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WARPed1701D

Full Face Helmet Showdown - Bell Super 3R vs Giro Switchblade - Impressions and Opinion

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33 minutes ago, radial said:

I'm liking my Bell super 3r helmet pretty well so far.  It's very well ventilated, fits my head, and I suspect the chin bar is pretty sturdy.  

How are you getting on with the chinbar mechanism?

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16 hours ago, WARPed1701D said:

How are you getting on with the chinbar mechanism?

I only took it off once the first day I had it, just to see what was involved.  I don't plan to ride my EUCs without the chin bar attached so it stays locked on.  I have a regular bike helmet for my other cycling activities.  

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my eternal admiration for the first one sporting this. a suit made out of that shiny aluminum looking stuff for extra credit.

IMG_0197.JPG

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Kicking this one up, as there was something interesting posted for helmets in general: the ASTM F1952 norm.

Am I correct in saying that if you get a helmet with chin bar that does not conform to this standard, the chin bar might as well be made out of cardboard, as there was no testing whatsoever for its effectiveness in protecting your ... ehm ... chin?

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8 hours ago, ir_fuel said:

Kicking this one up, as there was something interesting posted for helmets in general: the ASTM F1952 norm.

Am I correct in saying that if you get a helmet with chin bar that does not conform to this standard, the chin bar might as well be made out of cardboard, as there was no testing whatsoever for its effectiveness in protecting your ... ehm ... chin?

Possibly. The DOT and Snell standards specifies under a specified g-load for under a specified dwell time.

I can't remember the specific g and dwell time, but it went something like this; the peak g cannot be higher than 400 gravities and cannot last longer than 50 milliseconds.

I think this is a superb way of measuring a helmet's safety because you are basically saying slow down the head in a gentle manner.

Those Snell chin bars are substantial, if you pinch them between your fingers you get almost an inch of closed Styrofoam goodness. It's also quite heavy. My Bell 3 chin bar is quite thin and is open foam; I can't read the pay to view downhill helmet standards.

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On 7/25/2017 at 3:39 AM, WARPed1701D said:

Conclusion

Again, this is not meant to be a review. Just observations, thoughts, ramblings but I wanted to share my final opinion.

You can’t go wrong with either of these helmets. They are both high quality and well made. They look almost identical but they are very different below the surface.

The Bell 3R is a lighter, cooler helmet that offers the greatest versatility between chin bar / no chin bar configuration. Versatility though comes at a price, I feel, with a clunky over complex mount system for the chin bar but I think you would learn to align and secure all the components required to fit the bar quickly with experience. I’m also not a fan of the strap system, especially in open face mode, but it may work for your head shape. The helmet is EN/CPSC certified so you know it will offer at least a typical level of protection and I think it is safe to assume that the protection offered at that level will be exceptional with the chin bar fitted.

The Giro Switchblade is heavier and hotter but I think short of putting a motorbike helmet on your head it offers the best protection you could hope to get. If you like pushing you KS18S or 84v mSuper to the limit then this is the helmet for you, no question (or a motorbike helmet, I’m serious, consider a motorbike helmet if you really push it). I think the Switchblade edges above the 3R in terms of build quality, finish, and potential longevity and you have more options with the 4 swappable pads to get just the right fit. The solid construction does mean you may need to fit/remove the chin bar to be able to comfortably place it on your head though.

Both helmets have the MIPS protection system for increased protection in certain types of impact.

For me the winner is the Giro Switchblade. Giro’s in general are a good fit for my head shape which gives me a nudge in the Switchblade’s direction over the Super 3R but despite this even with the increased heat potential (and this is a huge factor for me) I feel the combination of a high level of  proven/certified protection and what feels like better quality/finish/durability (in my opinion…which is all this thread is based on remember) is worth the additional sweat and $20 over the 3R. Your mileage may vary, and probably will.

Go check them out!

Edit:

Correction and Addendum

This “review” and subsequent author comments discussed the relationship of the chin bar and  the ASTM 1952 “Downhill” certification and provided some incorrect information. It was stated that the chin bar was not directly tested as part of this certification and this is incorrect. Please read the following text and consider it to supersede any other contradictory information you have or will read.

The ASTM 1952 certification tests helmets to standards above and beyond that of accepted basic bicycle helmet standards mandated by various government (such as EN1078 and CPSC). A helmet can gain ASTM 1952 certification as either an open faced helmet or a full face one with chin bar. If the helmet is open faced with no option of a chin bar attachment then just the cranial helmet structure is tested. If a chin bar is present (either as a permanent  part of the helmet structure or as a removable component) then the chin bar is directly tested with frontal impact tests and even in the case of removable chin bar options this frontal test must pass or the whole helmet fails to gain certification. There is no partial pass for removable chin bar options.

