BELL MX-9 ADVENTURE MIPS
What is it?
A mid-priced adventure helmet with the added bonus of Bell’s MIPS – that’s multi-directional impact protection which allows the helmet to slip slightly on the head in an impact so as to reduce rotational forces that can lead to head/brain injuries.
Based on the MX-9 dirt helmet it brings dirt-practical features like a fully washable anti-bacterial liner and an aperture plenty big enough for goggles plus ‘velocity flow’ ventilation.
For the adventure twist it brings a fresh design on peak so as to not catch the wind and a removable visor with anti-fog, anti-scratch and UV protection. Nearly all the publicity and product shots show it with a tinted or reflective visor but out of the box it comes with a regulation clear visor.
You get three shell sizes (seven internal sizes, XS to XXXL) and the shell is made from lightweight polycarbonate – ABS.
Is it good?
It is actually very good. I’ve ridden in this helmet for about 18 months now and it’s proven itself robust, durable and comfortable. It’s taken long eight-hour rides and remained comfortable. I’ve also ridden in it through high heat for many hours (Moab) and not boiled my head. In heavy rain the visor has stayed clear and you get minimal water flicking up under the chinbar.
The visor – I ordered a lightly smoked one – has lasted that time and survived many a dusty ride without undue scratching or crazing, it’s still in excellent shape. The visor ratchet mechanism is robust and offers three degrees of opening and when closed it seals very well, while thanks to the wide aperture it offers pretty good vision, maybe only slightly compromised on extreme left and right view – this is better with the visor, goggles always restrict peripheral vision. The visor screws on (or off) very easily, but with the visor in the fully up position you can easily fit goggles, so you can dispense with the faff of unscrewing the visor on those occasions.
The liner is secured by strong pop studs that have survived countless in-and-outs, and again after 18 months the liner looks surprisingly newish and cleans up easily. There are shallow recesses behind the cheek-ear pads so fitting a comms system should be feasible.
The peak is excellent, big enough to protect against sun strike and to deflect the odd bit of roost, but with enough exit holes and gapping around the shell that it doesn’t catch the breeze and pull your head off at speed.
It is a tad heavy at 1698g but in use this is rarely felt, if at all. There’s talk of a carbon-shell version coming, so if lightness is your thing then opt for that one. The fairly clean lines mean it’s relatively quiet and certainly there’s no wind roar from the peak, but as always it helps massively to wear earplugs.
The quality of the shell is excellent and after 18 months still cleans up like new. It seems to be quite resistant to scratching while the colourways are modern and eye-catching without being extrovert.
In all, a very accomplished product that performs exactly to spec. A well thought out intelligent design and a pleasure to use.