For as popular as gravel is becoming, there is still a lot of pushback on “gravel specific” products. So without calling their new helmet gravel specific, Bell has come out with a new helmet that is perfectly suited for gravel use. But it’s also just as ready for mountain bike missions if you prefer a helmet without a visor.
They say it can’t be put into one box, we say it looks like a great helmet for whatever you want to throw at it.
Like Giro, Bell has been adding Spherical Technology powered by MIPS to their helmets which allows the two halves of the helmet to rotate around themselves. That provides the usual benefit of the MIPS system while allowing Bell to use Progressive layering of the EPS foam to make the helmet safer in both low and high-speed crashes.
Important to the design of the XR, while keeping the helmet well ventilated and airy like your favorite road helmet, the offers the full coverage you would expect from a mountain bike helmet without any giant holes that could be problematic in a crash around large rocks, branches, etc.
“XR opens the door for riders to have one helmet that does it all,” said SJ Owen, marketing director for Bell Helmets. “Gravel bike riders now have go-anywhere protection that they can use for a variety of different cycling disciplines. The fit, features and safety technology of the XR deliver top-class performance, no matter what you ride.”
The XR Spherical still has 18 vents with Overbrow Ventilation to help channel air through the helmet to keep you cool. There’s also a Sweat Guide built into the ionic+ padding for moisture management. At the back, a Flat Fit retention system dials in the fit, and a Fidlock magnetic buckle with no-twist Tri-Glides keep the straps in place. There are Eyewear Grips at the front of the helmet to store your shades, and all of this results in a very light 285g weight for a medium helmet.
Offered in seven colors from stealth to wild and three sizes, the helmet is priced at $225. Expect the XR Spherical to be available later this Spring.