What does this mean? Basically any full face helmet without ASTM 1952 (2032 for BMX helmets) certification could have a chin bar that will provide little to no protection in the event of a frontal impact. The chin bar simply isn’t officially tested by a third party and could be little more than eye candy. You are relying on a manufacturers promise of protection rather than proof. Only by choosing a helmet with the ASTM certification are you guaranteeing a determined minimum level of impact absorption.

Based on this I feel the decision to choose the Giro Switchblade over the Bell Super 3R is even more justified. The Super 3R is without doubt a good helmet and a video linked later in this thread shows Bell doing frontal tests on the chin bar of the 3R’s predecessor (the 2R) that mimic those that are specified in ASTM 1952. Despite these internal tests ultimately neither the 2R or 3R carry the 1952 certification. One can only assume something failed (chin bar or otherwise).

THE END

Nice review ! ;)

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3 hours ago, LanghamP said:

Possibly. The DOT and Snell standards specifies under a specified g-load for under a specified dwell time.

But that's a standard for motorcycle helmets

 

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5 hours ago, ir_fuel said:

But that's a standard for motorcycle helmets

 

The bike test is behind a pay wall but this video shows just how similar the testing is to DOT and Snell.

 

Indeed, Bell also makes motorcycle helmets. The curb drop test is pure Snell.

I'd guess the mountain bike certification measures deformation, but probably not peak and dwell. How could it, and pass, if you've got just a lightweight chin bar? Still, much better than hitting your front lower head against the concrete.

Edited by LanghamP

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On 7/25/2017 at 5:37 AM, Rehab1 said:

Ok...who's going to be the first to test the impact effectiveness of all these awesome helmets? ;)

I was just re-reading this review and I happened upon this comment.

I believe you answered your own question! Perhaps you'd like to add your experience to the thread! ;)

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3 minutes ago, WARPed1701D said:

I was just re-reading this review and I happened upon this comment.

I believe you answered your own question! Perhaps you'd like to add your experience to the thread! ;)

I can honestly say I would have suffered a major closed head injury and facial lacerations without the helmet. There is some unpadded plastic in the forehead region that managed to cut my eye brow but other than that the helmet preformed flawlessly. 

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1 minute ago, Rehab1 said:

I can honestly say I would have suffered a major closed head injury and facial lacerations without the helmet. There is some unpadded plastic in the forehead region that managed to cut my eye brow but other than that the helmet preformed flawlessly. 

Adding that this was for the Bell Super 3R model reviewed here and  in an approximate 25mph fall with severe head impact forces on asphalt.

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22 minutes ago, WARPed1701D said:

Adding that this was for the Bell Super 3R model reviewed here and  in an approximate 25mph fall with severe head impact forces on asphalt.

That is correct.

Future testing may simulate a Tiger Wood’s/ wife dispute demonstrating the effectiveness of countering the impact of a baseball bat.  ;)

Edited by Rehab1

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I have recently bought the Bell Super 3R, and was comparing it with the Gyro, among others, so this review was reassuring at the very least in that I was looking at helmets which were ones that others in the EUC community also had. Thank you for the very detailed comparison, and from the shop floor evaluations I made at least, the comments seem really bang on about both helmets. I chose the Bell because I try and take my EUC everywhere, and so the safety gear also needs to be easy to carry around. I also thought the Bell looked a little more "friendly" than the Gyro, as far as being open and not intimidating/storm trooper-ish - which just fits my aesthetic preferences better. The lighter weight and maybe (can't remember now) slight smaller profile was the primary consideration and any full face helmet was better than what I started with, which was just a bike helmet. I don't like the fit of the chin guard on me when riding for extended periods however, it was applying too much pressure to my jaw so maybe I should have been more careful in my fitting and I've had to find some very low profile padding to replace what the helmet came with. I would encourage any others to really take their time in store to make sure the comfort doesn't decrease if you have the helmet on for a while. I don't have an issue with the chin guard attachment mechanism and I like I can remove it and stow it in a bag for slow ride times. It means I don't need to have more than one helmet depending on the circumstance which was another reason why I was interested in the convertible style over other options. I definitely feel much safer riding my EUC now, and would certainly recommend any full face/chin cover helmet over a standard bike helmet to any riders considering it, or new to the EUC obsession.

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Not exactly a necro-thread since there's lots of good info here. I recently purchased a Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro V2. At 750g it's slightly lighter than the Bell 3R (784g) with identical safety ratings. I like the magnetic chin clasp but haven't tried detaching/attaching the chin guard yet.

