The Soul is part of Bell Helmet’s women’s Joy Ride collection. It’s an all-purpose lid with options to run an attached soft cloth visor, a hard plastic visor or roadie style with neither. The Soul features Bell’s TAG fit system to adjust the circumference around your head. “Overbrow ventilation” and 22 vents are designed to pull in cool air and push out warm air by circulating the breeze through specific channels inside the helmet.
Bell’s helmets have always fit me nicely, and the extremely comfortable Soul was no exception. Bell’s rear fit adjustment system works as well as ever. The big, rear dial is easy to find with gloved fingers without being so bulky as to look outrageous. I don’t feel any strange pinch or pressure points when tightening the dial as far as it will go and never developed a headache on longer rides. I don’t know if a ponytail will fit through the rear opening. There is little bit of room back there, and I suppose it depends on how thick your hair is.
The chin straps and buckle are straightforward and classic—nothing to see here that will either confuse or wow you. I found their position to be just right: neither too far forward or back. I could get this helmet plenty tight without feeling like I might choke.
Speaking of looks—while I acknowledge they are personal preference—I say Bell nailed a pleasing style with the Soul, which is why I wanted to test it. The Soul comes in well under $100 (retail is $75), offer excellent features and sports a classic appearance without looking either too plain or too pro-white-Lycra-racer-boy-ish, though I could do without the giant logo on one side. The Soul also offers a narrow front profile, which means you won’t look like a bobble-head doll while wearing it (a problem I often have).
My only complaint is that I couldn’t get the soft visor to flip down, so its value in providing shade on particularly sunny days was minimal. For those times, I just grabbed the plastic visor, which snaps on with ease.
The Soul got a few, small fit tweaks that differentiate it from other Bell helmets. Otherwise, the primary differences between Joy Ride Collection helmets and not are unique color palates. I appreciate that every lid in the collection comes in black for those of us not wild about so-called feminine colors. The Soul is also available in a fetching white/light blue combo with a red logo.
If you want one helmet to serve all riding purposes, the Bell Soul is a great option to consider. I only wish they offered it with MIPS technology. I’d buy that one in a heartbeat. This helmet weighs 259 grams, which is plenty light enough to set it and forget it.
More info: Bell Helmets Soul