Bell is a bike helmet manufacturer. It also makes helmets for motorcycle riders and car racing drivers. It has been making helmets for over 60 years, with Bell helmets used by everyone from professional racing car drivers in the world's biggest races, to weekend motorcyclists, to cyclists competing in the Tour de France. The company led the way in many helmet innovations, and it remains one of the most respected helmet manufacturers in the world.
The Bell storey began in 1954 when the company was founded by Roy Richter. The first helmets were made in a garage behind Bell Auto Parts. Bell describes this period of the company as being fueled by "grease and will", with the result being the 500, Bell's first helmet.
These helmets were put to the test fairly quickly. In 1955, in only the second year of Bell's existence, racing driver Cal Niday crashed into the wall in the Indy 500. He was wearing a Bell helmet, which he said saved him from suffering even more serious injuries than he did.
Over the next decades Bell introduced a number of innovations to the helmet manufacturing industry. They were the first to produce a full-face helmet, the first to produce a fire retardant helmet, and the first to produce a helmet made from Kevlar. They also led the way in helmet ventilation systems, and in aerodynamic, lightweight designs.
Today Bell continues to make a wide range of bike helmets, and it is involved in the various cycling sports through sponsorship of riders. It also makes helmets for power sports and motorcycle riders.
The Bell range of bike helmets includes designs for all cycling disciplines, with options for casual cyclists up to the professional rider:
• Road helmets - helmets for riding road bikes and racing. The range includes a range of designs and styles including the Javelin time trial helmet and a number with attached eye shields that adjust according to the light.
• BMX helmets - in a range of designs including some with chin guards
• Commuting Helmets for the casual rider and commuter
• Kids helmets - in various styles and designs
• Mountain bike helmets - a range of helmets designed for the mountain bike rider including those with and without chin bars
• Special editions - including the Joy Ride collection aimed at women, and limited edition designs
Many of the helmets in the Bell range feature MIPS - multi-directional impact protection system. Some include camera mounts, and there is a range of cycling and helmet accessories.
Bell is involved with a number of professional cyclists and teams. This includes various mountain biking disciplines, BMX, and road racing. Some of the cyclists that use Bell supplied helmets include the downhill riders Harry Heath and Mick Hanna. The freeride mountain biker Wade Simmons wears a Bell helmet, as does the Enduro rider Nathan Riddle. The BMX riders include Pat Casey, Zak Earley, and Van Homan. On the road Bell supports the Team Lotto NL-Jumbo team. The Team Boulder Sport cyclocross team also uses Bell supplied helmets.