Bell has played a strong hand with the XR Spherical. It’s a helmet that combines great looks (in my opinion) and practicality. But, more importantly it features the most advanced head protection technology. And has and an easily adjusted cradle, one-handed magnetic buckle making it an ideal lid all-rounder who mix up on whatever surface they choose.
Let’s be frank, safety-first people! So, what’s address what’s under the shell of the Bell XR Spherical MIPS Helmet. The main body is constructed in two pieces, an outer made of the expanded polystyrene and an inner of expanded polypropylene. These can move independently – you can literally move the inner shell around inside the outer. That’s the ‘Spherical MIPS’ feature. The idea of that is the outer shell can move to absorb a glancing impact. Like mountain bike helmets the inner shell extends a couple of centimetres more down the back of your head this is to offer a bit more protection if you come off backwards. You can clearly see this lid is made for various styles. All these features are aimed at offering better protection.
To keep your noggin from overheating the Bell XR Spherical has fourteen large vents in the outer shell let plenty of air flow through. I’ve had this helmet for six months now and even in our warmer months it does a great job of keeping your head cool. What’s more there are vents between the inner shell and cradle to pull more air over your head. The rear dial is super simple – it features a Float Fit occipital cradle that’s coated with rubber to make it easy to grip. What’s more front the padding extends under the brim to wick sweat away from your forehead. I particularly liked this feature – I mean who enjoys sweat running down their face in their eyes?! For driver awareness there’s a reflective decal on the back. And there’s stash slots to biff your glasses into – a win in my book.
So, as noted earlier I’ve had the lid for some time now. And what I can honestly say it’s been my go-to since I’ve had it. I like the aesthetics of this all-round lid and how it’s not way down the roadie spectrum. The comfort factor is also very important – with a lot of the content trips you see here in this journal means we’re often in the field all day long shooting. So, having a helmet that’s comfortable to wear all day long is bloody good! You can tweak the fit super easy on the fly and the occipital cradle fits so securely. It’s stable and when you hit those ruts on the trails or gravel it doesn’t bounce around. The vents do their job well at moving air over your noggin although in the colder months I did need a cap. Again, it’s all easily adjustable with the Float band and occipital cradle even if you have a heavier cycling cap underneath the helmet. I liked the Ionic+ padding as it was super comfy on my skin, wicked away the constant streams of sweat and to save your helmet from stinking it can be removed for washing.
As mentioned, I’ve had the lid for some time now, and what I can honestly say is that it’s been my go-to since I’ve had it. I like the aesthetic of this all-round lid and how it’s not way down the roadie spectrum. The comfort factor is also very important. Often, the content trips you see in this journal involve being in the field all day shooting, so having a helmet that’s actually comfortable to wear for that long is bloody good! You can tweak the fit super easily on the fly, and the occipital cradle fits so securely. It’s stable and when you hit those ruts on the trails or gravel it doesn’t bounce around. The vents do their job well, moving air over your noggin, although in the colder months I did need a cap underneath.
Again, it’s all easily adjustable with the Float band and occipital cradle, even if you’re wearing a heavier cycling cap underneath the helmet. I liked the Ionic+ padding as it was super comfy on my skin, wicking away the constant streams of sweat. To save your helmet from stinking after those long-haul rides, the padding can be removed and washed easily.
I’ve travelled with the Bell XR Spherical, and have found it durable throughout.; from being on planes, to being on the side of a trail and everything in between. Bell has ensured there’s no exposed polystyrene or polypropylene foam in those areas where helmets typically get damaged by day-to-day use, such as round the bottom edge. That’s covered by the comoulded shells, so it won’t get tatty just from minor drops.
Overall, there’s not much to dislike about this lid. It’s well-rounded and has some nifty features. It’s style prob-ably isn’t for everyone, but style is subjective right?! And the weight is a little heavy, with features like MIPS Spherical and the magnetic buckle, however, this wasn’t noticed when it was perched on top of my head. Above all, the comfort reigns supreme and I like the fact that it doesn’t have a defined ‘category’ — just use it for whatever type of riding you fancy.
Distributed by Worralls
Reviewed by Liam Friary