion. More info here. I was concerned at first that this slippy layer would result in the helmet moving around on my head, but the Super 2 felt very stable on my head, and if anything it held its position better than the non-MIPS equipped version.

I find the Super 2 MIPS surprisingly stable on my head. And the helmet works flawlessly with both glasses and goggles.

All in all, I really like the Bell Super 2 MIPS equipped helmet. I’m not entirely convinced of the science behind the MIPS System, but at the same time I can’t see it making impacts any worse. The fit for me with the MIPS System was better, as I liked the slightly tighter fit. If you’re right on the cusp of sizing with the regular Super 2, I’d advise going to the larger MIPS size. I think the Bell Super 2 looks great, fits well, is comfortable on long rides and is ventilated relatively well for the coverage it offers. For those reasons, it’s still my open face helmet of choice.

On long hot rides the Super 2 MIPS seems to deal with sweat effectively, leaving you to focus on the ride.


The good news: your helmet saved you from a head injury. The bad news: is my finger supposed to look like that?

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Comments

andre-airtime
0
Andre airtime  - Feb. 23, 2016, 10:27 p.m.

Used the Super 2R (chinguard) for about 10+ enduros around North Shore and Sea to Sky last summer and when riding harder than usual in race season. It's confidence inspiring to know your teeth and chin are somewhat protected for only a little bit more weight. Perfect all mountain solution. Saw quite a few guys from out of town at Seymour BC Enduro sporting them. It doesn't lock the head quite as well as full face but is a dramatic improvement over the classic 90's Giro Switchblade where I have seen a guy loose a tooth wearing one before because a hit to chinguard could still tilt the chinguard up and helmet back off head and expose your face. Have not crashed on it but well worth the $200 to save your face and imagine we'll start to see some alternatives over next few years as 2R is a success in my opinion. Only ride with it around 30% of the time so imagine I'll get my 3 years out of it as long as I don't crash. Andre

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john-utah
0
John Utah  - Feb. 17, 2016, 5:30 p.m.

Ive been already on my 2nd super2r Mips, I crashed hard enough to dent he crap out of it .I had hospital trip and mild concussion as part of the deal. If not for the chin guard i would definitely lost my front teeth. Super is worth the extra $$

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andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Feb. 17, 2016, 7:59 a.m.

Would you trust this helmet for something like the Trans-Provance or Trans-BC Enduro. Trying to keep overall weight down over six days but want a full face for the downs.

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john-fox
0
John Fox  - Feb. 17, 2016, 10:06 a.m.

I used it in the Trans-Provence last year, and so did many others. That being said the true competitors still used "real" full face helmets, but alas those guys are much faster than I. I found it to be a great compromise. Since then I did take a good spill at a CDC enduro in which I hit the chin guard quite hard, and came out smiling. Its a damn good helmet, and one I will buy again. Have a great trip.

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andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Feb. 17, 2016, 11:34 a.m.

Pretty good time (looked at the GC) riding at that pace was it on the edge or still fun?

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john-fox
0
John Fox  - Feb. 17, 2016, 12:16 p.m.

Oh I had a great time, except for a little mishap on the first stage of day 5 where a branch jumped into my front wheel, sent me OTB and left me with a broken rib. The Mavic guys laced it back up and kept me going, but that set me back quite a bit. My best advice is get the word race out of your mind and just ride as fast as comfortable and fun. Its long, and finishing is the most important part. Oh, and get out there an ride as many rocky loose trails as you can find, not much dirt to speak of on those trails, and the corners are incredibly tight. Cheers!

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andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Feb. 17, 2016, 12:23 p.m.

Oh I have no intention of racing! This is my post ACL surgery/ rehab present to myself. Riding for fun and stopping to take photos where ever I feel like it! Got a week with this guy, Greg Germain

the week prior to the T-P to dial myself to their terrain plus we don't have much dirt on our trails here anyway and I will pick the rockier ones to train on this spring. Plus I am learning to nose wheelie properly with a local Frenchman (a bike guide and guru bike handler) this spring. What tyres did you run?

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john-fox
0
John Fox  - Feb. 17, 2016, 12:48 p.m.

Sweet, you are doing it the right way! I wish I spent some time in the area before I jumped right in. I ran the Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR II EXO TR 3C in the front and the harder compound in the rear. They were pretty spent by the end but worked great, no flats running at 24/26 PSI. Funny that almost everyone I saw getting flats were running Schwalbe Magic Mary's in the Super Gravity casing. I was tempted to get those before I went but opted to stay with a combination I have a lot of experience with and know how they behave. If you want to read a great re-count of last years trip the guy spells out each day, and is quite to the point.

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