Back in September I received a Bell “Pit Boss” helmet from Bell Helmets for me to test.
Bell's "Pit Boss" Helmet
Bell's "Pit Boss" Helmet

I was very excited the day it arrived by courier.
My first impression was “That’s a nice looking helmet.”
I eagerly put the helmet on before reading the users manual and was a bit disappointed that the helmet felt so tight. I hate having to ship something back it’s a pain.

I do most of my gear shopping on line these days;
I don’t have to worry about going to 4 different dealerships to see if I can find what I want. I can shop at 5 in the morning when I am taking a coffee break. 
The downside, things sometimes have to go back and that can become tedious.

Even though I was disappointed that the helmet was so tight, I sat down and read the owners manual and in a few minutes I was one happy girl. 

You see I read about the Speed Dial fit system and how with the turn of a dial, you can adjust how the helmet fits on your head horizontally and vertically.
Speed Dial Fitment System
Speed Dial Fitment System
The claim on the Bell Helmets web site that the Speed Dial Fitment System provides unmatched levels of comfort while drastically reducing the tendency for open face helmets to lift off of the head, are not an exaggeration in any way shape or form!

Once I had the helmet fitted to my head, it went back in its carrying bag and in my suitcase for my trip to Ireland.

Little did I know that I would be writing about that helmet saving my noggin’ in a crash!
After hundreds of thousands of kilometres and 40 years around bikes, this was my first and hopefully only, crash.
Read that article here - Rider Error

Well, before that little 35KPH reminder of our human vulnerabilities… I had 9 days of riding and wearing the Bell Pit Boss helmet and I have to tell you that I LOVE this helmet – it gets a 9 out of 10 from me!

I am deeply grateful that if I had to crash that it was a low speed crash and that I was wearing the Bell “Pit Boss” helmet equipped with the Speed Dial fitment system when I did. 

In nine days of riding and wearing the Bell “Pit Boss”, I experienced reduced wind resistance because of the shape and sculpting in the visor – to me there is nothing worse than a helmet that catches a ton of air causing your neck muscles to be tense all the time. My neck swells up and looks like I have a small orange under the skin. 

The air flowed off of it well and there was very little buffeting of my head.

I found that I was most comfortable with the removable neck curtain left in place. 
I liked the support it offered my neck and how it kept the wind from going down my back.

Being made of Kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass, it was so light.
There were actually times I forgot I had it on it was that lightweight!
This helmet was wonderful – absolutely wonderful.
And in a need department that’s super important to me.

With the 4 compressed disks I have in my neck from a car crash many years ago, I have always gone for the lightest of helmet. Sometimes that meant I wasn’t always as protected as I thought I’d be simply because of the fit. There are too many downsides to wearing a full-faced helmet for me. Claustrophobia, that feeling of not enough air, let me the hell out…is one reason I choose to wear an open face helmet, the others all involve the limitations of using them.

I find I spend too much time focusing on unlatching the jaw piece to take a drink or relieve my claustrophobia. Not to mention the pulling of my hair even with a head sock on, the heaviness, getting it on and then realizing you forgot to fog proof your shield – I am trading one risk for another what, 5 or six things that all take away my focus and make me less comfortable. 

I get that. To me this is a smart risk – I have weighed and measured my options, I have tried all sorts of helmets and have come to the conclusion that being focused and comfortable protects me more than the full face compensates for.

This is one decision I feel a ton better about now that I have experienced a crash.  
(AND NO I DON’T intend to make this a habit in the name of product reviews.)

I have been riding my own or on the back since the late seventies and I have dropped my bike, dumped my bike and rodeoed through a ditch with my bike, but I had never had or been in a true crash until my trip to Ireland. I can’t image if this had happened to me back in my no helmet and beanie wearing days. 

I am glad it hasn’t happened with a few of the DOT helmets I have had over my time either.
I can’t imagine the outcome would have been good.

I gave this amazing helmet a 9 out of 10 because of two things.

One, I did not care for the drop down sun visor. I guess because of the way I had adjusted the helmet to fit me, the lens came down and rubbed on the end of my nose.  It was just too close and rather uncomfortable, but hey, that’s what they make facemasks, bandanas and good goggles or glasses for! I wear the Liberty Sport Glasses and a bandana for my face in the rain and high wind.

Two, the ear pieces that have the carrying pockets in them for communications devices might have kept my ears warm if I had been able to have the ear pieces lay flat against my ear, they bulged a bit, letting wind in and caused more wind noise than I like. It felt like they are cantered too far back by a couple of degrees.

I imagine that with communications devices in those pockets though that it might be a totally different experience.

Other that the drop down lens and the earpieces, I absolutely loved this helmet and now I need to go buy a replacement one because my new helmet is where it belongs after a crash, in the garbage.

During my crash the Bell “Pit Boss” Helmet took at least one good hit, in spite of the fact that I had tucked during the first revolution of my body skidding down the road.

There were some deep asphalt gouges – the pavement in Ireland is rather aggressive.
You can see them on the bottom left of the helmet by the DOT Information.

The helmet never budged.  
It stayed on my head and protected my head just the way it was meant to.

The visor took some scraping but beyond that the helmet looked new.

I never ended up with more than a dull headache caused more by all of the bruising on my ribs and the spraining of my left thumb and hand I am sure. I am still shocked that I never had much of a headache.

This is a helmet that I feel truly good about recommending. 

If you prefer an open-faced helmet, this is one, I feel you should consider the Pit Boss by Bell Helmets.

That Speed Dial Fitment System and the light weight of this helmet, makes this helmet a champion in my eyes!

Bell“Pit Boss” Helmets are available with a number of designs and a reasonable number of colors, they also come in sizes small to extra large and because of the Speed Dial Fitment System…all sizes in between!

Bell Helmets are distributed by Kimpex and sold through a wide range of dealers.

Belt Drive Betty,
Editor and Rider

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