99% effective at protecting concussions, that is. The big news in the cycling world this past week came from Bontrager and Trek, who announced their new helmet tech, which they’ve dubbed WaveCel.
WaveCel is essentially layers of polyester fiber that are layered over each in a 15mm-thick grid. Upon impact, the poly layers will “move independently and flex until the cell walls crumple and then glide.” This helps it absorb energy – both direct and rotational energy – more effectively, while simultaneously redirecting and deflecting it away from your head. Essentially, it combines both regular EPS foam and MIPS into one material and helmet component; MIPS is designed to minimize those directional forces, which can be just as dangerous as head-on, direct impact.
Sounds cool – but is effective? According to Bontrager, very much so; they say a WaveCel helmet will prevent a concussion 99 times out of 100 – making it the safest helmet material in the world. They also say a rider is 48 times less likely to get a concussion when wearing a WaveCel helmet than when wearing a regular foam helmet.
Those are no, no doubt, very bold claims – and ones Bontrager better have evidence for if they’re going to bandy them about.
The flexible material is also supposed to be more comfortable than regular rigid helmets, as it “conforms” to the rider’s head more naturally.
How can you get your hands on one? The WaveCel material only comes in Bontrager’s own helmets, which can be found at Trek and Bontrager dealers. The Blaze WaveCel helmet, as it is called, uses a typical MTB helmet shell, with a Boa strap, and even come with a Blendr camera/light mount system.
With WaveCel so new, we can’t vouch for its effectiveness, and we certainly don’t suggest intentionally testing it out. But the tech looks promising and you can count on Bontrager’s reliability.