Large claims of security that exponentially outperform different helmets have raised controversy within the bike trade. We examined Bontrager’s WaveCel helmet via metropolis commutes and mountain path rides to see the way it seems, feels, and performs.
With their translucent-green, wavy honeycomb shell, the brand new line of WaveCel helmets by Bontrager instantly stands out as one thing completely different. And the helmets additionally include very daring security claims — a lot in order that trade security chief MIPS publicly took problem.
Bontrager Unveils Safer Bike Helmet: 48x Extra Efficient Concussion Prevention
Flex. Crumple. Glide. Trek and Bontrager tout WaveCel helmet know-how as the brand new normal in stopping concussions. Learn extra…
On the core of the controversy (and every WaveCel helmet) is a curving community of slime-green pleats. Based on Trek, Bontrager’s guardian firm, these “waves” endure a brain-saving transformation throughout impression. By successively flexing, crumpling, and gliding, WaveCel proves 48 instances simpler at stopping concussions than normal EPS foam-only helmets, in accordance with the model.
However whereas noggin safety is a helmet’s main operate, riders additionally want one thing snug and, ideally, cool-looking (in as a lot as any bike helmet is cool-looking). So we took out two WaveCel helmets, the commuter-focused Cost and mountain bike-friendly Blaze, to see how they match, really feel, and look. We’ll peek on the security claims and why some within the trade took exception, too.
Briefly: Bontrager’s WaveCel helmets present severe peace of thoughts. The model’s daring claims, backed up by an ideal security ranking from Virginia Tech consultants, add a measure of confidence when using in site visitors or over some gnarly path. And whereas the WaveCel honeycomb offers noticeably improved venting — it’s truly breathable — it additionally ends in a extra dome-like helmet that docks some model factors.
Bontrager WaveCel Helmet Controversy
Whereas Bontrager makes some hefty claims, one other helmet security model has raised issues in regards to the Trek-owned firm’s testing. MIPS, a model that builds a shear-reducing insert for bike, snow, and motor helmets, launched an announcement that it was unable to copy Bontrager’s claims in its personal testing.
“MIPS subjected the brand new WaveCel helmet know-how to their battery of checks, with outcomes far beneath WaveCel’s substantial claims of damage prevention,” the report started.
Exterior Journal’s Joe Lindsey did a strong report in regards to the controversy and the science behind it in the event you’d prefer to be taught extra. We’re not going to leap into security testing on this article however will nod to the truth that Virginia Tech’s helmet assessment establishment awarded the complete WaveCel line an ideal five-star security ranking.
Bontrager Cost Commuter Bike Helmet Evaluate
The primary run of WaveCel helmets contains 4 fashions: two for highway, one for mountain biking, and one for commuting. I’ve been sporting the Cost commuter choice just about each day for the final month.
My morning/night commute takes me proper via the center of downtown Denver and alongside a paved bike path. About four miles lengthy, it’s a reasonably consultant sampling of the space and terrain of each day commutes.
I’ve additionally taken it on a couple of longer rides — greater than 10 miles — to check out how the Cost feels for an hour within the saddle or extra.
Fashion (Or Lack Thereof)
First, the draw back: This helmet seems dome-y. Significantly within the entrance, over the forehead, this helmet protrudes over the pinnacle noticeably greater than different trendy helmets. Its styling and colours are sharp, however the outer measurement leaves a little bit to be desired.
That mentioned, I’d put on a beer cooler on my head if it supplied unequalled safety in opposition to concussions.
However whereas it seems cumbersome, the Bontrager Cost WaveCel feels surprisingly mild. The model claims the WaveCel liner provides about 53 g (just below 2 ounces) to its helmets, and I hardly seen it.
Air flow & Match
What’s extra, the helmet positively feels extra breathable than my EPS helmets. Regardless of the Cost’s understated vent ports, I by no means sweat closely sporting it. Even on 75-degree days in relentless Colorado solar, I by no means moist out the helmet’s mushy liner pads. For air flow, WaveCel positively delivers.
