|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (May 2011)|
Bell Sports, a division of Easton-Bell Sports, is an American manufacturer of bicycle, auto racing, and motorcycle helmets. Easton-Bell Sports also owns the Riddell football helmet and Giro bicycle helmet brands.
Bell Racing is headquartered in Rantoul, Illinois, with manufacturing facilities at an industrial park which was formerly Chanute Air Force Base. Bell Racing Europe, an independent company that uses the Bell mark under license, is headquartered in Saintes, near Brussels, Belgium.
The company started in 1923 as Bell Auto Parts in Bell, California. It produced its first race car helmets in 1954. The Bell Helmet Company was formed as a division of Bell Auto Parts in 1956. It introduced a bicycle helmet in 1975. In 1980 the company was merged with Riddell to form Bell-Riddell Inc. In 1991, Bell-Riddell's motorcycle division was sold and became Bell Helmets, Inc. The remaining company was renamed Bell Sports, Inc. In 1999, the auto racing division was sold and split into two separate companies called Bell Racing Company (North America) and Bell Racing Europe (Europe, Asia and Africa). Bell Sports reacquired Bell Helmets in 2002, creating Bell Powersports. In 2005, it reacquired Bell Racing Company, and was itself merged into Easton-Bell Sports, Inc. in 2006. Bell Racing Europe remains an independent company, manufacturing motorsports helmets for applications including all-terrain vehicles, karting and Formula One. In June 2010 Bell Racing Europe acquired Bell Racing USA, reuniting the Auto Racing activity again under common ownership.
Public safety initiatives
Bell Sports has a long history of contributing to bicycle and wheel-related safety programs sponsored by Safe Kids USA and in 2004 began providing "Safe Kids Ready to Roll" kits to Safe Kids USA coalitions to aid them in public safety instruction.
- "Bell Sports Timeline".
- "About Bell Racing".
- "Bell Sports acquires Bell motorcycle helmets, forms new powersports division". 2002-11-04.
- "Bell Sports Acquires Bell Auto Racing Division". 2005-01-07.
- "Easton And Bell Announce Merger". 2006-02-07.
- Safe Kids USA. SK Ready to Roll usa.safekids.org. Retrieved 24/02/08.