The Bell Zephyr has made waves due to its new bifurcated construction process. The Zephyr is essentially two helmets that are then joined with a physical and chemical bond. This takes the concept of dual density to the next level as Ben Penner, Bell’s Sr. Product Development Manager told us, “It is the bifurcated construction that gives the engineering team a greater ability to optimize the helmet’s ability to manage energy compared to either a dual or single density helmet.” Bifurcation allowed Bell to use more than just a single polycarbonate shell on the outside better optimizing its effectiveness, as well as optimize the shape of the helmet with more molding flexibility.
peloton/Images courtesy Bell Helmets
Ben also gave us a glimpse into the design process, a process that always starts with a brainstorming session. At that session they don’t worry about what will fit in Bell’s existing product line or what price point will be most profitable. They try to zero in on what riders want and need that is not currently being delivered. From there the design process includes sketches, half-size foam models, full-size clay models, CAD and 3D printing. The team of industrial designers and engineers checks in with each other every step of the way before any tooling for test products begins. It’s a long and complex process even for a very simple helmet. To not just design a very complex helmet, but an all-new stye of helmet production, was a huge challenge. They pulled it off. Bell shared some images from this design process with us. Enjoy.
To learn more about the Zephyr read our feature: BELL’S ALL-NEW ZEPHYR: MIPS DONE RIGHT
To learn more about the design process read our feature: ENGINEERING BELL: PART II – THE NEW BELL ZEPHYR