Bicycle helmets have been made the same way for over 30 years: Expanded polystyrene (EPS) with a polyester shell bonded onto the outside. New MIPS liners are a great innovation that addresses oblique impacts better, but the bicycle helmet has been largely unchanged.
The WaveCel helmet design from Bontrager uses a completely different material called cellular copolymer. When used in conjunction with EPS and a polyester shell, this new material provides a much better management of real-world impacts that might cause a concussion. Even oblique impacts are absorbed much more effectively by the WaveCel honeycomb material by shearing progressively in the event of a hard impact. WaveCel material was developed as a helmet material from the beginning in Portland, Oregon at Legacy Biomechanics Laboatory. Using EPS and a polyester shell for the helmet's exterior allowed the designers at Trek and Bontrager to build the outside of the XXX helmet with familiar materials. Improved airflow ventilation and innovative external styling was always part of the plan when starting with a fresh helmet design.
The Bontrager XXX helmet is a no-compromise aero road helmet with sleek styling and excellent ventilation. The Trek-Segafredo pro cycling team has been putting the new helmet through the wringer of the pro racing season, trusting it to protect them while racing in conditions fair and foul. A Boa closure at the rear of the helmet allows one-hand adjustment while keeping the interior fit system light. The interior also features AgIon padding that eliminates odors naturally. There's even a second interior pad set with a NoSweat silicone channel to help keep sweat out of the rider's eyes. 9 large exterior vents allow smooth airflow when riding in hot and humid conditions.
The WaveCel material does not allow the Bontrager XXX helmet to sustain repeated hard impacts. If your helmet is damaged in a crash, replace it. Bontrager's Crash Replacement Guarantee provides a free helmet replacement if involved in a crash within the first year of ownership
Developing an aero road helmet isn't easy if you want to do it right. Instead of plugging the holes on a current road helmet and calling it a day, the helmet design team at Bontrager started with a clean sheet of paper. The quest for balancing low drag, light weight, protection and effective ventilation was taken up, and the results are stunning. The overall shape of the Ballista MIPS originated with the aid of Computational Fluid Dynamics technology, allowing the engineers to refine the aerodynamic shape before a single prototype was molded. The deep interior channels of the Ballista MIPS start with three carefully refined intakes at the front, and run uninterrupted through the length of the helmet. The exit ports at the back are slightly larger, producing a diffuser/extractor effect that accelerates air movement through the internal channels. Two rows of "smokestack" vents are found at the top of the helmet, keeping the wearer comfortable during low-speed efforts like steep climbs or even just recovering at long stoplights. With the intakes and exhaust ports at the front and back, the Ballista MIPS is less likely to give the wearer a curious sunburn pattern on shaved scalps and bare heads.
The Bontrager Ballista's Multidiretional Impact Protection System -or MIPS- liner was developed with the aid of Scandinavian head injury specialists that examined how traumatic brain injury is caused. The liner itself adds only a few grams to the Ballista helmet and isn't noticeable when worn. Rotational forces delivered to the wearer's brain are reduced in the event of oblique impacts with a MIPS liner. The Ballista MIPS still conforms to CPSC impact standards. If you experience a crash, a MIPS-equipped helmet should be replaced. MIPS does not improve the crashworthiness beyond the initial impact.
The interior of the Ballista MIPS features agION antimicrobial pads for a comfortable feel as well as being stink-free. Size adjustment is handled with a Boa fit system's one-handed twist knob. The angle of the fit system can be adjusted with three different settings to fit more head shapes.
The Ballista has been put through the wringer of various professional reviewers, and it won a 9-helmet comparison test in a review from Bikeradar.com!
The Bontrager Circuit MIPS goes to the top of the list when looking for a serious road helmet that has all the bells and whistles.
Looking for a lightweight lid? The Circuit MIPS weighs in at 300 grams for a size medium. A light helmet is not only less distracting, the wearer might discover that simply looking around is easier on the neck compared to a heavy "recreational" helmet. Need a great fit? The Circuit's new Boa fit system is one-hand adjustable with a twist dial plus a 3-position vertical adjustment setting. How about comfort in hot weather? The Bontrager Circuit MIPS boasts 14 big vents to keep the wearer comfortable. How about safety? The Bontrager Circuit MIPS not only complies with the CPSC impact standard, it is also equipped with a Multidirectional Impact Protection System -or MIPS- liner. This liner allows the Circuit MIPS to reduce the amount of rotaional energy to the wearer's brain during an oblique impact.The Circuit MIPS still conforms to CPSC impact standards, but if you experience a crash, a MIPS-equipped helmet should be replaced. A MIPS liner does not improve the crashworthiness beyond the initial impact. Commuters will be impressed with the Circuit MIPS, thanks to the included magnetic front and rear light mounts (lights sold seprately). How about style? The Bontrager Circuit MIPS will never be mistaken for a commuter lid or blocky mountain bike helmet. The Circuit MIPS looks the part of a real performance cycling helmet.
The more we know about concussions, the more we know we should avoid them. That's where the Specter WaveCel comes in to provide that extra protection.
What is WaveCel? WaveCel is a cellular copolymer plastic designed to progressively deform and collapse during an impact, reducing the chance of a concussion and other forms of traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In the Specter WaveCel helmet, the WaveCel material is used in addition to classic EPS foam and a hard polycarbonate outer shell seen in helmets for decades. The Specter WaveCel helmet passes standard CPSC requirements, and earned a perfect five-star rating from Virginia Tech's helmet lab. The dedicated crew at Virginia Tech puts all the helmets they test though plenty of real-world tests and impacts, giving the results real validity. Shearing forces as well as direct impacts are absorbed by the WaveCel material, significantly reducing the chance of a concussion. All this makes the Specter WaveCel an excellent choice for any rider, from racer to recreational cyclist.
The Specter WaveCel boasts 14 large, open vents to keep the rider cooler and fresher in steamy conditions. One-handed fit adjustability is done with a Boa dial at the back of the helmet. A reflective graphic at the back provides additional visibility in low-light conditions. The chin buckle is a clever magnetic Fidlock unit, making fastening quick and simple without fumbling. The interior padding wicks sweat and is removeable, allowing easy washing after sweaty summer rides.
The WaveCel construction of this helmet does not allow for repeated impacts. If your Specter WaveCel helmet has been damaged in a crash, you will need to replace it. Bontrager's Crash Replacement Guarantee provides a free helmet replacement if involved in a crash within the first year of ownership.