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Old 01-15-14, 05:28 PM   #1
Hirohsima
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Bell Gage vs Bell Volt - Review and Comparison

I have not seen many reviews or comparisons on the Bell Gage helmet, so I thought I would do a quick one. I like Giro helmets for asthetics better, but not with the price premium of $50-75 better. Bell to me has always struck a better balance with performance/price. Giro tend to be flashier but when they are on my head, I can't see it and can't tell the difference between a $275 Aeon and a $190 Gage.


Helmets I use (All size Med)
2008 Ghisallo - 315g
2012 Volt - 315g
2013 Gage - 250g

Size and Asthetics
  • The Volt and the Gage could be the same helmet when looked at quickly. Same shape, same width, same uplifted butt with their distinctive "V".
  • There is slightly more poly-carb shell on the gage (whereas the back bottom of the volt is almost entirely exposed EPS)
  • The Volt is edgier in all regards. All creases are hard.... the gage looks like someone took sandpaper to every one of the sharp edges of the volt and just eased the corners. They are literally the same helmet in shape and size with minor differences only on the venting positions.
  • The Gage lost the plastic rear retention plug that sat on the outer shell of the helmet so its a tad bit cleaner up there.... but who the hell looks that close at a helmet.
  • Both hold sport glasses well, but the gage is a bit wider so its not as secure as the volt. On the volt they fit perfect and I've accidentally ridden a few miles on a rigid 29er with them on my helmet and they stayed on no problem.


Fit
  • Both the Volt and Gage fit about the same.
  • The volt sits on smaller perches at top of your skull. I generally have a TON of hair, but just got it chopped off so notice that the gage is slightly more comfortable on the top-side. I would assume bald guys will easily tell a difference here.
  • Front pad is about the same but the gage has little cutouts to help prevent the sweat buildup above your brow. The Volt is a continuous strip of pad which can start to drip.
  • The thinner, more flexible, webbing on the gage is a really nice change. I have used the uber-thick webbing for so long, I got used to it, but like the thinner stuff.



Ventilation
  • The Gage has 26 vents,[I think the volt has 22. Its really a wash since some of the Volt vents are lager and not split into two, and a set of two vents at the back of the head are relatively useless on the Gage.
  • The Gage has smoother and relatively wider vent holes; the Volt has edgier ridges which make me think overall the Gage will vent *slightly* better. Its cold enough right now (40-50 deg) that I can't tell the difference,...either helmet I'm too cold.


Verdict
  • The volt is more versatile but noticeably heavier. If you do road and MTB and don't want two helmets its nice that the integrated visor on the Volt snaps easily on and off. The gage is less of an upgrade to the volt and more of an evolution. You will notice the 65g drop in weight right away and the more comfortable straps.... but if you have a functioning Volt, replacing it with a Gage will feel a tad forced.
  • If you are road only, need a helmet, and are deciding between the two; get the gage.

Gage in Black, Volt in White

(Cross-post on MTBR)







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