Bell made waves when they
released their trail-specific Super
helmet with additional rider coverage
and a host of other features aimed
at the needs of today’s trail rider or
enduro racer. With the Stoker, Bell
took many of the best features from
the Super and put them into a helmet
more trail riders can afford.
Tech features: The Stoker helmet
is constructed using Bell’s Fusion
in-mold microshell technology. It
features additional rider coverage
down the rear of the helmet, as well as
in front of the ears, and uses Bell’s
removable Blade visor.
Bell’s SpeedDial fit system uses a
large dial at the rear of the helmet to
fine-tune the fit across a fairly wide
range. It features 13 large vents and
four channels built into the brow of
the helmet that continue into the inner
mold of the helmet. This design is
intended to pull air in and over the
rider’s head before it exits through the
rear vents. Along with the ventilation
channels, Bell uses Coolmax padding,
which has sweat-wicking properties to
pull moisture away from the rider.
Our Stoker weighed 11. 7 ounces
and retails for $70.
Field test results: The Stoker’s
level of coverage is closer to that of a
skateboard helmet than a traditional
cross-country lid. And while the
chunky look isn’t for everyone, it
is right in line with what is quickly
becoming the norm for trail and all-mountain helmet designs.
The extra coverage of trail helmets
often means that any fit issues are
exaggerated; however, we didn’t
have any with the Stoker. The helmet
was very easy to adjust and dial in
and seemed to disappear from our
consciousness once it was on. While
it can be seen as a less-expensive
version of Bell’s Super, it actually
weighs about 2 ounces less.
One of our big complaints with
most all-mountain helmets is
compatibility with glasses due to the
coverage in front of the ears.
Thankfully, we didn’t have any issues
of this sort with the Stoker and were
able to wear whatever glasses we
wanted. While the Stoker doesn’t offer
quite the same goggle-centric features
as the Super, Bell was sure to make
the shape of the helmet compatible
with goggles for the enduro crowd.
Ventilation is usually one of the first
things to suffer with budget-conscious
helmets. The Stoker pleasantly
surprised us by feeling much cooler
than we had anticipated. While it
certainly won’t stack up well against
helmets, when judged against peers
such as the Troy Lee Designs A1, the
Bell Super and POC Trabec, it feels
right on par with, if not cooler than,
some more expensive options.
After enjoying the amount of
visor adjustability Bell gave us with
the Super, we were wary of the
Stoker’s short and nearly fixed visor.
Thankfully, we found the visor to be
positioned right about where we’d
put it anyway, making the lack of
adjustability almost a good thing, as
we weren’t eager to make micro
adjustments on the trail.
The Stoker packs a lot of punch for
the price. While it’s not as flashy as
some of the other all-mountain lids
floating around our garages at the
moment, it has become one of our
go-to helmets, thanks to its superb
comfort, adequate ventilation and
compatibility with glasses. ■
The Stoker helmet brings all-
mountain-style coverage to riders
at a price that’s easy to swallow.
More stoke per dollar
BELL STOKER HELMET