Bontrager is relatively new to the legitimate helmet game – its first few years were just me-too products. Recently, however, the Trek subsidiary has invested in the staff, R&D and tooling for high-end helmets, and products like the Velocis reflect that.
With a very competitive weight (228g in size Medium), ample venting and good looks, the Bontrager Velocis stands toe-to-toe with similarly priced competitors such as the Giro Aeon or the Specialized Prevail. Notably, the Velocis comes with a one-year crash replacement policy: if you crash it in the first year, you get a free replacement.
A continuous pad across the forehead is suspended slightly away from the wavy EPS inside of the helmet, allowing for a little ventilation and some conformity to various head shapes.
The forward plastic straps of the Headmaster II retention device anchor with snaps at the temples. The factory setting is to run the straps over and through the continuous headband. One tester (with a head size on the upper end of Medium) found it more comfortable to pop out the anchors, push the pad over the top, then re-anchor. This also allows for a slightly wider fit, but does reduce that suspension effect somewhat.
One tester moved the pad out from under the retention strap anchor, and found the fit more comfortable
Speaking of fit, the Velocis comes in three sizes, fitting heads between 51cm and 63cm in circumference from Small to Large.
The removable, antimicrobial pads do their job well. In days of sweaty riding without washing in between, the helmet never smelled bad.
One thing we've noticed on long-term test helmets is that those with a lot of exposed EPS foam tend to get dinged up more than those with more generous plastic covering. The Velocis falls more in the latter camp, and after a few road trips with the helmet crammed into backpacks, the Velocis is no worse for wear.
The straps and buckles are standard fare. The Headmaster II retention system tightens and loosens easily with a small dial. The three height settings, however, are pretty stubborn; we have to use a screwdriver to 'encourage' the Headmaster to move up.
The Velocis comes in five styles, from low key black to hi-vis yellow.
Check out our Bontrager 2015 coverage.