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Firmly of the tarmac tribe, the Bell Lumen sports a gently sculpted profile, that's accommodating of Gore tex covers when its biting cold and raining dogs while conforming to both EU and US safety standards. The latter might also explain why ours tipped the scales at 317g.
Quality of construction and materials are every bit what I'd expect from one of the world's biggest manufacturers, although its clear lacquer topcoat had begun receding in places. Colour scheme on ours was a timeless red, white and black tricolour that coordinated beautifully with my Univega and seems highly resistant to scuffing, swirling and similar superficial grazing. Other colour combos are available though including turquoise/silver; black/blue and white/silver.
A low-slung cradle improves stability and more significantly, is designed to protect the brain from the multiple twisting forces involved in faster terra firma tumbles. This also provides a nifty spot for small blinkies, which can be secreted out of harms' way within the centrally mounted rear vent.
You'd be forgiven for thinking inbuilt GPS was an integral guidance system but in this context the acronym refers to Bell's adjuster dial. Reminiscent of a derailleur jockey wheel, it's designed for ultra fine-tuning, say when donning a cap/buff mid ride. Easily operated in gloved hands, this is a different, as distinct from better system but gets my approval nonetheless. Machine washable anti bacterial pads continue the civilised theme, although given the twenty-two ultra efficient inlet/exhaust vents trench helmet should be something you'd need to worry about anyway.
Beautifully simple to fettle I was immediately conscious of the helmet's ergonomic fit and quickly forgot the 40g weight penalty over my regular lid. Air literally courses through the vents but without ramming the frontal lobe, explaining why I haven't suffered those agonising headaches when letting rip on extended descents in cool weather.
Its much the same story with steady cruising, cooling airflow wafts seamlessly through the scalp, retaining a temperate inner climate with only trace dampness apparent after three hours'. That said, dependant upon livery I've a feeling it may lose out to lighter competitors when temperatures climb nearer 30degrees, which may be a consideration for continental training camp devotees.
Well fitting road helmet with the emphasis upon safety but minor weight penalty may deter some.
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Make and model: Bell Lumen helmet
Size tested: Medium, red/black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"The Bell Lumen proves that riding on a budget doesn't need to look low-budge. With 22 high volume, internally channeled vents, a dial-to-fit GPS fit system and sweet registered graphics, the Lumen is officially one of the brightest buys in the entire Bell range". Good specification for the money.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
· Cam-lock Levers
· Channeled Ventilation
· Fusion In-Mold Microshell
· Geared Positioning System (GPS)
· Internal Reinforcement
· Registered Graphics
· CE EN1078
To a high standard but clear coat lacquer was peeling on our sample.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Bell Lumen is a very well engineered road helmet with higher safety accreditation than many similar designs. Undeniably competent and very comfortable worn for longer periods, additional grams will polarise opinion at this ferociously competitive price point.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Classic road shape, beautiful fit, ease of adjustment.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing of particular note.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)