This weekend, Bell launched what the company says is the most advanced road helmet it has ever made. But, weight and aerodynamics weren’t the primary benchmarks—in creating the Zephyr, says marketing manager Sean Coffey, “We wanted to go for the most comfortable, balanced, and sophisticated helmet we could make.”
Bell’s Flow Fit Race system instead incorporates the MIPS layer along with the helmet’s geared retention system. The result, says Bell, is a different feel—instead of the retention system tightening like a band around your head, it feels more like a cap. In addition, with Flow Fit, the adjustment dial is slightly suspended off the back of your head, eliminating a pressure point.
Besides horizontal adjustment, Flow Fit also offers 22mm of infinitely positioned vertical adjustment, as well as the ability to independently adjust the pads that cradle the occipital lobes (in the back of the head, behind the ears). Coffey says this helps contribute to a better overall fit—there’s no looseness if you have an asymmetrical dome (or at least, asymmetrical occipital lobes), which helps to eliminate the need to overly tighten down the helmet.
The Zepyhr features a construction that Bell calls a bifurcated body, a new take on a dual-density helmet. The helmet is made of two distinct layers: The one closest to your head is low-density (softer) EPS foam, the one on top is harder high-density EPS foam. The two layers, which look like two thinner helmets laid on top of one another, are mechanically attached with a tab system, then bonded with epoxy. This allowed Bell to eliminate the roll cage found in many helmets with dual density construction, which the company says saves weight—a size medium Zephyr is 280 grams, claimed. This also created what Bell says is a “more dynamic energy management system,” and allowed engineers to make the vents larger too.