The new Bell Super 2R modular bicycle helmet converts from a streamlined lid for the sidewalk to a full-face cage for mountain biking. Tech between the pads makes it almost like wearing one helmet on top of another.
The helmet is built around Enduro racing; which involves high-speed downhills (hence the snap-on chin guard) and pedaling back up to the top of hills (hence the 23 air vents.) A visor and attachable camera mount are also part of the accouterment loadout. Fully-kitted and you're ready to race; or strip it down to ride your bike to work.
Bell's most interesting safety innovation on the Super 2R is integration of what they call "MIPS" (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System.) Putting what Bell calls a "slip plane" between armor tight to your skill and the helmet's external shell, it creates an extra level of energy dispersion that further minimizes head injuries on impact.
As Bell explains:
"When a head rotates quickly and comes to a sudden stop, the rotational acceleration can cause the brain tissue to experience high levels of strain. This stretching of the tissue that can be caused by these motions can result in various types of brain injury. MIPS is designed with the intent to address rotational acceleration from impact."
"MIPS uses a slip-plane system that moves inside the helmet, mimicking the brain's own protection system. This layer is designed to rotate inside the helmet with the intent to potentially slow or reduce the amount of energy transferred to or from the head. Science tells us that if we can reduce the strains associated with rotational acceleration, we might reduce the risk and severity of brain injury."
The Super 2R going "on sale soon" for $155.
Image via Bell Helmets