|Image borrowed from Bell Powersports|
I had my head scanned last year at the MotoGP races in Indianapolis, and Bell keeps them on file. I had planned on my next helmet being a custom, but I decided to go ahead and order one sooner rather than later. Suann ordered a custom for her first helmet while we were in Indy, and has been really happy with hers. Seeing that custom fit badge on the back of her lid did make mine feel a tiny bit ordinary!
Making a Good Thing Better
|Family Photo: the Custom Fit is on the left, not that there's any difference in this shot.|
|From behind, the difference is clear, with the very conspicuous custom badge and different DOT sticker.|
As I mentioned in my last post, Bell continues to impress on the customer service front as well as the technical side of things. Not only did they turn around my helmet extra quickly, but they were great to work with as always. The process was smooth, and after I got it, I got a call from the engineer who handled my helmet to make sure everything fit perfectly. I was happy to report that it was perfect.
To sweeten the deal even further, the Custom Fit Star Carbon comes with a Transitions shield (my favorite feature) and a huge assortment of interior padding to adjust fit if needed, and adjust for break in over time.
Comparing Two Stars
The two helmets are very similar. Outwardly, they are identical aside from a different certification sticker and the custom badge on the back.
|Interior name, size, and date sticker. Look at how much uncovered EPS liner there is!|
Due to the more even contact with my head, I'm sure the custom fitment will also protect me better in a crash too. I'm hoping not to write that review for you!
|Just in case the fit isn't perfect, the helmet breaks in a little, or your head shrinks, Bell has you covered with all of the extra pads they include. 2mm increments in thickness! I think they're serious about these things fitting perfectly.|
In short, Bell's Custom Fit program does exactly what it sets out to do. It provides a helmet that fits both the rider and their riding style perfectly. The astonishing thing to me is that it does that for a completely reasonable premium over the standard Star Carbon. An extra $300 or so is no small sum, but factor out $120 for the included Transitions shield, and you're left with a real cost of about $180 for the custom fit option. That's about a 25% upcharge for a bespoke helmet. Try getting a tailored suit for 25% more than off the rack. They'll think you're joking!
Right now, the biggest downside to the Custom Fit line is that you're limited to just the Matte Carbon look. I love it, but not everyone does. I think some are going to say "doesn't a custom helmet deserve a custom look?" Luckily, you can pretty easily add a personal touch to these lids. I already did my standard one, and will be doing my custom soon. I'll take photos of the process, and put together a how-to post when I do.
|Stay tuned for a future how-to post on polishing custom patterns into the matte clearcoat.|