Bell Stoker MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet, $95
For the last couple of years, Bell’s Super 2 helmet has been a popular choice, frequently seen at trailheads everywhere. The Stoker was released to offer similar performance, but at a much lower price point. In fact, the Stoker clocks in at more than $50 cheaper, but retains many of the features of the brand’s top-tier mountain bike helmet.
Designed to meet the demands of the all-mountain or enduro rider, the Stoker still has excellent ventilation and comfort for all day rides. With full coverage of the temples and occipital lobe at the back of the head, the Stoker offers maximum protection. It may be more than many riders want or need, but those inclined to buy into MIPS technology are likely aware of how nasty brain injuries can be. Better safe than sorry, right?
With 13 large vents, the Stoker remained cool on even warm days of testing, but there is a compromise made with this much coverage. Surprisingly light at just 358 grams, the Stoker is well balanced and the dial-actuated retention system keeps it securely positioned with a nice uniform contact all around the circumference of the head. The multi-position visor is a nice feature, although it is a little flimsy. The ventilation to the front of the head via the four brow vents is better than expected, and the padding feels sufficient and well-placed.
As to be expected of a helmet at a lower price point, the in-molded foam is exposed at the inner edge of the shell, requiring a little extra love and care as to not damage the helmet in transit. The only other foible might be with the thickness of the shell. If you have a big mellon, the Stoker won’t do much to make it appear any smaller. For less than a Benji, the Stoker is a great entry point into MIPS technology. It is a nice-looking helmet, is available in four sizes and three subtle color choices. www.bellhelmets.com
[offer keyword=’bell stoker mips’]
- Great value
- Maximum head coverage
- Surprisingly good ventilation
- Available in four sizes
- Exposed foam at the edge of the shell
- The shell thickness makes for a large overall size