Bell helmets has built themselves around auto racing, motorcycle, and bicycle culture. The helmet brand was established in 1954 and has been killing it for a while now. Their bike division is the newest and fastest growing department in the company. More recently, Bell has really stepped up their game with bicycle helmets, and their latest Bell Super DH, Bell Sixer, and Bell 4forty models look to be some of their best yet. Our favorite downhill rider, Max Morgan, has been riding in the Bell Sixer helmet over the past year, and so we thought he would be a perfect candidate for reviewing this popular trail helmet. Let's check it out!
The Sixer is designed as a no compromise helmet that you can ride in all day long. The Sixer has replaced the whole in the Bell mountain bike helmet lineup where the Super 3 used to sit. It's an adventure helmet aimed to be ridden all day while keeping your head cool and safe. The Sixer takes to the trail with Bell's integrated MIPS technology, resulting in a sleeker, closer-to-the-head fit that combines with their Float Fit system and proprietary Sweat Guide to ensure unprecedented comfort in a helmet. Goggle compatibility complete with a strap gripper at the rear of the helmet, adjustable visor height, integrated camera/light mount and a full hard shell rounds out the package.
The first thing I noticed when I put on the Bell Sixer helmet is just how comfortable it is. The ratchet system on the back of the Float Fit system tightens down the helmet without creating any hot spots or uncomfortable pressure points on the front or the back of the helmet. This is something that is huge for a first impression of a helmet. You can tell right away if the helmet is at all comfortable on your head. The Sixer seems to cup your head and doesn't move even if you touch your toes with your head pointed towards the ground.
The strap system on the Sixer is fairly low profile and minimalistic. I am a fan of that for sure. I tightened down the chin strap not too tight and there isn't too much extra strap hanging off and flapping around. The Float Fit system is also adjustable, that way you can adjust where the ratchet tensioner sits on the back of your head. I made one quick adjustment that moved the tensioner farther up on the back of my head and everything felt spot on.
Pairing up your favorite riding glasses with the Sixer helmet makes for a sharp look!
I've been able to ride in the Sixer helmet all day long without any discomfort, all while feeling like I've got a safe helmet on my head. You just forget that it's even on! After a long ride, sometimes we will all go get some food at the local spot and most of the time I don't even realize I still have my helmet on. It's light weight and comfortable!
Thankfully I have't hit my head too hard in the Sixer helmet so I can't speak to how it holds up on big impacts. But for the most part, the Sixer feels really solid on your head and hasn't slid off the few times I have had a crash in it.
The helmet cam mount on the Sixer has also been really nice. I don't use a GoPro too often while trail riding but it is certainly handy having a built in mount right on top of the helmet. The mount snaps right in to place and stays locked in no problem while riding.
One of the only negatives I have found with the Sixer helmet is that when riding in glasses, sometimes I have to push the glasses underneath the ratchet tensioner on the Float Fit system. I've tried a few different styles and models of glasses and most all glasses with shorter side arms fit perfect. Right now, I am riding in Julbo Aerospeed glasses and they are certainly longer than some others I've worn in the past. This isn't at all uncomfortable but it would be nice if the glasses didn't come in contact with the strap on the back of the helmet.
At the end of the day, you want a helmet that is comfortable, one that you can ride in all day long, a helmet that is safe and protective, and one that is well ventilated. The Bell Sixer helmet does each and every one of those things for me. It is a top shelf product, and one I tend to want to grab every time I go for a ride over some of the other helmets I have laying around. It's very lightweight and stays locked in place while riding all without creating any pressure points around your head. The MIPS system is integrated nicely without being bulky or standing away from the helmet too much. The Bell Sixer helmet is a nice one and will have you smiling on your bike all day long.
Max Morgan is 26 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. He has now been racing professionally for the last 8 years, competing in the UCI World Cup series and U.S. Pro GRT series. To learn more about Max, check out Max's rider spotlight here!