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New Bontrager WaveCel Helmet Technology – Six Things to Know

March 22, 2019
New Bontrager WaveCel Helmet Technology – Six Things to Know

Touted as the most important advancement in cycling safety technology in the last 30 years, Trek’s own component arm, Bontrager has unveiled a new line of helmets featuring an all-new helmet technology dubbed WaveCel. Said to outperform most, if not all existing helmet safety technologies available on the market, we take you through six things to know about the all-new WaveCel helmet line up from Bontrager.

1. All Aboard the Hype Train

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News of a big announcement was teased by Trek some two weeks ago, igniting a wave of excitement from pundits within the cycling echo chamber. Everything from carbon nanotubes and new bike models through a line of to bespoke custom fit bicycles had been hypothesised, each seemingly with solid evidence linking Trek to each game-changing innovation. Not to overshadow the announcement that did eventuate, but Trek hasn’t disproved the alternatives that were thrown up in the hype.

2. WaveCel Explained

Best thought of as a malleable energy absorption and dissipation shield, WaveCel is the latest advancement in helmet safety technology. The wave shape sections that make up the layer act as crumple zones in the event of a crash, limiting the rotational forces experienced by the head in the event of a crash from affecting the brain and soft tissue inside the head and neck.

3. Impressive Statistics

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During the testing and development of the WaveCel technology, Trek claims that the standard EPS liner used in the majority of helmets in production today is 48 times less effective than WaveCel. In the real world, Trek states that WaveCel has a 1-in-50 chance of a crash causing a concussion. Whilst we're not to keen on purposely falling off our bikes to test out this statistic, they're certainly impressive numbers. Interested in reading more? Trek partnered up with Virginia Tech and posted a peer reviewed article on the potential impact (sorry) of the new tech.

4. Airflow Optimised, Fitting Options

Due to the cellular nature of the protective liner, Trek claims that the ventilation on its new helmets will be significantly improved over standard MIPS equipped helmets, said to be proven through extensive testing in the wind tunnel. Handling fitting duties, BOA provides its retention system, while replaceable fit pads are claimed to provide a supreme fit versus standard helmet retention systems.

5. A Small Compromise on Weight

Whilst EPS foam is still used in the construction of each WaveCel technology, the weight penalty for having the liner fitted is said to be just 50grams per helmet. What’s more, as the liner is thinner than other protective pads on the market such as Koroyd, helmets are said to retain a form fitted shape, a win for us somewhat aesthetically minded (vain) riders.

6. Pricing and Availability

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The Bontrager WaveCel Helmets are available from Trek retailers around the country right now. Contact for your nearest bike store for local availability.

Trek claims it’s currently adapting WaveCel technology to a wide range of its helmets, we expect to hear and see more of these in the coming months. The WaveCel Helmet line-up is as follows;

  • XXX WaveCel: £199.99 – Aero road helmet, 325-390g.

  • Specter WaveCel: £129.99 – Ventilated road helmet, 322-380g.

  • Blaze WaveCel: £199.99 – Trail mountain bike helmet 380-448g.

  • Charge WaveCel: £129.99 – Urban/Commuter helmet 392-498g.


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