Bontrager has unveiled its premier aerodynamic road helmet, Ballista. The accessories, wheels and apparel specialist, which is part of the Trek family of brands, notes that Bontrager’s helmet team has ‘designed a helmet with less drag and more airflow, creating a sleek performance helmet that is also incredibly comfortable to wear.’
Riders can choose between stealthy matte black, sleek and polished white, hard-to-miss high-vis, and the Trek Factory Racing team issue white. Like all of Bontrager’s helmets, Ballista is backed by the Bontrager Crash Replacement Guarantee.
The engineering team began by using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to analyze close to two-dozen digital prototypes of different shapes and vent configurations. In order to fine-tune the aerodynamics of the helmet, a collection of physical prototypes were tested in the San Diego Wind Tunnel.
Through these rigorous tests, the team arrived at Ballista’s final design, achieving their goal of creating a sleek road helmet, with minimal drag. The helmet concepts were then tested on heated head forms with 36 thermal couples.
According to the Bontrager team, ‘it became evident that while Ballista’s shape provided a significant aerodynamic advantage, its strategically-placed vents and internal, recessed, channels manage airflow far more efficiently than other aero road helmets. Finally, aero got cool.’
Ballista is the culmination of two years of rigorous research and testing, from wind tunnels to the biggest stages in cycling. Beginning with an aerodynamic prototype worn by Jens Voigt on his way to setting a new hour record, Ballista was WorldTour ready by the time Trek Factory Racing was comfortable enough with its aerodynamic and cooling properties to don it in the heat of the Tour Down Under.
Now, after extensive testing, and the pros’ stamp of approval, Bontrager is rolling out ‘to equip all riders with a faster, cooler, aerodynamic race-ready road helmet.’