Trek and Bontrager launch new helmet with WaveCel technology

Trek and Bontrager say they have shaken up safety standards with an all-new helmet that'll be more effective at preventing brain injury

(Image credit: Jim Carman)

Trek and sister brand Bontrager sent out a lot of cryptic viral chatter on social media last week leaving most of us wondering what the hell it would be launching.

>>> A buyer's guide to road cycling helmets

Well, it unveils a new helmet today that features new technology called WaveCel, which Trek says is 48 times more effective than standard EPS foam at preventing concussions resulting from common cycling accidents. A big claim, but at the moment with the industry keeping a keen eye on racing cyclists' health post-crashes, a welcome one.

>>> Cycling and concussion: symptoms, tests and recovery

WaveCel is a collapsible cellular material, visually similar to the Koroyd crumple-zone sections you can find in Smith helmets. It is designed to absorb energy in multiple ways, according to Trek, by flexing, crumpling and gliding.

Expect to see the new helmets on the heads of Trek's male and female WorldTour riders

These three absorbing attributes mean, unlike standard EPS foam alone which is designed to only protect against direct impacts, WaveCel can protect the cyclist's head the way in which cyclists crash: "Ungracefully, with twists turns and angled impacts," according to Trek.

The new helmet from Trek is claimed to be remarkably effective at dispersing energy from impacts and the US brand says 99 times out of a 100 WaveCel prevents concussions caused by common cycling accidents.

This comes at a time when Trek is on a mission to help make cycling safer by providing a range of brightly coloured and reflective hardware for the bike, as well as neat, integrated lights to allow even racers to be seen without the need for attaching awkward-looking lights to your prized possession.

Commuter helmet will also featur the WaveCel technology
(Image credit: Narayan Mahon)

The technology will spread across a range of new helmets offered by Bontrager. There are four in total for now with two options for the road: the Bontrager XXX WaveCel, which will sell for £199.99, and the Bontrager Charge WaveCel, a commuter helmet which will sell for £129.99. Two mountain bike options are available too.

My test helmet is very bright indeed in this red but other colours are available!
(Image credit: Jake Ausel)

I've had the Bontrager XXX WaveCel in to test and on our scales a medium weighed in at 354g. I've even managed to get a ride in on it and noted how comfortable the helmet felt. Venting wasn't an issue and riding in a chilly 9°C with a bit of drizzle gave me a head chill – it's still a bit early not to have a hat on!

Check here for a full review soon.

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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.