Luxury Bikes

Bell Super Air R Spherical – In our big 2023 comparison test for lightweight and convertible full-face helmets

As a pioneer of convertible full-face helmets, Bell is taking part in our 2023 full-face helmet comparison test with the Super Air R, which is equipped with more safety features and less weight than its predecessor. Is that enough to win our comparison test?

Bell jar Super Air R spherical | Convertible | 766g | 340 € | Manufacturer’s website

With the Super Air R Spherical, Bell is entering the race with a new development of an old classic, the Super Air, the forefather of convertible helmets. At €340 and 766 g, it is in the middle of the test field in terms of both price and weight. As the name extension suggests, the Super Air R Spherical features MIPS Spherical technology, which consists of two independent shells seamlessly connected by a low-friction MIPS sliding layer. In the event of an impact, the outer and inner shells can rotate independently and move a few millimeters to reduce the impact. The adjustable visor can be locked in different positions, giving you enough space under the visor to store your safety glasses. The chin bar can be removed using two clips attached to the side of the helmet, which must be released before the chin bar can be pulled forward. The system is easy and intuitive to use, even with a helmet on your head. However, attaching the chin bar is a little more difficult, so we recommend removing the helmet from your head – although this is the case with all convertible helmets in this test. Once the chin bar is removed, the chin bar attachment points serve as additional ventilation holes – a nice little detail! However, compared to the other two convertible helmets in this test, the Bell has a slightly thinner chin bar. The height of the holding system can be adjusted between four positions, although the adjustment wheel is rather difficult to reach in the highest position.

The visor can be locked in multiple positions and offers enough space to store your safety glasses.
In the half-shell configuration, the attachment points of the chin bar also serve as ventilation holes – very clever!

The Bell Super Air R sits comfortably from the first moment: just strap it on, turn the wheel and off you go! Despite the minimal padding, it is very comfortable to wear. The shell rests slightly further across the forehead than a traditional half-shell and hugs the head rather than sitting on top of it, ensuring a secure fit. Ventilation is excellent and provides plenty even during high-lactate, mid-stage trail sprints Oxygen. Without a chin bar, the Bell offers the most authentic half-shell feel in the entire test field, making it a great option if you’re upgrading from a jet helmet and want the added protection of a chin bar for loud enduro sessions. However, the chin bar is quite thin and also doesn’t meet ASTM standards for downhill helmets, meaning it doesn’t offer the same level of safety as the MET Parachute.

The Bell Super Air R scores particularly well with its good fit. The lower positioning on the head ensures a secure fit and prevents the helmet from wobbling. Ventilation is excellent and the conversion system is simple and straightforward. The Super Air R is particularly suitable for half-shell riders who want the additional protection of the chin bar for occasional wild enduro sessions. However, the lack of ASTM certification doesn’t make it the best candidate for bike parks or challenging trails.


  • Safe, comfortable seat
  • Most authentic half-shell feeling without a chin bar
  • Good ventilation


  • The chin bar does not meet the ASTM standard for downhill helmets

For more information visit

For an overview of the group test: 9 lightweight and convertible full-face mountain bike helmets tested

All full-face helmets tested: Bell jar Super Air R spherical | Bluegrass Vanguard Core Edition (Click for review) | Fox Proframe RS (Click for review) | giro Insurgent (Click for review) | MET Parachute MCR (Click here to read a review) | POC Otocon Race MIPS (Click for review) | Specialized Gambit (Click for review) | Troy Lee Designs Stage (Click for review) | Uvex Revolt MIPS (Click for review)

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker

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