Bell strikes with electromotive force this summer debuting the all-new Volt, an amazing combination of massive ventilation, svelte weight, and high-tech comfort. Eleven frontal vents corral massive amounts of air with the help of the Volt?s custom-sculpted Composite Fiber Intakes? (CFI) which direct flow to the helmet?s internal StreamJet Ventilation? channels. Rearward exhaust ports and the moisture-wicking X-Static? padding work in tandem to help keep the rider cool and dry. The Volt is made even more comfortable by Bell?s next-generation Twin Axis Gear? (TAG) fit system that allows riders to both dial in the exact fit, as well as adjust the mechanism?s horizontal position on the back of the head. Designed to be used on- or off-road, the Volt features Bell?s removable Variable Position Visor? (VPV) and will debut simultaneously at the 2008 Tour de France and on the World Cup XC mountain bike circuit.
Strengths: Light, ventilated, fit, color selection
Weaknesses: straps, but that's the same with all helmets
Had an older Bell helmet that I loved the fit, but it was black and not very ventilated. It was time to upgrade, so I tried all the usual suspects, Giro - light, but odd fit, Rudy - cool design, but felt heavy, even if it isn't, Bontrager - nice, but still can't get WW out my head, maybe not fair, but it is what it is, LAS - comfortable, but $$. I purposely left the Volt for last since I wanted to make sure I gave all the others a chance. When I tried it on, I knew it was right. I guess when the fit is correct, it makes all the difference. On the road I can immediately feel the difference in the ventilation, which is very important since I sweat a lot! I had read what some said about wind noise, and never paid much attention until I put this on. There is a definite reduction in the noise. Great helmet, and great price when compared to others of this level.
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2012
This helmet saved my life.
And performed beyond comparison while doing it. I was hit from behind at about 40-45mph while riding very slowly (terrible headwind) which threw me helmet-first into the windshield. I didn't lose consciousness even for a second, or feel any pain in my head in the slightest. The helmet also took a second impact, when I rolled off the hood and onto the concrete of the road. CT scan showed not even a slight concussion. The helmet was completely intact, with amazingly symmetrical cracks in strategic places throughout the inside of the helmet. It still feels as sturdy now as many cheaper helmets do when brand new. I am basically just blown-away by how well designed and manufactured this helmet is.
I worked at a Bell dealer bike shop, and for some reason, Bell doesn't seem to publicize that this helmet is designed with a novel "web" structure throughout the foam specifically to keep the helmet intact for multiple impacts, which apparently, works.
It is also super comfortable and wonderfully ventilated, TAG tightening system works flawlessly.
Unfortunately, I'm stuck with a Giro Ionos that I won in a contest. As soon as its worn out, I'm getting another Volt.
Strengths: looks good, comfortable enough to make you not mind wearing it, light, stayed on my head when needed and it works.
Weaknesses: costly, had some difficulty adjusting the straps
Have tried a few helmets, and find that Bell helmets suits me better than most. I chose the Volt just because it looks good and the marketing hype. I would say it is expensive but as their ad back then said, "If you got a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet". Really, if you're going to choose a helmet, choose a comfortable one that would make you wear it always. I happen to test mine recently and it did it's job well. The Volt is history but I would buy it again just because it worked and looks good.
I got the Volt on sale at Jenson a while back, it was my first roadbike helmet. After about a year of use (weekend rides/commuting) I had the unfortunate opportunity to crash test the helmet this past weekend at 20 mph on a wet downhill section of road. The helmet did its job and did it well. It's the day after and aside from the rash, there's no lasting damage from what was a fairly violent headfirst crash.
I'm not sure if i can stomach paying full price for another Volt, but I'm grateful that this helmet worked, and it was always a well fitting helmet and comfortable on my head. the straps were always a little awkward, but they all are, right?