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Bell - Z20 MIPS Helmet

Bell Z20 MIPS Helmet

20% Off
$171.96 Original price:$214.95
Changing the size selection, or changing the selected color after selecting a size, may change the associated price

Item #BEL00FK




Tech Specs

Shell Material:
Impact Foam:
18 vents
Fit Adjustment:
Float Fit Race
Claimed Weight:
Recommended Use:
cyclocross, road cycling
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Z20 MIPS Helmet

With MIPS solidifying its place in the mainstream, it was only a matter of time until someone brought another eye-catching safety feature to the table. Last year, Bell forged ahead by introducing its dual-layer Progressive Layering technology, which returns in the Bell Z20 MIPS Helmet, the brand's new all-purpose road model. 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 Z20'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.

  • An all-purpose road helmet with updated impact technology
  • 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
  • Integrated Float Fit Race dial allows glove-friendly adjustments
  • Ages 5 and older

Great Fit and Look

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

I could tell from the minute I put this helmet on my head, it was the right one for me. Easy to adjust straps. The quality of the Z20 seems to be top notch.

Best helmet I've ever worn but...

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: Medium

I'm a long-term Bell helmet guy; they just fit my melon better than Giros. This is no exception, if you've liked Bells previously this has similar shape.

However, with the MIPS it runs slightly small. I've always been a Medium in Bell, and been able to fit a beanie/skullcap/cycling cap/etc. under the helmet but I cannot with the Z20. It fits like it was custom made for my melon, with the retention cradle opened all the way up.

I don't want to go with the Large because then it would be too big, so this really is my summer helmet.

Otherwise, fit, finish, ventilation, ease of setup and comfort of the straps are all top notch. As long as you can find a size that works for you you won't be disappointed.


Great looking
Superb ventilation
Great fit and adjustability
Sweat Guard feature works (reasonably well) as described
Super comfy and easy to adjust straps


Regardless of what they say, runs slightly small relative to previous Bells due to the MIPS
Not a flyweight

Comfortable and Well Ventilated

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size

After years of using another brand, I decided to give Bell a try because for years I had used their motorcycle helmets. This helmet is comfortable, well ventilated, and fit true to size.

Fits great and works like they say

  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

This helmet is light and works well in hot weather. The sweat guard really does work well. Great airflow.

Does what it should

    I was very glad to have this branch embedded in my helmet, and not my noggin. I’ll be getting another, the helmet is light, effective, and on sale!

    Does what it should

    Great Helmet

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Size Bought: medium

    This is an excellent helmet to keep your noggin cool. Right away, the air flow over your head is noticeable, and that's important for me in the summer. Also, the fit was very good for me. It fits very similarly to Smith helmets that I own, and those are super comfy.

    Light and good looking

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    Purchased this helmet in matte black. The fit is excellent, looks/feels like a good quality helmet, it's lightweight, and I like the added protection of MIPS. It's subjective, but I think it's a good looking helmet. Can't tell much about ventilation since the weather isn't hot yet. I manage to stick my glasses (jawbreakers) into the front vents and it holds good.

    Light and Breathable.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    This helmet is great. It is super breathable and comfortable. It feels quite light on the head. The sweat technology really does work on those hot days to prevent the sweat from rolling down your face. Instead it drips off at he tip of your helmet. It is not just a gimmick that doesn't work. It really does and it is well worth it! Only downside is there is no great place to put your glasses on top your helmet. As the sun goes down I typically stick my glasses on top of my helmet, but there really is not great place for that.

    Super comfy and light

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Size Bought: Medium

    This is my favorite helmet now, after using Kasks, Lazer Z1s and Genesis, Giros etc. I like the Z20 the best. Super light and vents well, and does not look as dorky as some of the new lids. I like having the MIPS as well and did not seem to add much weight or bulk at all. Genious stuff. Thanks Bell for this great helmet. Well worth the $$$.

