Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield: Review

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Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • 70%

  • Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: October 19, 2015
  • Quality
    Editor: 75%
  • Utility
    Editor: 90%
  • Value-for-Money
    Editor: 70%

Summary: The Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield is really useful for those who ride during the day as well as night.

The Bell Transitions photochromic face shield retailing at $119, is compatible for use with Bell Qualifier, Bell Star, Bell Vortex, Bell Revolver, and Bell RS-1 range of helmets. Let us see how it fares in our review.I am sure each one of us motorcycle riders has faced a situation where we start our day riding under the sun with a tinted face shield on our helmet, only to then ride at night keeping the face shield open as the tinted shield is too dark to be used at night, or swap to a clear face shield that you are carrying as a spare. Nonetheless, it is not always possible to carry a spare face shield around all the time. To solve this very problem, Bell have partnered with Transitions, a company that specializes in photochromic spectacles. For those uninitiated with photochromic technology, it is a coating or layer on your spectacles or in our case, face shield, that remains clear at night, and turns tinted under the sun. This technology eliminates the need to carry spare shields around. Let us see how it fares in the real world.

Utility:

The Good:

  • The shield remains completely clear while riding at night.
  • It turns from clear to dark and dark to clear in just about 20 sec, which I think is pretty quick.
  • The tint during the hottest and sunniest part of the day is not too dark, but dark enough to keep you comfortable and off the glare of the sun. Even with the sun staring straight on your face, I was comfortable with the degree of tint. Mind you, I was riding on a desert road with completely clear skies, so do not think the sun could have been any harsher than this. To sum up, the photochromic shield does its job well, with the tint being dark enough for most riders.

The not-so-good:

  • From time to time, my vision was very slightly distorted for like a second. Not a really big problem to be honest, but certainly a bit annoying.
  • There is a slight tint even while riding under the twilight, when its overcast, and early mornings. Again, nothing too annoying, but would have preferred no tint under these conditions.
  • While riding in the rain, a slight tint is present again, which definitely reduces vision, especially if its raining heavily, or if its raining early morning or under the twilight.

Advice:

  • When approaching a tunnel, it would be advisable to open the visor as you would probably be out of the tunnel by the time the face shield turns clear.
Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield

View in the sunshine without the face shield

Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield

The face shield that goes dark enough in a few seconds

Construction Quality:

The Good:

  • The Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield is of the same construction and quality as the default shield you get with Bell Qualifier, Bell Star, Bell Vortex, Bell Revolver, and Bell RS-1 range of helmets, with ofcourse the addition of the photochromic layer. The overall quality of the shield is good.
  • The shield comes with an anti-fog coating on the inside that works very well. I did not come across any fogging up issues under cool or rainy conditions.

The not-so-good:

  • The packed and unused brand new shield had small scratches at two places, not something I would expect from a $119 shield.
  • After using it for over 3000km in the sun and under the rain, a few more scratches have developed on the outside, probably due to bugs and insects hitting the shield. The scratches are negligible and do not affect vision, but I guess it is the photochromic layer that is more scratch prone than a non-photochromic layered one.

Verdict:

At $119, the Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield definitely does not come cheap, but is worth considering, notably for those who ride in the day as well as night. It certainly should be on the must-buy list for tourers.

Where to buy:

The Bell Transitions SolFX Photochromic Face Shield can be bought at $119 from Revzilla.

 

Image Gallery:

Pros

  • Tremendous utility
  • Compatible with a wide range of Bell helmets
  • Tint is dark enough for most conditions

Cons

  • Slight tint present under certain conditions like rain and overcast conditions
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Suraj Patil

Founder/Editor-in-Chief at Moto Gear Advisor
A techie on weekdays, Suraj makes a Ninja-shift to being a hardcore rider on weekends and administrator of Moto Gear Advisor at night.

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  • deamon0

    Nice detailed review. Was considering to buy one, this article helps. Thanks.