The Bell Gage is built for ease of use and comfort. It fits many different head shapes, provides 26 vents for efficient cooling, and the padding is antimicrobial but also removable for easy washing.
Well ventilated. With 26 air vents, the Bell Gage channels wind over riders' heads to keep them cool during strenuous rides. "At standard road riding speeds you can feel the air careening across the top of your skull, meaning our heads were rarely even damp," writes BikeRadar.com's James Huang, who tested the helmet over a hot summer in Colorado.
Reviewers say the helmet can easily adjust to fit many head shapes and sizes. The helmet is constructed of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam with internal reinforcement.
Lightweight and easily adjustable. The helmet's padding is mostly at the front and top of the helmet, but reviewers say this does not detract from comfort. For reviewers the biggest draw to this helmet over other models is its lightweight design that helps ease neck strain and adds comfort to long rides. Weighing in at 240 grams, the Bell Gage is only 22 grams heavier than ConsumerSearch's top helmet, the feather-light Giro Aeon. Users also like the thin webbing straps, which help keep the helmet light and are easy against the rider's skin, though one said his strap's buckle often slips and requires frequent readjustment.
Reviewers also praise the Twin Access Gear (TAG) system, which allows users to adjust both the tightness on the front and sides of the head and move the back of the cradle up or down. As with other helmets in this category, the Bell Gage's retention can be adjusted with one hand while riding.
Removable antimicrobial padding. The interior pads can be removed for airing and cleaning after a long, sweaty ride. If you can't clean the pads between rides, that's fine too, as the pads' antimicrobial padding kills germs and reduces the likelihood of bad odors inhabiting your helmet. All helmets must be durable in case of a crash, and Huang reckons this helmet is also durable in your suitcase. Additionally, the outer edges of foam are protected, which will reduce long-term wear and tear.
Review Credibility: Excellent The Bell Gage receives 4 out of 5 stars from Huang, who cites the helmet's "excellent" ventilation and "good" comfort level as reasons for his praise after a summer of use. He compares it to Bell's earlier flagship helmet, the Sweep, and finds the Gage lighter and trimmer. Huang predicts the head form of the helmet will accommodate a range of head sizes. While mostly favorable, his review notes that the chinstrap often needs to be tightened, as the buckle sometimes slips.
Review: Bell Gage Helmet Review, James Huang, Sept. 17, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent Road.cc reviewer Mat Brett gives the Bell Gage helmet 4 out of 5 stars. After using the helmet, Brett says it's comfortable, has good ventilation and is "a highly reasonable weight for a race helmet." He also praises the removable, washable interior padding, especially the strip that is designed to go across the forehead and stop sweat from dripping in the rider's eyes.
Review: Bell Gage Helmet, Mat Brett, May 31, 2012
Review Credibility: Good In this short review, Andrew J. Bernstein praises the helmet's weight-saving features and the retention system, which is easily adjusted with a thumb. He says it fits low on the brow. His review is short, and there is no sign of actual testing.
Review: Bell Gage, Andrew J. Bernstein, September 2012