Bell Revolver EVO Review
The Revolver EVO is Bell's 2013 iteration of the modular helmet, bringing together the top-notch protection factor of racing, full-face lids, and the convenience and touring-worthy character of the flip-up helmets.
Without claiming any world supremacy, the Bell Revolver EVO aims to please those riders in search of a very good all-rounder helmet with a fair price and reliable build quality, with as little compromise as possible, given the "dual nature" of the modular design.
Starting making helmets for high-speed racing purposes back in the mid-'50s, Bell is one of the most revered names in the industry and can offer a helmet for pretty much any type of powersports enthusiast.
Bell Revolver EVO – box and outer looks
The Revolver EVO we've reviewing is the Templar version, with neat, sporty, and sober graphics, but riders can choose between the aggressive, red-pinstriped Warp version, the hi-viz neon yellow one, and several solid colors, such as flat or glossy black, silver, or white.
The Revolver EVO lid is packaged pretty well in a good-looking box, with the helmet carefully placed inside its plush protective bag and with the user's booklet at hand. We liked the way the helmet was snugged in the box, so that unwanted movement was prevented.
The addition of the badged bag is always a valuable plus for those who like their helmets in top-notch aesthetic conditions even after one year after opening the box. The draw string keeps the bag closed quite well, and to prevent dust or other things from entering through its small opening, we were pleased to see that the strings are more than enough for tying a small knot and securing the bag.
Right out of the box, the Bell Revolver EVO looks very nice. We kind of feared the awesome deep gloss lacquer of the helmet is just cheap eye candy, but we were wrong: the exterior of the shell is almost perfect, and touching it leaves a very pleasant, reassuring feel. Looking extremely careful, the painted surface might show some tiny ripples, but we're mentioning this just to be mean – the finish is smooth and nice.
A film is fitted ex works on the visor and the internal sun shield, with short descriptions of the technologies used, and it comes off quite easily leaving nothing but a clean surface behind. The Revolver EVOs are all shipped with clear visors, but a wide array of tinted ones is available separately.
We then took a closer look at all the joints and were pleased to see they are flush, and everything falls in place quite neatly, with only minor imperfections. Just like any other good helmets, the chin guard moves smoothly and needs almost no effort. Compared to the Nolan N-102 Special Edition, the Bell was better from the box. Easy, one-finger (thumb) operation makes things even sweeter.
The visor offers quite a good visual range, but if you're riding a bike in a more sporty position, you'd better go for a different lid. As the rider leans forward over the bike, the upper field might become a little too low. This is not necessarily a bad aspect, given the target of the Revolver EVO and the fact that it was created for the all-purpose, upright bikes.
As far as the weight goes, the modular design and the fact that the shell is made from composite polycarbonate alloy shell instead of carbon fiber says it all: since you went the flip-up way, then you're in for a heavier burden.
However, at 1.750 kg (3.85 lbs), the Bell Revolver EVO is still far from being truly heavy. And if you're the kind of a heavier-build guy, you might be wearing it for a whole day before you'd start feeling its weight.
The Bell Revolver EVO fastens with a double D-ring system, but the strap and rings do come with a twist: the Magnefusion system, which is also Patent Pending. Magnefusion is a small and lightweight, but very strong magnet which is attached to the end of the strap and helps keeping it in place as you ride, as the magnet is attracted to a small piece of ferromagnetic metal in one of the rings.
The ferromagnetic element is encased in plastic and the magnet is protected by two round cloth badges. We tested this system at high speed on a bike with no windshield and it works like a charm: no more straps flying around, buffeting and hitting your helmet, face or neck; it now sits in place very well.
Now, Bell should update their patent, as the neat cloth covering the magnet is not glued very well to the strap, and after you've fastened/ unfastened your Revolver EVO 50 times or so, those badges start to peel off, and you might lose the magnet. We used super glue to fix the problem, but Bell could either sew it in place or use thermal welding to secure both badges and the magnet to the strap.
Verdict: While the Bell Revolver EVO is definitely not a high-end helmet, users get quite a lot of helmet for the bucks. As far as the build quality and the outer looks go, the Revolver EVO is definitely above average, around 4 out of 5. (See the score scale at the end of this piece).
Bell Revolver EVO – On the inside
The inner liner is not velvet-like, and we like this. Of course, other riders might appreciate the smooth velour liners better, but this is a matter of personal preferences and, in the case of helmets, it won't matter as a “good or bad” factor.
The padding is thick and pleasant to touch, and we were delighted to see that the sizing was alright. Now, depending on each rider's particular head shape, various helmets might fit better or worse, but in our case, everything was just the way it should be, offering a neat, reassuring feel and a snug fit.
There were no “empty spaces” inside the helmet and this is a great feeling. Even more, given the fact that the Bell Revolver EVO comes in one shell size only, seeing it fit well was really nice.
The liner has extra breathable texture facing forward for better air flow, and is completely removable and washable. The cheek pads snap well into place and, if you decide to go for an intercom system, then you'll surely appreciate the dedicated speaker cut-outs and pockets. The lid fits very well on the rider's head and offers a “one-piece” feeling.
With the helmet closed, some guys with more prominent chins or strong, massive jaws might find the Bell Revolver EVO a bit small, as the chin piece is quite close. Other riders might not experience this. It's only a bit annoying until you start enjoying your ride; once you start shifting from side to side through fast turns, things smooth out quite lovely.
The Bell Revolver EVO comes with a generous chin curtain which keeps much of the upstream air from entering the helmet from below. It is easily removable in case you like more air. Unlike other helmets making the chin curtains from a crappy plastic/rubber composite, the one in the Revolver EVO is made from a soft material covered in the same high-breathability fabric and with a neatly-trimmed edge. The fit and wearing comfort receives a neat 4-star verdict.
If you're growing a beard, using the Bell Revolver EVO closed and with the chin curtain in place will definitely be funny and you could have a pretty interesting beard shape after a really long haul.
The clear visor shuts in place quite well and, once fully down, it protects the face very well. The shield is not perfect, but we've seen very few that are. Now, it does not offer but a slightly different perspective, with such a small difference that some might not even notice it.
Continue to Page 2 of "Bell Revolver EVO Review" →
❐ Check out the 2013 Bell Revolver EVO photo gallery