How much can there be to say about a helmet? Our valued customer Richard Adams gives us his take on the Bell Sixer MIPS helmet. Check it out!
Surprisingly after 10 years of mountain-biking, you become a bit particular. Recreational mountain biking 3 to 4 times a week for a 2-hour stint over rocks and roots in the Northeast really beats on machine and man. Equipment performance is key for fun, safe rides, and you don't want to hold up your riding friends with person or machine issues. Having now owned 6 helmets, the Bell Sixer is a standout. I decided it was time for a new helmet after hearing a local TV news report confirming the improved safety from the MIPS system. Some of my friends have had MIPS for a couple of years now yet I was dubious of the actual benefit over a good non-MIPS. However, the studies apparently have shown it does make a safety difference and my old helmet was starting to fall apart.
Another safety feature is visor position. The visor helps keep the low hanging brush off the face (always wear safety glasses as well) and is key to spotting those tree trunks crossing low over the trail. I can attest that a low visor can be a problem having clocked myself twice - embarrassingly on the same low hanging tree trunk. The second time I was sitting on the ground and by coincidence a mountain biking MD came upon me seconds later and gave me a quick trailside “follow my finger with your eyes”. I was fine, just a bit stunned and good to go about 10 min later. Felt it more in the neck. That helmet was soon in the trash can. The Sixer has great visor adjustability and I typically keep it in the middle. Low enough to protect my face yet high enough to spot those head height fallen tree trunks. Following the winter storms in the Northeast, I personally helped clear about 150 trees crossing the trails.
Another Sixer feature that I have notably appreciated during the very hot and humid last few weeks is the forehead/brow drip guard. I sweat profusely and that feature has dramatically reduced sweat dripping down the lenses of my safety glasses. A big stream of sweat running down the lens is another hazard that can lead to crashes. That Bell Sixer feature really works!
I haven't found a use for the camera/light mount. I don't ride with a camera and my light isn't compatible with the mount.
In a few weeks I'll be riding in Moab. I purchased the red/black helmet and although the helmet has great air ventilation I was concerned the black center color would absorb too much heat from the sun beating down with no cover of trees. I think it will be fine as the black color has a touch of silver in it making it a bit grey color and appears reflective enough to not be a heat magnet issue.
My only negative comment comes from using a deer fly sticky patch on the back of the helmet. When I peeled off the tape and the 18 flies stuck to it, some red paint also peeled off.
Otherwise, I really like this helmet. Light, airy, stays in place, easy to adjust, and keeps the sweat off my glasses and tree trunks away from my head. Gotta love that. Also, friends not waiting for me! Craft beer never tasted so good.
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