Two new designs packed with urban-riding features

Bell are launching two new helmets for 2011 that incorporate several commuter-friendly features while keeping the styling low-key.

Details are limited – the US manufacturer has only shown us a few pages out of the dealer catalogue so far – but the models are called the Muni and the Arella. Reading between the lines, we’re saying that the Muni is the gents version and the Arella is the ladies model, but we could be wrong.

Both come with a peak – or ‘visor’ if you prefer – which has an integrated light mount to accept a Blackburn Flea front light. You get integrated rear lights too – on the head retention device. Speaking of which, Bell seem to have come up with a new design to hold the helmet securely in place, called the OneStep Plus Fit System – but we know no more about it than that. You can fit a Blackburn Flea rear light onto a removable strap that sits on the back of the helmet body too.

Each helmets come with integrated rain gutters to keep water out of your eyes, a ratcheting buckle for simple micro-adjustment of the fit, and a mount for a rear-view mirror. We’re guessing that there will be the option of buying the helmet with the two Blackburn lights and the mirror already fitted.

Apart from that, all we know is that the Muni will be available in matte titanium (grey), matte white weathered), matte black and safety yellow , and Bell are claiming a middling weight of 275g.

The only thing that’s bothering us is the name: Bell Muni? Isn’t she the journalist who used to be married to Jonathan Dimbleby? [No, that’s Bel Mooney. And that’s a very obscure ‘joke’ – Ed]


Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.


handlebarcam [878 posts] 6 years ago

I hope those lights are designed to disintegrate on impact, not smash through the shell of the helmet, weakening the structure.

Recumbenteer [168 posts] 6 years ago

I hope that the dye is rather more fade-resistant than my used-to-be-orange Bell Metropolis, which has faded terribly in a year.

Why can't Bell use colour-fast dyes?

It was a deep eye-catching fluorescent orange when I bought it, now it's almoste white in places. And that's NOT an exaggeration - The palest parts are now white with a very slight hint of pink. And that happened in rainy Surrey, not the South of Spain or the Sahara!

It isn't very comfortable either, after an hour or so.

AFAIK they aren't even up to the Snell standard, so the level of protection isn't the best. If at least one other helmet manufacturer can meet the Snell standard - for around the same money, then why can't Bell?

I thought I was getting the best, now I feel short-changed and I wouldn't buy another Bell helmet.

mattsr [16 posts] 6 years ago

Any idea when this helmet will be on sale? I've searched Wiggle and other online retailers but nobody seems to have it at the moment. Thinking about getting one for the winter commute!