Hands-on Gear Review

Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS Review

Bell Hela Joy Ride
Top Pick Award
Price:  $95 List | $94.95 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, MIPS, adjustable visor, great coverage, affordable
Cons:  Ventilation could be improved
Bottom line:  The MIPS Bell Hela Joy Ride has great coverage and is a comfortable and versatile women's helmet.
Editors' Rating:   
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Rotational Impact Protection System?:  MIPS
Adjustable Visor?:  Yes
Number of vents:  15
Manufacturer:   Bell

Our Verdict

The Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS is an affordable women's specific mountain bike helmet with an excellent fit, generous coverage, and features that make it our Top Pick for best women's specific helmet. Bell is and has been a significant player in the bike helmet market, and their "Joy Ride" models are designed to fit a woman's head and with more feminine color options. Our testers thought the Hela Joy Ride MIPS offered a comfortable fit with functional and easy to use adjustments for the size, straps, and visor. It offers great protection, with a deep fit providing above average coverage, and a MIPS system integrated at a reasonable price. Our testers loved this versatile women's helmet, and we think you will too.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jeremy Benson

Last Updated:
Wednesday
May 16, 2018

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The Hela Joy Ride is the least expensive MIPS equipped mountain bike helmet in their Joy Ride women's line. Despite the reasonable price, the Hela offers excellent protection, comfort, features, and versatility that make it our Top Pick for Women Award winner.

Women's specific helmets a usually the same as men's, with different colorways. Meaning, helmets are unisex. As long as you find a helmet that fits with the safety features you're looking for, you're good to go.

Joy Ride is the moniker given to the women's specific helmets in Bell's line, and it is also the name of a program that Bell sponsors where their female ambassadors organize and host monthly group rides for women in various locations around the country. The Joy Ride versions of Bell's helmets are nearly identical in design to their non-Joy Ride men's counterparts, but with a slightly different fit and colorways.

Performance Comparison


Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS
Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS

Protection


We didn't rate the helmets for it, but we feel the Hela Joy Ride MIPS provides a high level of protection for several reasons. The deep fit and design of the helmet provide more coverage lower down on the temples and the across the back of the head. More coverage means more protection. The coverage of the Hela Joy Ride is among the best in our test, almost on par with that of the POC Tectal Race SPIN.

Bell has also equipped the Hela Joy Ride MIPS with the MIPS rotational impact protection system for enhanced protection in the event of an oblique impact. The MIPS system in the Hela Joy Ride is a thin layer of plastic that works as a slip-plane and sits between the EPS foam of the main body of the helmet and the pads which touch your head. In this helmet, the MIPS moves quite freely and feels like it would function quite well in the event of a crash.

The Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS has great coverage and the MIPS system which is designed to provide additional protection from an oblique impact.
The Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS has great coverage and the MIPS system which is designed to provide additional protection from an oblique impact.

Comfort


The overall fit and comfort of the Hela Joy Ride is quite good. The shell of the helmet has a deeper fit to provide more coverage by the temples and back of the head, and it has a good shape that seems like it should work with most head shapes.


Bell's Float Fit size adjustment system on the back of the helmet has a dial that allows the helmet's fit to be tightened or loosen evenly from both sides. This size adjustment system can also be moved up and down on a small ladder within the helmet to further dial in the fit. The chin strap system is relatively basic, but functional, with a plastic strap splitter that holds the straps flat under the ear. The inner padding of the helmet is on the thinner side, but well placed and adds to the comfort of this helmet. Bell has also incorporated their "Sweat Guide" pad design, which is a small tab of padding that extends further out in front on the shell, a system that is intended to draw sweat further forward so that it drips in front of your sunglass lenses instead of on them. It seems kinda gimmicky, but we've noticed that it works.

The Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS has great coverage and comfortable fit.
The Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS has great coverage and comfortable fit.

The Hela Joy Ride has 15 vents, 5 of which are located on the front of the helmet. The ventilation system works reasonably well, but our testers found it be less airy than other models, like the Liv Coveta MIPS. In general, the ventilation felt adequate, but as the temperatures rose above the 80-degree mark, some more airflow would have been appreciated.

