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Who says maximum protection has to cost an arm and a leg? The folks at Bell have not only been making excellent-quality mountain bike helmets, but they’ve taken all that great knowledge and brought it down to a price point that many can afford.

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Specs

The new Transfer-9 takes much of its technology from its bigger sibling the Full-9, but retails for about half the cost. Yes there are some changes, like a composite shell rather than the carbon one used on the Full-9, and slight changes to the shape of the shell. The change in material does add about 150 grams to the weight of the lid, bringing it up to a total of 1200 grams… but that still feels light by DH standards.

Almost all of the safety features are present as well. The Transfer-9 carries ASTM F1952-00, ASTM F2032-06, CE EN1078, and CPSC Bicycle certifications. Those certs pretty much cover the full DH-DJ spectrum of standards for North America and Europe. It’s easy to see that there was no skimping on the quality of this product.

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The Transfer-9 is Eject compatible (sold separately), with 3D-formed and snap-removable cheek pads. Bonus: the easy-to-remove cheek pads are also easily washable. In fact, the whole interior padding can be removed for cleaning.

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The XT-2 interior thankfully resists the musty moldy smell for a long while, courtesy of an antimicrobial treatment.

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Heat and sweat are managed with the 5 front and 4 rear vents, and 3 overbrow ventilation ports. As you can see in the image above there are no obstructions, and the ports don’t get covered when using goggles.

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One neat feature that you may or may not use is the Soundtrax speaker pockets, which allow you to insert your head gear without tape or other MacGyvering. Just route the wires and hide the buds in the provided pockets, and you’re good to go.

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For those who intend to record their rides, a camera mount is supplied. Simply apply the double sided tape to the mount and clean the mounting area with the supplied prep pad. The mount works very much like the Full-9’s and features the same breakaway-style mount.

Finally, the Transfer-9 features a fully-padded chin bar and a padded double D-ring closure system.

Impressions

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The Transfer-9 represents a great value for someone who is getting into a gravity-oriented mountain biking discipline. Over the course of my review I had no issues with this helmet whatsoever. Not a stitch of the padding came free, or even a single scratch on the finish despite a few tumbles. Tossing the helmet in the back of the car in a rush didn’t bug the finish, either.

I wore a size medium, and I again found that I love the improved fit over older Bell helmets. The new helmets feature a tapered fit that hugs around the bottom of the cheeks and tucks under the chin, preventing the lid from acting like a bobble head. As always, I recommend to try before you buy. But if it does fit, I’m sure you will enjoy this lid!

MSRP: $200

A big thanks to the folks at Bell for sending down the Transfer-9 for review!

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