Gear Bell Super

Published on February 2nd, 2017 | by Luke

Removable Chin Bar Helmets: Our Favorites

One of our best-selling helmets is the Bell Super 3R, which blurs the line between trail and downhill helmets. Because of the Super’s success, the removable chin bar helmet segment has grown to include offerings from many major helmet manufacturers.

Are removable chin bar helmets a viable choice for both trail and downhill riding? Some, like the Giro Switchblade, are DH certified (ASTM F1952), but others are not. The choice ultimately comes down to what level of risk you are willing to accept. Do you need just a little extra protection as you push your limits on trails that pro downhill racers might not wear knee pads on? Or, are you racing enduro stages that could be tracks on the World Cup DH circuit?

Here’s a look at three of our removable chin bar helmets, the choice is up to you.

MET HES Parachute- Meeting ASTM F1952-2032 U.S. Downhill helmet certification, the Parachute is light and well-ventilated. When the time comes to introduce your face to the ground, you’ll be glad that the chin bar is structurally sound, and of MET’s Homothetic Embedded Skeleton.

MET Parachute

MET Parachute HES

Giro Switchblade- The most DH of the convertible lids, the Switchblade is ASTM DH-certified with and without the chin bar attached. Taking design cues from Troy Lee’s hallowed D2 Open Face, the Switchblade has much more coverage than a traditional cycling helmet when in climbing mode. For many riders, that’s part of the appeal.

Switchblade Trevor

Trevor Roland of DSENDiT Racing rocks the Giro Switchblade.

Bell Super 3R- Interestingly, the Super 3R, the helmet that sparked the revival, is not ASTM DH certified. Its chin bar provides protection for low- to medium-impact crashes, but a true, DH-level face plant is going to overcome the Super’s capabilities. Its high vent count makes it one of the best-ventilated helmets in the class.


Bell Super 3R

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About the Author


appreciates the climb and its challenges, but is convinced the only reason to pedal faster up the hill is to start your descent sooner. While he has sampled the joys of long rides on the tarmac, the dirt is where you’ll find him. When not on the trail or in the water, Luke likes to drive off into the wild to take his daughter camping in his cherished 1987 Volkswagen Westfalia.

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