When Bell came out with their first Super mountain bike helmet, I drooled over the elongated rectangular vents and the added protection it had over traditional helmets. At the time the Super was one of a few helmets I thought to be good looking while offering extra protection. Most other designs offered equal coverage, but in a salad bowl type of way. Safety first, but let’s be serious, looks are a close second. With that being said, when the brand new Bell Super 3R MIPS showed up for review I was ecstatic to dial it in and hit the trails.
The Super 3R has changed quite a bit from that original design. Most notably, the introduction of the removable chin bar. Designed with enduro racers in mind, the helmet can be used with or without the chin bar. When you’re at the top of a downhill run or enduro stage the chin bar is there to offer extra protection, but can easily be removed for climbing between stages or more mellow rides.
The helmet uses three separate clamps to hold the chin bar in place, which is very easily installed and removed. Even the first time I installed the chin bar it took me less than a minute. The helmet is also MIPS equipped, and ships with a standard GoPro mount attached on top. An oversize and fully adjustable visor keeps the sun and branches out of your face.
I usually fit Bell helmets quite well and the Super 3R is no exception. I didn’t experience any pressure points, although with the chin bar on it did take some time to work in the cheek pads until they felt comfortable. The Float Fit retention system was easy to dial in and kept things snug on my head even when I was bashing through rock gardens. The helmet is goggle friendly thanks to the oversize visor that not only looks great, but has infinite adjustment instead of some similar helmets/visors that offer only a few positions.
I didn’t get a chance to try out the helmet with goggles, but all signs indicate that if you wear goggles, this helmet would be a good option. The helmet ships with a removable GoPro mount which is a bonus. I didn’t get a chance to attach a camera, but did end up using it to mount a light. So not only is the Super 3R good for all those YouTube fans, it’s great for anyone looking for a solid way to mount a light to your helmet. With 23 vents in total including four brow ports and six chin bar vents, the Super 3R has plenty of air coming in to keep you cool.
All in all the Super 3R is one of my favorite mountain bike helmets. It really has it all. The great looks, comfortable fit, versatility, and light weight at 784.1 grams compared to Bell’s dedicated DH helmet the Full-9 coming in at 1050 grams. That being said, the Super 3R is not a replacement for a downhill helmet. The Super 3R is not certified to the same extent and does not offer the same protection as a full on DH helmet. However, for someone looking for a great trail style helmet that offers excellent ventilation and added protection, with the option of a chin bar for those gnarly days, the Super 3R is a great choice.