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I ruled out the leatt dbx 3.0 and the giro switchblade due to poor chin bar quality/design and even out right failures

Leatt Chin bar breaking - scroll down  Here peoples chin bars/clasps were breaking from just normal use (taking on and off) not even crashing

Giro switchblade chin bar breaking during crash - here the switchblade chin bar was reported to be snapping off during crashes by a couple people I think

@WARPed1701D said:

Quote

The Bell 3R is a lighter, cooler helmet that offers the greatest versatility between chin bar / no chin bar configuration. Versatility though comes at a price, I feel, with a clunky over complex mount system for the chin bar but I think you would learn to align and secure all the components required to fit the bar quickly with experience.

I looked for and couldn't find anything on the chin bars failing on the bell super 3r or super DH.  I think this full wrap around design while clunkier and more difficult to take on and off compared to the giro/leatt end up making it sturdier and better built/less likely to break during a crash or during just normal taking on and off like the leatt.  While these helmets are designed to take one hit and be disposed of, if the leatt breaks from just being taken on and off then I wouldn't trust it in a real world crash even if it did pass a one hit test.

When I was at a local bike shop I was talking to one of the workers there about the Bell super DH and how it compares to the bell super 3r in terms of chin bar quality and why one had the downhill certification and not the other.  Specifically I asked about his opinion as to whether or not there was a significant difference in the chin bar quality/sturdiness between the two different helmets.

When I was explaining my use case with electric unicycles and concern about face plant protection, he felt the super 3r, specifically the chin bar would be about just as sturdy and would protect my face almost as well as the super DH.

It seemed to be his opinion that the chin bar construction and quality on the super 3r was about as good as the super DH but that the reason for the super DH getting more safety certifications and the downhill certification wasn't due to changes to the chin bar part so much as changes done to the rest of the helmet.

In short he felt the chin bar on the 3r would protect me just as well as the super DH from face plants, but that the rest of the super DH would have better protection for scenarios more often encountered during downhill biking than the 3r would.

that opinion of his seems to be backed up by the comment in this review, but take it with a grain of salt since the part about the chinbar on the 2r/3r being strong enough to pass DH tests is  purportedly coming from bell and not a testing agency.

that said @Rehab1 personally crash tested the chin bar on the 3r and it seemed to do a good job protecting his face from what he's said here.

Quote

From  https://reviews.mtbr.com/bell-super-dh-first-ride-review

But while the Super 2R (and subsequent Super 3R) were industry leading at launch, they weren’t perfect. The biggest complaint was the lack of DH certification. There were also a host of minor issues that were livable, but could be improved.

……..

With DH in the name, you better believe the new Super DH passes the ASTM 1952 DH certification test. The original Super helmet did not pass because it was always intended to be a trail helmet first.

If you have a full face helmet at home, you might have noticed it doesn’t have many vents. Part of the downhill certification process requires a helmet be dropped on a pointed anvil (called a curbstone), which replicates lawn darting into rocks. While Bell claims the Super 2R chinbar was strong enough to pass the DH test, the venting structure made it difficult to pass that curbstone test.

To bring the shell to the DH standard, Bell eliminated six vents (four helmet, two chinbar). That may sound ominous, but the vent reduction was offset by radical internal channeling. The key to keeping cool, says Bell, is the ability to pull air in and force it out, not the number of vents. So despite having less vents than the original Super, the new DH version breathes exceptionally well.

 

So...if you aren't too worried about that specific type of test/use case scenario and your primary concern is face plant/nose/chin/teeth to the ground protection then the bell super 3r might be a cheaper almost as good helmet compared to the super DH.

If you want the supposedly more advanced MIPS spherical protection (whatever that grants you) then the super DH has that over the 3r.  And if you do things other than EUC like mountain biking than the super DH might be enticing.

Supposedly the super DH is supposed to have a better fit/comfort than the 3r.  I tried the DH and it was indeed well fitting and comfortable but need to try the 3r to compare it too.

Additional review I found helpful: https://www.fanatikbike.com/blogs/engage/bell-super-dh-reviewed

Edited by Heyzeus

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4 hours ago, Heyzeus said:

In short he felt the chin bar on the 3r would protect me just as well as the super DH from face plants, but that the rest of the super DH would have better protection for scenarios more often encountered during downhill biking than the 3r would.

that opinion of his seems to be backed up by the comment in this review, but take it with a grain of salt since the part about the chinbar on the 2r/3r being strong enough to pass DH tests is  purportedly coming from bell and not a testing agency.

 that said @Rehab1 personally crash tested the chin bar on the 3r and it seemed to do a good job protecting his face from what he's said here.

