What is it
Bell’s Z20 MIPS helmet delivers great ventilation, light weight, and enhanced visibility thanks to the reflective Ghost finish.
- Superb ventilation
- Reflective finish offers great visibility at dusk and after dark
- Float Fit Race retention device easily adjusts across a wide range
- Sweat Guide padding can be overwhelmed on hot days or during intense efforts
- Opportunity missed without accessory light mounts
The Z20 is Bell’s top-of-the-line road helmet. With a low, 300-gram weight (size medium), 18 vents, integrated MIPS liner, and stylish design, the Z20 also delivers great ventilation. The Z20 Ghost adds a durable coating over much of the helmet that is reflective, drastically improving rider visibility in low light conditions.
I’ve ridden in the Z20 Ghost for several months and with very few exceptions, it’s a great helmet for any cycling pursuit. In cooler weather, a warm hat or cycling cap fits underneath easily on the size medium reviewed here. The Float Fit Race retention system uses adjustment increments that allow for small changes while still making larger adjustments quick. The wide front vents held different sunglass models nicely.
Bell, in my opinion, is still a good alternative to Giro when it comes to fit. It’s rare that a Giro helmet looks good on me, but it’s quite common for a Bell to feel and look right at home atop my noggin. This may come down to head forms (oval versus round) or differences in sizing, but Giro’s medium helmets tend to look really big on my head. Not so with most of Bell’s models.
The Ghost finish is something that really attracted me to the Z20. Its reflectivity is fantastic and as someone who rides rain or shine, night or day, I’ll take any help I can get when it comes to being seen on the road. The reflective finish is quite durable and slightly textured. I also like that during the day the reflective panels blend into the overall aesthetic of the helmet.
Where I feel that Bell could have gone further with the Z20 Ghost is in the accessory department. This is a helmet that’s meant to be ridden in low light conditions. Why not include a pair of light mounts like the GoPro accessories that arrive with many of Bell’s mountain bike helmets? Many new lights, like Bontrager’s Ion 800 R, use a GoPro mount. Bell, after all, is owned by the same parent company that also owns Blackburn. They produce lights. How about some cross-office integration?
Also, as a mountain biker, I would have also liked a removable visor. Bell used to do this with its top tier helmets. I understand that they’re trying to sell MTB models, but multiple helmets aren’t in the cards for everyone.
Small gripes aside, I really like the Bell Z20 Ghost. It’s my go-to for hot conditions and when I expect to be out after dark. If it had light mounts, it would be an all-time favorite.
Rating: 4 out of 5
More Info: www.bellhelmets.com