Bontrager claims WaveCel technology is biggest change to helmet safety in 30 years

Collapsible layer claims to massively reduce risk of concussion in cycling crashes

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 helmets
The full lineup of WaveCel-equipped helmets

WaveCel was developed by two head injury experts, then integrated into Bontragerhelmets 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 helmet
The liner is said to add, on average, 53g to a helmet

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 lineup
The Blaze is the MTB lid in the lineup

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 colours
The Blaze is available in a number of colours

  • Colours: Black, Slate, Rorange, Miami, Purple Phaze (limited edition)
  • 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 riding
The Specter is designed for everday road riding

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 pink
The Specter is available in everything from austere black to perfect pink

  • 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 helmet
The XXX is the road-focussed helmet

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 hues
The XXX is available in a range of jazzy hues

  • Colours: Black, Azure, White, Radioactive Yellow, Viper Red, Purple Haze (limited edition)
  • Sizes: S (51-57cm, 325g), M (54-60cm, 352g), L (58-63cm, 390g)
  • £199.99 / €249.99 / $299.99 / AU$349.99

Bontrager Charge WaveCel Commuter helmet

The Charge is the commuting-focussed helmet
The Charge is the commuting-focussed helmet

With its built-in visor, reflective areas and rear light mount, the Charge WaveCel Commuter is for the rider-about-town who needs something visible and practical in all conditions.

The simple profile of the Charge is growing on us
The simple profile of the Charge is growing on us

  • Colours: Black, Battleship, Era White, Radioactive Yellow
  • Sizes: S (51-57cm, 392g), M (54-60cm, 428g), L (58-63cm, 498g)
  • £129.99 / €149.99 / $149.99 / AU$249.99

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