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.