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Super Air R is Bell's latest removable chin-bar helmet

Bell Super Air R
Want more descending crash safety without sacrificing comfort?
(Image credit: Bell)

Bell has evolved its removable chin-bar enduro helmet offering with a new Super Air R.

Five years after the introduction of its original Super 2R, which virtually established the removable chin-bar helmet market, Bell’s engineers have refined the concept with this new Super Air R.

Although Bell’s concept of a lightweight helmet with removable full-face protection remains the same, there are an array of additional features and ergonomic upgrades which have been introduced with the Super Air R.

Ventilation is a crucial aspect of helmet design and can become an issue with any full face, due to the additional material creating a barrier to cooling airflow. To counter this, Bell’s engineers and designers managed to carve 18 primary air vents into the helmet’s structure, supplemented by eight vents in the removable chin-bar and an additional four brow flow ports.

Beyond the considered airflow management, Bell’s designers have also increased comfort. A sweat guide with flow grooves inside the helmet guides channels moisture away and is absorbed by Bell’s X-Static helmet padding.

Safety is the most crucial element of any helmet and Bell’s Super Air R has both structural and mechanical engineering details to reduce injury in the event of a crash.

Bell is using the industry renowned MIPS system to reduce rotational forces during a crash, but also adds its own Flex Spherical system. The latter uses two different foam layers (expanded polystyrene and expanded polypropylene), which are connected by elastomers. This structure allows the foam layers to move autonomously, further absorbing and dispersing rotational impact energy during a crash.

There has been an improvement in the securing of the chin-bar system too, with the Super Air R using two buckles as opposed to the previous latch system.

Despite an increase in features, the Super Air R is 144g lighter than its predecessor. The Super Air R weighs 640g with its chin-bar in place and 410g without.

Bell has committed to a retail price point of $275 for its Super Air R.

Read more about the best mountain bike helmets here.

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype