Despite its name's connotations of invisibility, the Bell Z20 Ghost MIPS Helmet is anything but. All helmets are designed to handle impacts, but the Z20 Ghost's integrated reflectivity means it's one of the first helmets that actually help you avoid them altogether. That preventative measure joins the standard Z20's Progressive Layering and MIPS liner, adding one additional upgrade to Bell's new all-purpose flagship road helmet.
Last year, Bell forged ahead in the protectives game by introducing its dual-layer Progressive Layering technology. Bell claims that this construction method, which utilizes two layers of variable density foam instead of the traditional single density layer, better dissipates impact forces in some crash situations. Pairing Progressive Layering with the thin, low-friction MIPS liner means Bell puts impact management firmly at the forefront of the Zephyr's design.
Safety is always a priority, but Bell knows that riders won't wear even the safest helmet if it's ugly and uncomfortable. Like the Zephyr, which was the original Progressive Layering lid, the Z20 features a modern, highly vented, and streamlined design that just plain looks fast. Inside, the highly adjustable Float Fit Race system integrates with the MIPS liner to minimize bulk while movable padding adds a final customized touch on fit.
Bell finishes the helmet with its Sweat Guide Padding and No-Twist Tri-Glides, A pair of features that only make sense to people who have suffered from the ills they address. Sweat Guide is a simple extension of padding under the front of the helmet that ushers sweat forward so it drips in front of your glasses instead of on them. This sounds like a small detail at first, until you remember that mid-summer interval session that left you squinting into the sun with salt-covered lenses sitting unusable in your helmet vents and realize that a tiny patch of padding is a pretty big deal. The No-Twist fasteners help prevent the obnoxious tendency for helmet straps to twist. We're not embarrassed to admit that we occasionally spend far too long trying to straighten the straps—after all, those twists often seem to be contrary to the laws of physics.
- A road helmet for early morning training and late returns
- Reflective panels add generous visibility in low-light conditions
- Dual layer EPS helps dissipate impact force
- MIPS technology reduces rotational force in certain crashes
- Aerodynamic shell shaping reduces drag
- Large air vents promote cooling airflow
- Sweat Guide Padding keeps sweat droplets away from your lenses
- Item #BEL00FL
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
I've ridden in a Volt for years, fits perfect.
Wanted to get something new, presumable safer, and Bell still fits me the best. Many helmets place the strap anchor high inside the helmet which digs into my head (Giro and Lazer are two).
I've always thought MIPS mostly makes the helmet uncomfortable so I've tried to avoid but Bell has gone whole hog into MIPS so I tried this helmet and it fits me well and is comfortable.
Part of the comfort comes from lots of material covering the MIPS skeleton. This material serves to store heat inside the helmet.
The helmet also vents poorly.
The MIPS also allows for the helmet to tilt to one side or the other on my head but I can't tell when I'm riding. Does this shave safety points from what otherwise might be the most protective helmet on the market?
The strap material is also like 4" too long so I'm almost out of room with being able to tighten the helmet as the buckle almost hits the end.
The buckle is also real stiff. Is this necessary?
Bell is real proud of this helmet with the dual density foam and the uber covered MIPS but I find myself thinking of how it's really not that great when I'm riding which is a sure sign of bad design, or poor execution. Or both.
Hopefully Bell will get off its high horse and come around to realizing this ain't the end all. Still work to do folks, especially at this price point.
How would you characterize the shape/fit of this helmet? Is it round (read, proportionally wide internally) or oval (proportionally long, internally)? I find that for some helmets (which would appear to be the correct size by overall circumference) contact and pivot at two points on the upper side of my head. Fwiw, in the past, I've had good fit with my sampling Bell helmets and Specialized helmets, less luck with Giro helmets.
Franks, most would consider this helmet to be a rounder shape than Giro or Specialized. With that said, if it doesn't work for your our staff of Gearheads are happy to provide recommendations and setup an exchange. Thanks!