I’m not going to lie to you; I’m going to be talking a lot about Bell Helmets over the next several posts and the new arrivals we have in stock. But unlike in my previous post, announcing that we’re a Bell stockist, I’m going to give each helmet it’s own spotlight and tell you more than just a summary so that you know as as much as I do before you order one instore or online.
Starting off with the Bell Qualifier DLX!
When you see this helmet you’ll first be met with the smoothe, aerodynamic shell shape. It’s a sleek yet modest look comapared to the more extravagent models such as the Bell Race Star but, just like it’s more expensive siblings, the DLX was still designed in a wind tunnel to ensure a safe, stable and streamline riding experience. It’s aerodynamic shape assists in keeping the helmet down and seated on the head while riding at speed and cut down on wind resistance. The shell is made of a lightweight polycarbonate that keeps the helmet weight at just 1.5kg, so shoulder checks aren’t a literal pain in the neck when turning your head. On the front of the shell you’ll notice three sets of vents- one on the chin bar, one on the brow and a pair at the top. The mouth and brow vents are small and low-profile but work to keep your visor clear while the top vents work to keep you cool. If you find that you’d rather have them closed, because the air is a bit too chilly or you want to minimise road noise as much as you possibly can, all of these front vents can be closed if you wish. Turning the helmet around you’ll see two pairs of exhaust vents, this is where the hot air from inside your helmet flows out while you’re riding to keep you cool. These vents can’t be closed though, they’re always open.
While at the back of the helmet you’ll also notice that the helmet is ECE certificated and has a gold ACU approved sticker on it, indicating that this helmet is suitable for track use. You’ll also notice a little circular sticker with numbers on it- this is special. The outer ring of numbers represents the month and the big number in the middle represents the year. So if “12” has been marked out and the big number is 14, the helmet was made in December of 2014.
Back to the front, you may notice that the visor sticker has “Transitions® Adaptive Shield” on it. That’s because this visor is photochromic- it changes shade depending on the intensity of the sunlight it is exposed to. Or more sepcifically- how intense the UV light is. So if you ride out into a nice bright day, the Visor will tint it’s self darker after a few moments of exposure. But in darker weather or night time, the visor will become clear again. In the photos above I’ve used a little UV light to demonstrate. The visor is also anti-fog, anti-scratch and UV protected. The sides of the visor also have a quick release mechanism, so if you do need a new Bell Qualifier DLX Visor or just fancy a change, installing it is really easy and you won’t need any tools to do it.
Lets move to the inside of the helmet. The helmet strap features a double D-ring fastening, as it is with all Bell Helmets. The cheek pads and lining are are all fixed into place with poppers, they’re quite tough though, so it won’t slip out while you’re riding but they’re still easily removed for cleaning. Beneath the lining there’s the impact foam. The lining of the helmet is designed to have a good, snug fit, with no space between your head and the foam to ensure maximum protective potential in an impact. There are also versions of the Qualifier DLX that come with MIPS, a patented brain protection technology that lets the helmet move just a little bit in an impact in relation to your head. It works to slow the twisting movements of the head in the event of more angled or rotational impacts. The Bell Qualifier DLX Helmet series ranges in price from £169.99 for the solid colour versions, £179.99 for the Clutch graphics, Impulse graphics and Striped versions. For just a bit more at £209.99, both the Solid and Accelerator versions come with MIPS installed. The sizes available range from XS right the way through to XXL, It’s definitely one of the more affordable models from Bell but still spares no expense at rider safety. It even has a recess port and speaker pockets that are compatible with the Bell Sena SMH10 and Cardo Scala Rider Q1/Q3 Bluetooth stereo headset and intercoms. It’s a very versatile and thought out helmet that gives options for customisation in visors and exra accessories but doesn’t need them to still hold it’s own as a top notch lid.
If you’ve been looking at the Bell Qualifier, I hope this helps. But if the Bell Qualifier DLX isn’t your cup of tea, we have wide selection to choose from in our Bell Helmets range.
– MattW at Ghostbikes.com