The helmet match was additionally nice and had zero play. And the Boa closure system was mild and simply accessible. As for nighttime visibility, the Cost has a few 2-inch-wide reflective patch on the again of the helmet.
Bontrager additionally added a magnetic slot for its BlendR mild mount on the rear of the helmet. This can be a nifty, modular system Bontrager developed that enables customers to swap a wide range of peripherals (laptop, lights, motion digicam) on a magnetic base with interchangeable mounts.
Nonetheless, the Cost comes with a BlendR mild mount that solely works with Bontrager’s BlendR-compatible lights — which I don’t have. So I took it off (merely pulled it off the magnetic slot), and wouldn’t ya comprehend it? I misplaced it.
For me, this accent isn’t price no matter it provides to the price of the helmet as a result of I don’t have Bontrager lights and the factor is straightforward to misplace. However for individuals who do have Bontrager equipment, I think about this can be a strong promoting level.
At $150, the WaveCel Cost is actually not the most affordable commuter helmet available on the market. You might nab a primary Bontrager helmet for as little as $25. However anybody who’s severe about biking is aware of that $150 isn’t exorbitant within the bike world.
And for the peace of thoughts the most recent in concussion-prevention know-how brings, it looks like a good worth to me. What’s extra, Bontrager makes a one-year assure on all WaveCel helmets. In case you crash within the first 12 months, the model will ship you a brand new one at no cost. So principally, you get two helmets for the worth of 1. That’s essential as a result of these helmets are one and completed — in the event you crash, the WaveCel tech will take up lots of the impression, however can even be irreparable. In fact, it is best to substitute any helmet after severe impacts.
Total, I discover the Cost a strong purchase. The assure is stellar, it’s very snug and breathable, and WaveCel provides a good quantity of using confidence. All that greater than makes up for a helmet that lacks within the trend division.
Bontrager Blaze Mountain Bike Helmet Evaluate
I’ve used the Blaze on each path rides round Denver and some commutes to the workplace simply to get extra aware of it. Rides vary round 10 miles on hilly foothills. Provided that it’s been principally cool and dry throughout my rides to date this spring, I don’t have a lot expertise at hotter temps simply but. I’ll replace as time goes on.
Blaze Fashion (Or Lack Thereof)
The Blaze additionally seems, effectively, distinctive. The take a look at mannequin the model despatched us is seafoam inexperienced, which is a really fashionable, emotion-triggering colour for some. It additionally clashes with lots of different colours, so I’d most likely select a distinct one given the choice.
And just like the Cost, it’s very cumbersome. There’s simply lots of helmet right here. However in the event you’re like me and never too frightened about what different individuals assume, added security is price a pair dings on the model meter.
Air flow & Match
The Blaze matches extremely effectively. It’s the primary helmet I may actually tighten round my head, flip the other way up, and never shake it off — even with out fastening it. And even hugging my head tight sufficient to remain on and not using a strap, it nonetheless feels snug.
The helmet additionally ventilates no less than in addition to others I’ve worn in the previous couple of years. Once more, it’s been cool on most of my rides to date this 12 months. However I foresee a well-ventilated head when using in hotter climate this summer season.
Magnetic Motion Digital camera Mount
This can be a slick characteristic. A small magnetic mount holds an motion digicam on the prime of the helmet. The great thing about the mount is that it’s instant-on, instant-off. So for individuals who need to seize some footy on the descent however don’t need to have an enormous digicam on their head all day through the climbs and slower parts of a trip, simply clip it on or off and stow it in a bag.
The mount appears safe. However whacking a stick would virtually certainly knock it free, so watch your clearance using via forests.
Blaze Total Conclusions
The Blaze is far more costly than the Cost commuter helmet at $300. And that vital price ticket places it head-to-head with some actually glorious helmets.
So that is one I’d put within the “contemplate” class. Just a few plusses are that, in the event you harm the helmet in a fall inside one 12 months of buy, Bontrager will substitute it without cost. That might be a great deal in the event you trip exhausting and crash usually.
So in the event you just like the model, or can merely get previous the marginally bubble-headed look it brings, this is a wonderful helmet that excels when consolation and air flow are paramount.