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Vintage Bell cycling helmet? What era? Rarity?

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Vintage Bell cycling helmet? What era? Rarity?

Old 03-20-13, 10:17 PM
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drdanke
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Vintage Bell cycling helmet? What era? Rarity?

I stumbled on this unusual vintage Bell cycling helmet, and I wasn't able to find any information by researching online. Does anyone know what era is it from? I am thinking the 80's. It says "US Cycling Team" on it, so does that mean it was used by someone on the team or is it just generically licensed by the US Cycling Team? It looks like a racing helmet of some sort, but I am not familiar with the style. What type of racing was it used for? Is the helmet rare? Value? Any help would be appreciated. The condition of the helmet is excellent. Thanks in advance for any help!

Last edited by drdanke; 03-21-13 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 03-21-13, 05:54 AM
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The subject hemet is a Bell Stratos. They were circa 1987-1988 and also came in navy blue and anthracite. In the latter colour they were nicknamed the "Darth Vader helmet". They were designed primarily as an aerodynamic helmet and the 7-Eleven team used these helmets in the time trial stages of the Tour de France. Original MSRP was about $55 US. The decals are not OEM and have been applied by the owner.

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Old 03-21-13, 07:50 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to adress the rarity/value query. They are probably relatively rare, as they never were a very popular helmet. They were quite heavy and hot compared to the standard helmets of the day. They weighed 10% more than Bell's most popular model, the V-1 Pro and doubled the weight of the Giro. The only reason to go with the Stratos was for the aerodymanic benefits, so the appeal was primarily for time trials and triathlons. Even there, they weren't that popular. They looked really bulky compared to the competition and many felt the visor cut down too much on the cooling. They were only on the market for about two years, which speaks volumes to their popularity and I recall Nashbar heavily discounting them to move the remaining stock.

Given the superiority of modern helmets and the potential environmental degradation, I can't see why anyone would ride around in a vintage helmet. It would be for display only. While it has rarity, it doesn't have popularity, so becomes primarily a curiosity. I see only neglible value.

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Old 03-21-13, 08:20 AM
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Thank you very much for all the information. It answered all the questions I have on the helmet.
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