CW Evaluation: Bell Star Carbon Custom Fit Helmet

A helmet made just for you.

Decades after its famous advertising campaign—“If you’ve got a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet”—Bell is still making headlines.

Bell launched its “Custom Fit” program this past fall at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Superbike World Championship race weekend. Using 3-D imaging, Bell’s Advanced Concepts Group digitally mapped the heads of a small group of paying customers and members of the media. The scan took less than a minute, and my personalized Star Carbon was ready two days later.

Custom Fit differs from off-the-shelf in two ways: 1) The expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner is specific to the end user, and 2) the removable foam interior is simplified, with separate crown and neck-roll padding. The rest is “standard” Star Carbon—TriMatrix composite shell, Velocity Flow ventilation with Flow Adjust, Magnefusion magnetic strap keeper, 3Mode NutraFogII faceshield with tool-free ClickRelease, and integrated speaker pockets.

Fit is like nothing I’ve previously experienced. Although nicely finished, the liner is quite hard, so if you’re seeking a pillow-like experience, you won’t find it here. That said, cinched tightly, the helmet feels like it is floating, barely contacting my head, with no pressure points, regardless of the length of time I wear it.

Bell has invested more than $250K in its Custom Fit program, and with five patents pending, company officials aren’t ready to discuss the proprietary US liner “manufacturing” process. Whatever the explanation, the result is a uniquely individual, perfectly fitted, DOT/Snell-certified helmet. That’s a headline in and of itself.

Bell Star Carbon Custom-Fit $1,100 * Fits like a stocking cap * Extra crown and neck-roll pads supplied in 2mm increments, 10mm for cheek pads * Coming soon: Custom Fit MX and bicycle helmets * One color: Matte Carbon * Noisier than other premium helmets * Custom Fit option adds $450

Chris Pietrzak (left) and Joe Tomascheski from Bell's Advanced Concepts Group.

A 3D image is the starting point for a Custom Fit liner.

Manual verification of digital scan.

Bell Star Carbon Custom Fit with Transitions faceshield.

Custom Fit confirmation plate is riveted to the back of the helmet.

Custom Fit EPS liner, minus padding.

Snell M2010 certification.

Helmet/X-ray Illustration.