Bell Super 2 MIPS
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?