A new focus on aerodynamics has given the Bontrager Velocis a classy facelift, improving ventilation but adding some weight
First spied on the heads of the Trek-Segafredo racers at this year’s Tour de France, it doesn’t take an eagle eye to notice that the Bontrager Velocis MIPs helmet looks totally different from the previous model. The new model has received something of an aerodynamic facelift – and it looks awesome.
The Bontrager Velocis MIPS now looks rounder than past iterations, but with the same teardrop shape at the rear. The cluttered venting of the previous model has been addressed: it has been replaced with a more sophisticated and uniform pattern of vents, and this is a system that works.
Three sizeable channels help push airflow through and out the back, keeping you cool when riding. In fact, when the helmet is on your head the space for air is visibly large, and it’s nice to see an aero helmet that doesn’t compromise heat management.
While the facelift may have helped with ventilation and aerodynamics, sadly it hasn’t done anything for the helmet’s weight. The Bontrager Velocis MIPs weighs in at 284g, a lot more than helmets a fraction of its price.
As you’d expect of a helmet at this price point, the Velocis comes with MIPS. However, for the duration of the test, one of the rubber inserts that allows the plastic sheet to move laterally kept popping out. It could always be popped back in, but it makes you wonder about its effectiveness.
Watch: Cycling Weekly’s helmet buyer’s guide
The fit of the helmet has also been re-visited, and the Bontrager Velocis now comes with a two-way Boa Dial, for a greater degree of fit flexibility. It brings the same minute adjustment as it does on shoes and minimises pressure points – although these do vary depending on the shape of your head.
Despite this, I did have some issues with Bontrager’s sizing system. All three sizes (L, M and S) overlap, and with a size 56cm head, I opted for a medium (54-60cm) but I’d actually recommend stepping down to a small (51-57cm).
To keep the helmet snug on my head, the Boa retention system was maxed out and the chin straps pulled far enough to leave them trailing frustratingly in the wind. Fortunately, I have enough of a moon head to get by, but if you had a size 55 or 54cm head you could find yourself being left with very little room for manoeuvre.
As an aside, the glasses garage was excellent, holding Oakley Jawbreakers flawlessly and made me wonder how I ever lived with past helmets that couldn’t handle this simple job.
Redesigned with a greater emphasis on aerodynamics, the Bontrager Velocis looks great, and the new venting keeps your head cool and comfortable. Be careful with sizing, though – it's definitely worth trying before buying.