Bell Ships Improved, Snell M2010-Approved Star

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Bell is now shipping a Snell M2010-approved version of its high-end Star street helmet. A number of smaller tweaks and upgrades also distinguish the model from the original version released in 2008.

“We think very highly of Snell and the new M2010 standard,” Bell product manager Chris Sackett states in a news release. “The approach they took looked objectively at standards throughout the world and combined what they found with the most current impact data available. In some ways we were on a parallel path with our own product evolution. We said, ‘OK the Star is really good, M2010 makes it even better, but what else can we do to improve it?'"

The answer, Sackett says, was to address sizing issues with the medium-sized headform, which some felt fit a little large. Bell also removed seams from the comfort liner to relieve any pressure points, made the integrated speaker pockets both quieter and easier to use, and added MagnaFusion, Bell’s new proprietary magnetic strap keeper.

“The great thing about having our R&D facility here in Santa Cruz is we can react quickly, and immediately channel rider input into the development cycle,” Sackett says, referencing the company’s California headquarters. “Whether it’s a racer like Josh Herrin telling us he’d like the padding a certain way or one of our daily commuters suggesting that there must be something better than a snap to keep his strap from blowing in the wind, we can solve issues and affect change in short order.”

Sackett says Bell also leverages R&D from the company’s other divisions. The Star’s ventilation system, for example, is derived from Bell’s bicycle racing helmets. The helmet’s profile is derived from Bell’s success in Indy Car and Formula One racing. Materials expertise to make the Star’s lightweight shell came from sister company Easton, which has composite experience from its hockey, baseball and cycling divisions. Bell’s bicycle division also lent small-parts expertise in the development of the quick-release shield.

In addition to the Star’s technical upgrades, Bell has added some graphic panache to the helmet with the new-for-2010 Artist Series. From the high-contrast street art of Jona Cerwinske, to the muted, tattoo-inspired colors of Derek Hess, to the wild palette of Chris Wood, the Artist Series complements a host of more standard stable of colors and graphics.

The Bell Star is retail-priced from $549.95 to $699.95, comes in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL, and includes a five-year warranty.

Posted by Arlo Redwine