- Lots of coverage
- Well ventilated
- Unobtrusive MIPS layer
- Long chin strap on smaller sizes
- Price is premium but you do get what you pay for
- Questionable female colour options
The Bell Sixer is a super comfy half face helmets that fits better than Bell helmets of old and looks great too. Perfect for more chilled trail riding as well as enduro racing too, this lid has a host of features that make it worthy of the price tag.
The Sixer is brand new to the Bell line up of helmets this year, sitting in the space previously occupied by the Super, without the chin bar of course. It is designed as the ultimate trail lid, to be worn all day, to keep you sweat free and most importantly comfortable.
Everything you want in a trail or enduro lid is present, plenty of ventilation holes (26 to be precise) MIPS, 'non-twist' chin straps and rear cradle, plenty of coverage low down at the rear, anti-sweat padding and a removable camera/light mount. There is also an adjustable visor which coupled with a rubber strip at the rear mean wearing goggles and keeping them in place is a doddle whether they are over your eyes or perched on top of the lid.
The Sixer uses an EPS foam construction that is layered called ‘Progressive Layering’ to better absorb different types of impacts, softer foam for slower speed impacts closer to the skull and harder foam for higher speed ones nearer the outer of the shell. The MIPS liner is also a little different on this lid, rather than the yellow plastic layer you might be accustomed to seeing, the MIPS on the Sixer is equipped with little elastomer links which are attached to the plastic skeleton of the MIPS layer and the helmet EPS layer. This allows the MIPS layer to move around and also provide a place for the attachment of helmet pads. It makes for a much neater finish and the MIPS is almost undetectable to the eye.
The front vents on the Sixer are also a little different in design, Bell has included a strip of vents across the forehead and also four intake ports in the underside of the brow piece allowing loads of airflow up and over the front of the lid – it really works too. Whlist the Sixer is still a robust lid that does get a little hot at times, it’s head and shoulders about it’s competition such as the Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS and offering more protection than, say a Giro Montaro, with similar breathability.
The cradle and strap system on the Sixer is well thought out, the rear adjustment dial on the cradle is easy to locate and use with one hand and the back portion is lined with a dense foam to further aid comfort factors. The height of the cradle can also be placed at a choice of four heights. The chin straps are well designed with an ‘anti-twist’ system to help the pieces lie flat against your face. My only gripe here is that the chin straps are quite long for smaller faces and only adjustable in length on one side, leaving the buckle to the right-hand side of my chin and a lot of folded up extra strap on the right too.
This helmet is much more comfortable than any Bell helmet I’ve used before, I’ve owned a Bell Super 2R and found the fit a little too wide at the sides which didn’t suit my head shape. Also on the Super 2 the lid dropped low at the temples, great for protection but not so good for compatibility with glasses. Fortunately, these issues have been addressed with the Sixer, it is shaped well and sits snug on my head without digging into the forehead when I winch the rear cradle up.
I used the Sixer with a few different riding glasses and found none of them fouled on the lid. I also managed to stash them on top of the peak with the arms inserted into a front vent on either side of my head when I didn’t want to ear them. It wasn’t the most secure but it worked for a gently climb or when you are off the bike.
My small sized lid weighs in at 379g which is pretty good for this kind of lid, not the lightest but offered decent coverage to offset the weight. For reference a small Giro Montara weighed 370g. There are four sizes on offer, small through to XL and a load of colour options, plus some suitable girly ones in the Joy Ride lineup. Being female I was initially sent a pink and white version which in my opinion was hideous so I swapped it out for a unisex one. There are no differences between men’s and women’s versions aside from colour.
The helmet does come at a slightly premium price of £150 but it’s become my latest ‘go to’ lid and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with your purchase if you choose to buy one. It’s a super comfy, rugged lid with some cool features that really do aid performance.