The Bontrager XXX WaveCel Helmet Review

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Initial Take On The Bontrager XXX WaveCel Helmet

The cycling world is abuzz about this new WaveCel technology. Bontrager’s tagline “You Only Get One Brain” is branded quite visibly on the box itself. I own another helmet that is also equipped with an advanced safety feature, and am quite satisfied. Bontrager is providing a new way to look at helmet technology, and I’m glad the discussion, research, and competition is taking place to put the emphasize on the safety of the rider. Headlines and arguments aside, I am excited to take the Bontrager XXX WaveCel helmet out on the road.

Sizing

I followed Bontrager’s sizing chart to ensure I’d get the correct helmet. I’m glad I did, because without doing so I would’ve probably gone with a size Large. That said, my Medium size helmet fits like a glove, or helmet if you’d like. I really do want to stress how comfortable this helmet fits me. Other helmets I’ve had sit on top of my head, and I feel like a mushroom. Not the case here. I put it on, and don’t give it another thought.

Product Technical Details And Features

  • WaveCel advanced helmet technology
  • The Boa® System lets you easily secure and adjust helmet fit with just one hand
  • Easy-to-use adjustable strap dividers allow for a fine-tuned fit
  • An aerodynamic shape helps you outsmart the wind and ride faster
  • AgION antimicrobial pads wick away moisture and eliminate odors naturally
  • Additional NoSweat pad with silicone channel keeps sweat out of eyes for constant clarity
  • Team Trek-Segafredo sticker kit included with Viper Red, White, and Radioactive Yellow colorways
  • Crash Replacement Guarantee provides a free helmet replacement if involved in a crash within the first year of ownership

Testing The Bontrager XXX WaveCel

We, at Active Gear Review, do a fair bit of testing in just about any outdoor sport or activity. By test, I want to be clear that we take the gear, apparel, or equipment out, and use it in our everyday lives or for our weekend warrior passions. We are not professional athletes (although we dream of that), nor are we lab scientists. Hence, beating on this helmet, or doing endos on our bike to prove the safety aspects of this helmet isn’t what I plan on doing.

Bontrager Trek did a study themselves which can be found at wavecel.trekbikes.com/. That’s where they claim that this helmets’ WaveCel technology can reduce the likelihood of a concussion 48x versus a standard foam helmet. I can neither refute nor confirm that claim, but I like improving my chances of head and brain safety if, heaven forbid, I was to take a spill.

The Boa closure system makes for a simple and easy way to tighten the helmet. Spring weather has been all over the board, and I have to make a split decision if I layer up or not. Ideally, I can get away with a simple headband to take care of my ears. When the temps drop in the 30’s or 20’s, the full head covering is required. I have a couple of different thicknesses, and the Bontrager XXX WaveCel adjusts on the fly with the Boa Closure system. Making changes to the straps takes a bit more effort, but I have it set to meet my various headgear requirements.

I personally like the look of the helmet! It’s a simple aerodynamic shape with 3 large air vents running from the front to the back. In addition, it has two long vents on the side with air release pockets in the back. I have yet to ride in super hot temperatures, so I can not attest to the airflow and cooling aspects of this helmet. Time will tell how Bontrager XXX WaveCel system will handle the heat retention and/or release of sweat. I will hope to find out soon if the summer ever decides to show up.

I’ve probably ridden 300+ miles, and the comfort level is spot on. The adjustments are made easily and quickly, and the Boa system does not create any discomfort with the plastic harness-like system hugging the head. Bontrager claims that this helmet will make you faster. I get that the aerodynamic features will reduce some drag, but that is a minimal advantage I suppose. Once I get into racing shape I may be able to notice a difference, but I still place a lot on rider ability versus the gear.

At the time of this publication, I probably have upwards of 400-500 miles while wearing this helmet. The longest bike day was a California Coastal cruise of 6-7 hours. You’ll hear no complaints from me because the Helmet fit snug, didn’t get uncomfortable or slide around on my head.

Final Thoughts On The Bontrager XXX WaveCel

It appears the jury is still out as to the exact safety enhancements of this Bontrager XXX WaveCel helmet. From my standpoint, it is a good looking helmet, fits really well, has certain advanced technological components, and adds a lot of safety features to aid in my well being. Hence, I call this a success and would encourage every safety-conscious rider out there to give this helmet a shot. At $299, this is certainly an investment requiring some serious thought. In the end, safety for the head and brain are tantamount in every bicyclist life.

For more information on the XXX WaveCel helmet or other products from Bontrager, please visit www.trekbikes.com

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.

View Comments (1)

  • You linked to Trek's own "research". Acting as a journalist, and not a publicist, shouldn't you also link to the opposing research that has made Trek's claims so controversial?

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