    Nailed It!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    My wife and I have been long time Bell helmet fans since 1993 when we purchased a matching set for our tandem. We wore those helmets for years but they finally "aged out" and for safety reasons we considered other options. We have owned several other helmet brands in the interim. After returning to cycling this year I considered a number of high end helmets but in the end the Bell Z-20 won out . . . . . hands down. The amount of ventilation, comfort, and the MIPS system were top priority. But the one thing I noticed is that the fit and finish of the Bell Z-20 was consistently superior to all the other helmets I looked at. I don't know if other brands have persistent quality control issues or random bad batches, but nothing compared with the finish quality of the Bell Z-20. Hands down this is the best cycling helmet I have ever owned. My first Z-20 I purchased is matte black. I was so impressed with it that I immediately purchased a second Z-20 (Ghost matte silver) for late night or early morning rides with its fully reflective graphics to gain an edge on safety. My wife was due for another helmet so I just purchased her a matte black/neon pink Z-20 and she absolutely loves it. I'm a firm believer you get what you pay for, and for me the Z-20 is an exceptional value for the technology, comfort, ventilation and safety. That being said, we don't store our sunglasses in the front vents as some of the other reviewers have noted, so I can't address that issue. If that is a deal breaker for you then go try one on and see if your sunglasses will fit or not. As far as I'm concerned Bell nailed it. Fantastic helmet.

    Love It

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    My go-to helmet brand has always been Giro as they fit me quite well but I decided to take a chance and try the Bell Z20. Bell is known to fit a rounder head shape while Giro fits more oval but fit hasn't been a problem at all for me. The Z20 doesn't slip onto my head quite as comfortably as a Giro but once I'm out riding I find I don't notice it at all which is the sign of a good helmet. I went with a Medium which is what I wear in Giro and most brands.

    I like the shape of the helmet, not so rounded and aero-looking as other popular models these days. MIPS is always a good feature to look for even though I hope to never need it. The fit adjustment dial has a good feel to it and allows quick micro adjustments. This helmet does feel a bit on the heavier side, but once again, as soon as it's on my head it disappears. The straps stay adjusted fairly well and lie flat under the ears which has been a problem in the past on other brands.

    Overall I'd recommend this helmet to anyone. I find sunglasses sit just fine under the helmet and will hold them ok but not great in the vents when not in use. I flip the glasses upside down, they don't slide into the vents as easily on some glasses and depending on the tips they can dig into my head just a tiny bit, but they have not fallen out even with all my curb hopping.

    Really good, but not quite great

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size

    I did a lot of research and tried a lot of helmets before I decided on the Z20, which I did mainly for the ventilation, comfort, sweat guide (which truly does work), and tech. I wanted something that would be a true all-around helmet. I essentially narrowed my search to the Synthe, and Bontrager Velocis. The Synthe seemed overpriced and dated, and I really just opted for the Z20 due to the overall attention to detail seemed to be slightly above the Velocis.

    While subjective, the fit is very comfortable for me. I tried on other helmets such as the Synthe, Aro5 & 3, Bontrager Velocis, POC Octal, Specialized Prevail & Evade, Lazer Z1, and other competitors from Scott, LG, and Kask. While none of these helmets were truly uncomfortable (sans the Evade), the fit and finish and overall attention to detail of the Z20 is second to none. The overall profile of the helmet does feel a bit wider and fits a bit taller on my head, but it's marginal. I think some helmets with the Boa system may be a little more evenly distributed, but not by much.

    The Sweat Guide truly works and I'm a believer. I'm a heavy sweater and suffer through Texas heat during the summer. While aero is important, suffering through sweat all over my sunglasses and my eyes as well as suffocating in 95+ degrees & high humidity are both two big factors that take the fun out of cycling for me. The retention system is very comfortable and provides an even distribution across my head. I can't speak to the tech behind the protection, but the fit and finish as stated before is definitely a couple steps above the Bell Stratus (which is almost the same helmet for much less).

    In comparing to my Giro Atmos, and LG Course, ventilation is leaps and bounds above both of these. The Float Fit Race helps in airflow flowing over my head and thru the helmet.

