Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
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What's Wrong with the Razor Pro
and Avalanche Pro ?

We have received this question:

In your review of the Interbike show you mention that consumers should avoid the Bell Avalanche Pro and Razor Pro helmets, but there is no explanation as to why. Can you explain what is wrong with these helmets?

And here is our response:

Those are the last Bell models to use "hardcore technology" which is a way of placing harder foam around vents. They pass the standards that way with larger vents, because the magnesium headforms used for lab testing don't care about the localized loading of the harder foam. But if the hard foam puts more of a localized load on your skull, your skull can deflect at that point, either cracking it or bashing your brain. There is no scientific proof from medical studies that this is actually happening, but we just don't see the need for harder foam around vents when the foam in most helmets is probably already too hard. In our opinion these are not optimal designs, although they are certified as passing the ASTM standard. There are so many other good helmets available without hard foam inserts that we do not recommend these two.

We were pleased when Bell subsequently dropped the "hardcore technology" models. We do not know why they made that decision.

This page was revised or reformatted on: February 24, 2019.
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