The 3R is a fantastic helmet and yes it saved my face, head and life. My face only suffered a minor cut above the right eye due to lack of padding over a plastic lip inside of the helmet. The chin bar worked flawlessly.

I know some riders remove the chin bar on occasions... but why? It’s there for optimal protection. I would worry about fatiguing the bar’s latching components  over time by repeated removal.

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5 hours ago, Heyzeus said:

Supposedly the super DH is supposed to have a better fit/comfort than the 3r.  I tried the DH and it was indeed well fitting and comfortable but need to try the 3r to compare it too.

Unfortunately, as fond as I am of both the DH and 3R I can wear neither. I wear a 63cm helmet I couldn't find a 3R or DH beyond Large. I honestly think that the Switchblade would do great for EUC-riding, but again large is where they stop also.

Some of the sellers claim that the large would fit a 63cm head due to the various pad sizes (thickness) that comes with the helmet; POC makes the same claim. I was able to find the time recently to visit a local bike shop, but all they had in stock in both brands were mediums and small. I am hearing that the Bell Full Nine I have on the way makes a decent summer helmet because of the flow. If the DH, 3R or Giro won't fit I guess I will find out. 

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Gotta add a new helmet to the showdown: the Nexx XR2 full carbon helmet. This is a motorcycle helmet so, off the break the protection is better; plus one for the motorcycle helmet :D

It's expensive $600+. Way over the mark for what I think most riders will feel is reasonable for a helmet repurposed for EUC-riding. Hell, most motorcycle riders don't pay this much for a helmet. So I subjectively give it a minus 3 for costing so gotd%?mn much. 

Never mind my arbitrary rating system; it's worthless anyway :D. Let me just spit some mathematics about the Nexx XR2 Full Carbon.

1. At 2.6 lbs +/-, Its the lightest full face helmet available on the market anywhere at any price. I just bought a Bell Full 9 that weighs 2.4 lbs. At 2.4 lbs the BF9 It feels like a feather upon my coconut. The protection of a motorcycle helmet at a similar weight to my BF9 is to me fascinating.

2. Very wide field of vision. I have heard the widest besides the poorer quality steelbird helmets.

3. Did I mention weight?

4. Decent ventilation, but better if you ride with the front visor open according to consumer reviews. Visor open riding has been normal for me with my motorcycle helmets on EUC duty. I don't see a preponderance of EUC rider's rocking goggles with their bmx helmets either. In terms of ventilation, It's a race helmet so the vents are better designed for crouched, higher speed track day riding. Probably would work better in. Cooler weather for EUC riding.

5. Comes with anti-microbial, washable liner. 

Not sure what else to say about it. If You want a motorcycle helmet that will offer superior protection, but is probably as light as whatever full face bicycle helmet you wear, and you don't mind plunking down $600 smackers for an EUC helmet; go for it. :)

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26 minutes ago, Soren Blondlot said:

Is the Tsg pass compatible with night riding ?

 

Of course. You can either flip up the reflective visor or you can switch it out with a clear visor. 

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1 hour ago, Soren Blondlot said:

Is the Tsg pass compatible with night riding ?

 

As with most helmets the adwise is to use clear/transparent visor. 

I also have the silver/mirrored visor, but if you use this at night it blocks out light as it is a sunglass effect. This is not ideal, you can choose to ride with open visor, but then I suggest you use some glasses (clear). This it to avoid to get dust, sand and insects in your eyes. 

I have not tested the dark/blacked visor but I would expect same as silver visor effect.

Now this is part reason why I choosed my new helmet LS2 FF399 EU Matt black. It has an inner sunglass visor you can fold down or hide by a slider as you ride. Works really well.

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Have not tried others (except to determine that they would not fit), but here are some comments on the Bell Super 3R, which fits fine:

The Bell Super 3R catches wind.  In gusty conditions, the helmet seems to conspire with the elements to drive me off course head-first.

Second, the Bell Super 3R intrudes on the field of view.  In urban conditions, I miss my peripheral vision.

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10 minutes ago, Biped Phil said:

Have not tried others (except to determine that they would not fit), but here are some comments on the Bell Super 3R, which fits fine:

The Bell Super 3R catches wind.  In gusty conditions, the helmet seems to conspire with the elements to drive me off course head-first.

Second, the Bell Super 3R intrudes on the field of view.  In urban conditions, I miss my peripheral vision.

I get the same effect with my full face helmet. I was going over a bridge and a gust of wind caught in the helmet and pushed me to the side. Scary stuff.

I tried the TSG pass pro and I liked it except for the claustrophobic feeling with the visor down. There's not much on it that the wind can grab on to.

 

 

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