Bell Sidetrack VS Sidetrack II

If cycling has become one of the hobbies of children lately, it is important to think about their safety while cycling. Bike Helmet is an important part of child safety so it is mandatory to use.

Bicycle helmets are useful to protect the child’s head from injuries caused by head impacts. At first, the child may be disturbed by the use of a helmet. Therefore, you need to find a helmet that can provide safety and comfort to children.

The first thing to know is the circumference of the child’s head, measure the distance of 2.5 cm from the top of the eyebrows, then from that point circle the head with a thread or ribbon until it wraps around the head.

Measure the length of the tape to find out the correct size. Repeat this about 2-3 times to get the right measure. But if you use a helmet with one size, then you can use an additional hat or cap if the helmet is too big for the child.

After knowing the size of the child’s helmet, choose a bicycle helmet that is comfortable when used by them. Do not trust the price too much, because not necessarily, expensive helmets can be comfortable for children.

So it is important to adjust the helmet to the comfort of the child. If the price of bicycle helmets is expensive but the child is not suitable or uncomfortable, then the helmet simply becomes useless.

The bearings in the helmet serve to withstand shock when the helmet is hit. In addition, pads are also useful to keep the helmet comfortable to use, while also helping to absorb sweat. Choose a helmet with the right pads, not too sturdy and can still be removed to make it easier for cleaning when it is dirty.

Because if rarely cleaned, the helmet will cause a really bad smell and there are germs and bacteria that can cause skin disorders in children. Different types of helmets have different ventilation systems, therefore you can discuss with the child what type of helmet ventilation is suitable for his/her.

Smith VentureSmith Convoy
Product Dimensions12.64 x 9.33 x 7.91 inches 12.6 x 9.3 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight11.9 ounces11 ounces
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The more better the ventilation of the helmet, it can provide a sense of coolness when used by the child. Your kid can be comfortable wearing it on any day.

Now that you have understood what’s important about the kid’s bike helmet, we have some recommendations to consider. We have two products, Bell Sidetrack and its upgraded version, Sidetrack II. Since they have pretty different levels of prices, we’ll see if the more expensive product can provide better value or not.

Bell Sidetrack ($45)

Sidetrack is styled like an adult mountain bike helmet, but the packaging is small, durable, adjustable and fully functional, and the price is very reasonable. To be honest, it must have some good factors! Provides youth models in child and teenager sizes, with optional MIPS security technology, which can provide the best nodding protection you want.

For the features, we have the extended coverage which designed with the look and feel of mountain bike helmets in mind, with a lower coverage at the back of the head.

Now about the size, Sidetrack is available in two sizes-children (47 cm – 54 cm) and youth (50 – 57 cm). It has an overlap of 4 cm, so children with a head circumference of 50 – 54 cm can technically wear any helmet.

This is actually a tricky condition. As explained in more detail below, when you rotate the dial on the back of the helmet to make it smaller to reduce the circumference of the head, the inside of the helmet (including the sides) becomes narrower. Although the “child” helmet looks more suitable for our testers, it is actually too tight on the sides when it is inserted into the helmet.

Since the back of the helmet has extra coverage and the size range is large (both are 7 cm), it is difficult to grasp the child’s head when the dial is fully tightened. High-end helmets come with multiple sets of pads of different thicknesses to better tailor a suitable helmet for your child, while Sidetrack has only one set.

But is this really a bad thing? According to many experiences, as the child grows, the second or third set of pads that can be replaced are often lost, so using only one set of pads can almost alleviate it.

One less thing needs to be tracked in the garage, which also reduces the cost of the helmet! Correctly adjusting the sliding cover on the side strap under the ear is necessary to ensure true durability. These sliders are notorious for being scattered frequently, so they fail to keep the helmet centered above the child’s head

Therefore, many of the sun visors on the helmets we have seen have cheap plastic parts, which are easy to fall off, and have little effect on protecting the parts. Sidetrack’s buckle visor is made of quite heavy plastic and is very firmly fixed to the helmet body. Sidetrack Youth offers a MIPS feature as well, which adds extra safety protection to children’s helmets. (This feature, however, is not available in the “kid” size.)

