Bontrager’s new WaveCel helmet technology claims to massively reduce the risk of concussion in cycling crashes. The brand says its collapsible layer makes a helmet as much as 48 times more effective in preventing concussion than the same helmet without it.
“Nearly 99 times out of 100, WaveCel prevents concussions”
The full lineup of WaveCel-equipped helmetsJack Luke / Immediate Media
WaveCel was developed by two head injury experts, then integrated into Bontrager helmets during a four-year partnership with the brand and Trek’s product development teams. The result is a honeycomb layer within WaveCel-equipped helmets that sits inside a more classic outer shell.
The WaveCel layer is designed to “flex, crumple and glide” in the event of an angled impact, dissipating the force of a crash in three stages as the cellular structure of the liner collapses, working “like a crumple zone that absorbs the force of an impact before it reaches your head”.
Joe talks us through the new helmet on our YouTube channel
Bontrager says this is what differentiates its technology from other similar honeycomb-like layers, which are often designed to deal only with linear impacts. Sometimes helmets include a separate ‘slip-plane’ layer, such as MIPS, to counteract rotational forces, but Bontrager’s lid is claimed to be able to tackle both.
In independent testing by Virginia Tech, the WaveCel helmets received the highest five-star rating (Best Available). This rings true with Bontrager’s confident claim that “nearly 99 times out of 100, WaveCel prevents concussions”. Researchers tested two helmets, one with and one without WaveCel, in a simulation of a “typical bike crash”.
The liner is said to add, on average, 53g to a helmetJack Luke / Immediate Media
The WaveCel layer reportedly adds, on average, 53g to a helmet. The technology is exclusive to Bontrager and is not available to fit to other helmets retrospectively.
Bontrager’s WaveCel-equipped helmets
There are four helmet models available in three sizes, covering most head sizes from 51–63cm. All come with the Boa Fit System, a magnetic buckle and Bontrager’s one-year Crash Replacement Guarantee.
Bontrager Blaze WaveCel mountain bike helmet
The Blaze is the MTB lid in the lineupJack Luke / Immediate Media
The Blaze is Bontrager’s WaveCel-equipped mountain bike offering. It’s a good-looking helmet with decent back-of-head coverage and a detachable GoPro/light mount, as well as antimicrobial pads and an optional sweat-channelling NoSweat pad to direct the flow away from your eyes on hot days.
The Blaze is available in a number of coloursBontrager
Sizes: S (51-57cm, 380g), M (54-60cm, 420g), L (58-63cm, 448g)
£199.99 / €249.99 / $299.99 / AU$349.99
Bontrager Specter WaveCel road bike helmet
The Specter is designed for everday road ridingJack Luke / Immediate Media
The Specter WaveCel is designed for day-to-day road cycling, be it asphalt, gravel or dirt. It’s an all-rounder that is said to be built for comfort, airflow and visibility, with plenty of vents and reflective areas on the rear.
The Specter is available in everything from austere black to perfect pinkBontrager
Colours: Black, Slate, Vice Pink, White, Radioactive Yellow, Viper Red
Sizes: S (51-57cm, 322g), M (54-60cm, 341g), L (58-63cm, 380g)
£129.99/ €149.99 / $149.99 / AU$199.99
Bontrager XXX WaveCel road bike helmet
The XXX is the road-focussed helmetJack Luke / Immediate Media
The XXX is the highest-performing road-riding-focussed helmet. It is built with aerodynamics and full-on racing in mind. It features antimicrobial pads, adjustable strap dividers and a removable NoSweat pad to direct sweat away from your eyes via a silicone channel. It also comes with a team Trek-Segafredo sticker kit for pro-level fans.
The XXX is available in a range of jazzy huesBontrager