    The main pitfall of this helmet is sunglasses will not fit or stay in place in the front. The vents are too large and the pads designated for sunglasses are useless. While this is somewhat minor as sunglasses hold on fine in the back vents, I've never held my sunglasses in the back and it's a shame to have a feature designated for something that is more or less useless. There may be other pairs of sunnies that work for this feature, but my Oakley Jawbreakers and Smith Pivlock Max don't work at all.

    While there are no statistics or claims to support the aero prowess, I think this helmet values ventilation over aero, differentiating itself from some others on the market.

    Overall I'm very happy with this helmet. It's not perfect due to the minor annoyance of the sunglasses in the front vents, but the comfort and ventilation are great. While I can't compare to many other helmets in terms of performance, I'm still very happy with the features and overall performance of the Z20.

    Step backward

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Medium

    At this price this helmet misses the mark. I need to be able to place my glasses in my helmet when climbing and I sprang the extra money because the ad copy said It had access for this. Considering the 2 other Bell Gages and 2 Bell Volts i owned worked perfect for this the Zepyr/Z20 will not hold glasses. In fact I talked with others who have bought the helmet and pretty much every person had their glasses fall out of the helmet the first time trying it, unfortunately for me I scratched a $100.00 Oakley lens. This thing sits in the closet while I still use my older Bell Gage while I try to decide what to do with it.

    Round fit.

    • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
    • Size Bought: medium

    This is a great helmet, but the fit is too round for my head. The integrated MIPS is seamless and the styling is very good. One small negativity for me is that Oakley Jawbrakers will not fit in the front vents--only in the rear vents which is a bit awkward, though it might not be a problem for other people.


    4Forty, Annex, Catalyst, Drifter, Falcon, Formula, Hub, Sixer, Stratus, Super 3R, Super Air R, Super DH, Z20

    Head Circumference

    20.5 - 22in

    (52 - 56cm)

    21.7 - 23.2in

    (55 - 59cm)

    22.8 - 24.4in

    (58 - 62cm)

    24 - 25.6in

    (61 - 65cm)

    Full-9, Full-9 Fusion
    Head Circumference

    20.1 - 20.9in

    (51 - 53cm)

    20.9 - 21.7in

    (53 - 55cm)

    21.7 - 22.4in

    (55 - 57cm)

    22.4 - 23.2in

    (57 - 59cm)

    23.2 - 24in

    (59 - 61cm)

    24 - 24.8in

    (61 - 63cm)

    Head Circumference

    20.1 - 21.7in

    (51 - 55cm)

    21.7 - 23.2in

    (55 - 59cm)

    23.2 - 24.8in

    (59 - 63cm)

    Lil Ripper
    Head Circumference

    17.7 - 20.5in

    (45 - 52cm)

    18.9 - 21.7in

    (48 - 55cm)

    Local, Span
    Head Circumference

    19.3 - 20.9in

    (49 - 53cm)

    20.1 - 21.7in

    (51 - 55cm)

    21.7 - 23.2in

    (55 - 59cm)

    23.2 - 24.2in

    (59 - 61.5cm)

     S / MM / L
    Head Circumference

    19.7 - 22.4in

    (50 - 57cm)

    21.3 - 24in

    (54 - 61cm)

     AdultWomen / Youth
    Head Circumference

    20.9 - 23.6in

    (53 - 60cm)

    20.5 - 22.4in

    (52 - 57cm)

    Sanction, Transfer-9
    Head Circumference

    18.9 - 20.1in

    (48 - 51cm)

    20.5 - 21.3in

    (52 - 54cm)

    21.7 - 22.4in

    (55 - 57cm)

    22.8 - 23.6in

    (58 - 60cm)

    Sidetrack, Spark
    Head Circumference

    18.5 - 21.3in

    (47 - 54cm)

    19.7 - 22.4in

    (50 - 57cm)

    How to Measure:
    For best results, use a tape measure to measure around your head where your hat would fit comfortably.