Bell Strut helmet  £34.99

4/10

OK-looking helmet, and would be good value for money if the fit and straps were better

Weight 267g   Contact  www.madison.co.uk

by Leonie Jennings   October 27, 2012  

Bell Strut Helmet

The Bell Strut Helmet is aimed squarely at the female leisure cyclist, or women just starting out in riding, and offers an attractive price tag and some female specific features to entice the first-time buyer. Sub £35 is a great price for an entry level helmet with all the safety credentials you could want.

Impressively light at just 266g, the Strut uses moulded construction, with 15 vents, and is one-size-fits-most with a dial-in size adjustment at the rear. Straps are adjusted via simple flip-lock fastenings, the rear of the cradle is marketed as 'ponytail friendly' and the visor snaps on and off at will.

Available in four colour options, none of which is outrageously girly or hideously offensive, it's a decent enough looking helmet, although somewhat on the traditional side and lacking a little in sporty pizzazz. It does perch upon the head in that slightly nerdy sort of way that seems to be the norm for entry level helmets, but it's there to do a job, right?

The venting is fine, considering it's not aimed at those who are likely to build up a head of steam when out riding, and the mesh coverings to keep out bugs on the front couple are a nice touch. The visor gives a little protection from rain and doesn't interfere too badly with range of vision, and it does at least soften the dome-like lines a little.

Fit-wise, the Strut doesn't quite live up to its hype as (rather patronizingly) 'your new BFF'. I'm not sure if it's the shape of my head, but I found that in order for the helmet to not feel loose and move about, I had to dial the wheel/cradle in far enough that it felt overtight on the forehead and uncomfortable. I don't normally have a problem with helmet fit, having a fairly standard shaped head.

Aside from this, the straps, whilst being nice and easy to adjust, sit slightly sideways, digging into the sides of the face, rather than resting smooth and flush as they should. The way the buckles and straps work together mean this is hard to avoid.

As a result, the whole helmet wasn't as comfortable to wear as it should have been, unfortunately probably working towards reinforcing the opinion of new riders that bike helmets aren't pleasant to wear, and possibly deterring the very new women riders Bell are seeking to attract with this helmet. A bit of an own goal really.

Verdict

OK-looking helmet, and would be good value for money if the fit and straps were better.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Bell Strut

Size tested: One size, white/silver

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Aimed at female riders looking for a cost-effective entry level helmet with female specific features.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

15 vents

In-mould construction

Uni-size adjustable fit

Detachable peak

Available in 4 colours

CE EN1078 / CPSC Bicycle certified

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Solid and built to last.

Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Should last reasonably well.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Good weight for an entry level helmet.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
4/10

Cranial cradle hard to adjust to fit both comfortably and securely.

Straps twist sideways in wear to irritate against face.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Would be excellent value if the fit and straps were better.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed OK but won't encourage new riders to buy helmets.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Style, price, weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Straps, internal cradle/fit.

Did you enjoy using the product? Not particularly.

Would you consider buying the product? Not in its current form.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A good price and good quality, let down by the fit.

Overall rating: 4/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,

 

1 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I know helmet fit is really a very personal thing, depending on the size and shape of the head of the individual concerned, but the main reason I was disappointed in the fit of this particular Bell helmet was that I've never encountered a problem with them before, and indeed found the Bell Arella Urban Sport helmet I tried last year to be exceptionally comfortable.

posted by Leonie Jennings [298 posts]
30th October 2012 - 11:54

1 Like

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