Bell Super DH Mountain Bike Helmet Review

Female mountain biker wearing full face helmet riding downhill trail in Oaxaca Mexico with giant agave plant on side of trail

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A good helmet is inarguably the most important piece of mountain bike gear, so it’s important to put a lot of thought and time into finding the right helmet for you. I’ve worn the Bell Super DH helmet for a handful of years (and many, many miles) and like more things in there, it has its pros and cons.

In this post, I dig into what I like about the Bell Super DH MIPS helmet and what I don’t plus few other options to consider.

(I’m not being paid by Bell or anyone else to write this review)

At A Glance

The Bell Super DH MIPS helmet is really two helmets in one: you can wear it without the chin guard for every day riding or snap on the chin guard for bike park days or rowdier trails. It’s a great choice for the rider who wants one helmet that can do it all. With a ASTM F1952 Downhill Standard approval rating and MIPS technology to help prevent injury from rotations forces, this helmet will give you peace of mind no matter what trail you’re shredding.

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Price: $350

Weight: 1 lb 14 oz w/ chin guard

Safety: ASTM F1952 DH & MIPS

# of vents: 25 vents

Pros:

  • Comfortable to wear for long or short rides
  • Removable chin bar makes it very versatile
  • Two cheek pad sizes for a perfect fit as full face
  • MIPS certified
  • Meets downhill helmet safety criteria
  • Adjustable visor
  • Magnetic chin strap buckle is convenient

Cons:

  • Can’t buy replacement liner pads
  • Visor screws come loose easily
  • Not the most ventilated helmet out there
Female mountain biker wearing full face helmet riding downhill trail in Oaxaca Mexico with giant agave plant on side of trail

What I like

Comfort & fit

The Bell Super DH is one of the most comfortable helmets I’ve tried. I’ve never felt any pressure points or had the lid slip down over my brows like some other helmets I’ve tested.

It also has an adjustment dial at the back (like all mountain bike helmets should have) so you can get the perfect fit.

When wearing as a full-face, it comes with two cheek pad sizes so you can choose whichever works for you.

The removable chin bar

The detachable chin guard is the main selling point for the Bell Super DH. It’s really two helmets in one – you can wear it as a ‘normal’ helmet for every day pedaling and then strap on the chin bar if you’re heading to the bike park or planning on doing some rowdier trails.

Some people question whether the removable chin bar design is as safe and secure as a one-piece full-face helmet. I would say that for the normal/average rider – yes, it’s definitely adequate.

However, if you’re a true downhiller and taking bigger risks on jumps, drops, and other features then you may want to consider a dedicated downhill full-face helmet.

Bell Super DH mountain bike helmet with removable chin guard
The Bell Super DH has a removable chin guard, making it two helmets in one

The magnetic chin strap buckle

This is a feature I didn’t know I really liked and needed until I got the Super Bell DH. The magnetic chin strap buckle is a nice touch and makes buckling/unbuckling easy and efficient, especially with one hand.

Safety

The most important factor when choosing a mountain bike helmet is safety, right? The Super Bell DH has one of the highest safety ratings for mountain bike helmets – a ASTM F1952 Downhill Standard approval rating, which means it’s designed to protect your noggin a high speed crashes.

It also has MIPS Technology, which most mountain bike helmets these days should come with. MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. This means that MIPS helmets – including the Super DH – have a thin, plastic liner that is designed to protect your head against rotational forces during a crash.

“The brain is more sensitive to rotational motion than linear motion because it has shear properties similar to water or gel. When different parts of the brain move relative to each other as a result of rotational motion, the tissues can stretch, which can cause concussions or other brain injuries.” – MIPS Website

You can learn more about how the technology works on the MIPS Protection website.

What I Don’t Like

Can’t buy replacement liners

This is by far the biggest reason to not buy the Bell Super DH. In fact, I didn’t get another Super DH for precisely this reason. I ride a lot and the padded liners in my helmets almost always get worn out before I need to replace the actual helmet.

Bell used to offer replacement liners, but for some reason has discontinued them. I do really like this helmet, but until they bring back the replacement liners, I’ll be opting for something different.

The visor screws come loose

Another thing I’ve noticed with the Bell Super DH is that the screws that hold the visor in place come loose really easily. I actually lost one on both of my helmets, which was annoying.

The screws don’t fully keep the visor secured to the helmet, but they help keep the visor from slipping down. (And like the liners, you can’t buy replacements).

Inside look at Super Bell DH mountain bike helmet with very worn padded lineers
In dire need of new padded liners
Super Bell DH mountain bike helmet missing a visor screw
The visor screw came loose and fell out

Is this helmet for you?

I’ve been wearing the Bell Super DH mountain bike helmet for several seasons and I like a lot of things about it: it’s comfortable, it’s downhill-rated, it’s two helmets in one, and it comes in some great color choices.

However, the fact that Bell discontinued the replacement liner set is a big issue for me. It’s crazy that you can’t get new liners for a $350 helmet. I typically wear a helmet for two, maybe three years and I definitely wear out the pads before needing to replace the actual lid.

If the replacement liners aren’t a big issue for you and you want the option to switch between full face and half lid, then I’d say this is a great helmet choice.

Shop the Bell Super DH:
Mountain biker riding off small drop at bike park in California

DH vs Air vs 3R

In addition to the Super DH, Bell also has two other helmets with removable chin guards – the Super Air R and the Super 3R. Here’s how they stack up against each other:

Super DH

Bell Super DH mountain bike helmet with removable chin guard

Weight (M): 1 lb 14 oz

Certification: ASTM’s F1952 DH Standard

Safety: MIPS + Spherical Technology

Intended use: Enduro/Downhill

# of vents: 25

Price: $350

Super Air R

Bell Super Air mountain bike helmet with removable chin guard

Weight (M): 1 lb 6 oz

Certification: CPSC Safety Standard

Safety: MIPS + Spherical Technology

Intended use: All-Mountain

# of vents: 30

Price: $300

Super 3R

Bell Super R mountain bike helmet with removable chin guard

Weight (M): 1 lb 11 oz

Certification: CPSC Safety Standard

Safety: MIPS

Intended use: All-Mountain

# of vents: 33

Price: $240

Other MTB Helmets w/ removable chin guard

Not sold on the Bell Super DH or their other models but still want a removable chin guard? Here are a few other options to consider:

NAME

WEIGHT

BUY NEW LINERS?

SAFETY

PRICE

Leatt Enduro Mountain Bike Helmet

Leatt MTB Enduro

1 lb 10 oz

Yes

Turbine Technology

Giro Switchblade Mountain Bike Helmet

Giro Switch-blade

2 lbs

No

MIPS

MET Parachute Mountain Bike Helmet

MET Parachute MCR

1 lb 13 oz

Yes

MIPS

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If you found this review helpful, you might also like these posts:

Have you tried the Bell Super DH mountain bike helmet? What do you love or dislike about it? Would you add anything to this review? Leave a comment below!

Read an honest review about the Bell Super DH mountain bike helmet including pros and cons, what I love about it, and what I don't.
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