Bell Sidetrack II

Bell Sidetrack II is the original and popular Bell Sidetrack children’s helmet updated in 2020. After upgrading the padding, ventilation and strapping system, Sidetrack II has become more stylish and more comfortable.

However, one of the most significant changes is that Sidetrack II now has three sizes. Sidetrack was previously available in child (47-52 cm) and youth (50-57) sizes, but now it also uses smaller toddlers (45-52 cm).

With all these updates, Sidetrack 2 is a bit more expensive than the original version, but its quality and durability are commensurate with the price. Bell Sidetrack II has the same style as an adult mountain bike helmet, available in a variety of interesting colors and designs, and is equipped with children and youth size MIPS.

Unfortunately, this is not all the benefits, and one of the updates has a big adverse effect. The new design of the dial adjustment system has problems with the size of the toddler and it is difficult to tighten the child’s head correctly.

The adjustment system of Sidetrack II has been updated from the original model. Now, the side strap (to keep the helmet in the center of the child’s head) is a flat and smooth material, which is unlikely to irritate the child’s face.

However, changes to the dial adjustment design make this 2.0 helmet undersized for toddlers. This is a bit disturbing on the “child” scale, but it is not a problem at all on the “youth” scale.

In theory, the cage and knob system allows the parent or child to simply rotate the dial at the back of the head and tighten the inner “cage” of the helmet until it fits snugly against the child’s head.

The problem is to place the dial on the Sidetrack II for toddlers. Compared to the old Sidetrack, it has a high position in the helmet. As a result, it is difficult to grasp the knob with two fingers, and you have to try to turn the lower part of the knob with only one finger.

It is pretty uncomfortable and can hurt your fingers, and it is basically impossible for an impatient and wriggling toddler. Pulling down on the plastic cage can grab the entire knob, but doing so actually pushes the helmet into place. Therefore, it is fundamentally impossible to tighten the knob on the head of an infant. Read also: Giro Cormick VS Caden.

Bell Sidetrack VS Sidetrack II

- FUSION IN-MOLD POLYCARBONATE SHELL - A process pioneered by bell bonds the helmet's outer shell to the eps foam liner to create a sturdier helmet
- ERGO FIT - What was once ErgoDial now has an improved dial feel and function (no longer requires a push to turn) and is more sleek and less bulky
- NO-TWIST TRI-GLIDES - Quick-adjust fasteners that help keep straps flat and properly positioned
- SPECIFICATIONS - Universal Child (47-54 cm) and Universal Youth (50–57 cm) sizes; 15 Total Vents; Snap-In Visor
- FUSION IN-MOLD POLYCARBONATE SHELL - A process pioneered by Bell bonds the helmet's outer shell to the eps foam liner to create a sturdier helmet
- ERGO-FIT - What was once ErgoDial now has an improved dial feel and function (no longer requires a push to turn) and is more sleek and less bulky
- NO-TWIST TRI-GLIDES AND SWEAT GUIDE - Quick-adjust fasteners that help keep straps flat and properly positioned. Sweat Guide pad design pulls moisture away from the brow pad and away from eyewear
- SPECIFICATIONS - Universal Toddler (45-52 cm), Universal Youth (47-54 cm) and Universal Child (50-57 cm) Sizes; 14 vents.

Conclusion

The new upgraded Bell Sidetrack II is surely a new welcome to the market. Unfortunately, while carrying some negligible upgrades, it also carries some new problems and old problems at the same time. Spending more for more flaws is surely not recommended.

That’s why, staying with the original Bell Sidetrack is a smart move. You get a cheaper price, while everything basically stays the same. It’s a good helmet, and a good choice for your kids.

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