Adjustments


The Hela Joy Ride MIPS has three adjustable features, two of which help to dial in the fit to your personal preferences. The most frequently used adjustment is the fit adjustment dial at the back of the head which allows the fit of the helmet to be tightened or loosened with the turn of a dial. This fit adjustment is similar to that found on most modern helmets, with a dial located in the center that tightens and loosen the helmet evenly on both sides.


This dial is on the smaller side, but testers had no problem using it one handed and with gloves on. The chin strap is also adjustable and offers plenty of range to accommodate most people's comfort preferences. The strap splitter also allows for the straps around the ears to be adjusted to the ideal location and avoid contact with the rider's ears. The strap splitter doesn't have a locking feature, so it can be moved accidentally and may occasionally need to be repositioned.

Bell also equipped the Hela Joy Ride with an adjustable visor that can easily accommodate goggles should you choose to ride with them. The range of adjustment of the visor is quite large, and when it's in the fully up position, there is plenty of room for goggles to rest on the helmet when not in use. The visor is attached by the temples and pivots from those points and can be positioned anywhere within its range from down flat to all the way up.

Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS
Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS

Weight


The size small Hela Joy Ride MIPS we tested weighs in at 12.31 oz, we feel this is a competitive weight for a helmet with the coverage, features, and protection that it offers. By comparison, the other women's specific helmet in our test, the Liv Coveta MIPS, weighs slightly less, 12.06 oz, but doesn't have nearly the coverage of the Hela Joy Ride.

The Bell Hela Joy Ride is a lightweight all mountain helmet  especially considering the coverage and MIPS system.
The Bell Hela Joy Ride is a lightweight all mountain helmet, especially considering the coverage and MIPS system.

Ventilation


The Hela Joy Ride MIPS has 15 vents, which do a decent job of ventilating this helmet. There are five vents on the front of the helmet that does the bulk of the work. T; the other ten vents are located on the sides, top, and back. Generally speaking, the ventilation was adequate, but testers found other helmets with larger, or more, vents in the front to allow more air movement. Helmets like the POC Tectal Race SPIN with more and larger vents in the front of the helmet proved to be more effective at keeping your head cooler and drier.

The ventilation of the Hela Joy Ride MIPS works reasonably well  but we feel it could be improved.
The ventilation of the Hela Joy Ride MIPS works reasonably well, but we feel it could be improved.

Durability


After a couple months of heavy use, our Hela Joy Ride MIPS test helmet looks as new as the day we took it out of the box. Other than a few sweat stains on the straps and the pads, you could mistake it for being brand new. All of the adjustable features still work perfectly, and the outer shell has no noticeable dents or scratches. The outer shell also covers the EPS foam of the helmet almost completely, except inside the vent holes, leaving the foam less susceptible to damage.


Best Applications


Our testers felt the Hela Joy Ride is incredibly versatile and could be used for all types of mountain biking. Anyone from XC riders to the enduro race crowd would love this comfortable and protective helmet. People who live and ride in especially hot climates may want to look into helmets with better ventilation, but for everyone else, this helmet can do it all.

Value


At a retail price of $95 we feel the Hela Joy Ride MIPS is a great value. This helmet is comfortable, versatile, and has useful features including an adjustable visor and MIPS liner at a reasonable price.

Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS
Bell Hela Joy Ride MIPS

Conclusion


The Joy Ride is our Top Pick for Women Award winner for its comfort, features, protection, and versatility. It has excellent coverage, and the addition of the MIPS system makes it very protective, especially for the price.

Other Versions and Accessories


Bell makes a full line of mountain bike helmets for men and women for road and mountain biking.
  • The Hela Joy Ride retails for $75 and is a non-MIPS equipped version of the model tested.
  • The 4Forty is the unisex version of the Hela Joy Ride. It is the same helmet but comes in sizes S-XL and in different color options.

Jeremy Benson

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Most recent review: May 16, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
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