by Pat Hernandez, PCI #834T/EMSCI #161T, Albuquerque (NM) Police Department (Retired)
The Bell Super2R helmet was designed for and marketed to enduro racers and big-mountain riders, but other user groups might enjoy and benefit from it, including beginners, anyone looking for a little extra protection, or perhaps even Bicycle Rapid Response teams. The Super 2R not only provides the required helmet protection but can also easily convert to a full-face helmet, providing immediate added protection when the situation dictates, without having to remove the helmet.
At its core, the new Super 2R uses Bell’s highly popular Super 2 helmet, but adds a chin guard that clamps securely in place with three metal clasps. The three clasps work similarly to ski boot bindings; the buckles are not only inspired by ski bindings, they are actually made in a factory that makes ski bindings. One binding on the rear along with two on the sides that use sliding hook-style clamps that affix tightly into the helmet give it a secure feel. The chin guard pushes into the 2R’s vents on the side of the helmet, making for a solid connection. The chin bar is easy to install and remove. In fact, I’ve found it is easier to operate with the helmet on, although the side bindings can be tough to feel for when wearing full-finger gloves.
After three months of riding with the Super 2R, one of the highlights I noticed was the over-brow ventilation. The helmet was designed to allow air under the brow, which works exceptionally well and seems to dry up the excess sweat that would usually be dripping in my eyes. The rear retention system is easy to operate and helps keep the helmet securely in place, without any bobbling or shifting around, even on rough trails. The helmet is also ICEdot-compatible.
ICEdot (www.icedot.org) is an emergency notification system that can activate a user’s health information using a code PIN sticker located on the helmet. As long as you register the PIN, complete your profile, and wear your helmet, EMS personnel can access your health data in case of an emergency. Other features include adjustable-thickness cheek pads and a breakaway camera mount.
The helmet can be used effectively in public safety cyclist applications ranging from normal police patrol to bicycle response teams and EMS. I have spoken with several public safety officers who are interested in using the Bell Super 2R for its unique features that provides an extra layer of safety. I am also aware of at least one agency that is currently issuing the helmet to their cyclists.
The cost of the Super 2R is $200 (or $229 for the MIPS-equipped version), but as Officer John Adsit reminded us in his video message during the IPMBA Conference Keynote Address, one can’t put a price tag on officer safety.
Visit www.bellhelmets.com for more information, to purchase, or to locate a dealer. Bell does not currently participate in the IPMBA Product Purchase Program.
Pat retired in 2014 with 20 years law enforcement experience. He completed the IPMBA Police Cyclist Course in 2003 and was certified as an IPMBA Instructor in 2005. He chaired the 2009 IPMBA Conference in Albuquerque and won first place in the 2007 and 2008 IPMBA Competitions. He attained IT status in 2013. He obtained the IMBA Level 2 Certification in November 2011. He developed the New Mexico Memorial Ride, honoring the state’s fallen officers - a metric century from Albuquerque to Santa Fe - that benefits the APD Chaplains’ Unit. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2015 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of IPMBA News.