Trek and its accessories brand Bontrager have unveiled what is being billed as a ground-breaking helmet technology called WaveCel. The companies claim that this is proven to be up to 48x more effective than standard EPS foam at preventing concussions from common cycling accidents.
WaveCel is a collapsible cellular material that lines the inside of Bontrager WaveCel helmets. It was developed by orthopaedic surgeon Dr Steve Madey and biomechanical engineer Dr Michael Bottlang, who have collaborated for the past 25 years and pioneered advances in fracture care, thoracic and pelvic trauma and head injury prevention.
The creation of Bontrager WaveCel helmets is the result of a four-year partnership between Drs Madey and Bottlang and Trek and Bontrager’s Research & Design teams.
Unlike a standard foam helmet, which is designed to protect against direct impacts, WaveCel is said to account for how most cycling accidents actually happen – ‘ungracefully, with twists, turns, and angled impacts’.
WaveCel absorbs energy in multiple ways. On impact, the layers of the WaveCel material move independently and flex until the cell walls crumple and then glide, actively absorbing direct and rotational energy and redirecting it away from the head.
This three-step change in material structure — flex, crumple, glide — is claimed to be remarkably effective at dispersing the energy from an impact. Trek adds that in nearly 99 times out of 100, WaveCel can help prevent concussions from common cycling accidents.
“We are cycling enthusiasts on a mission to help more people enjoy the benefits of biking and to do that with the most advanced protection possible,” said Tony White, lead engineer on the project. “WaveCel represents a significant leap forward for all types of riders, and we are proud that this technology is exclusively available in Bontrager helmets.”
Every model in the all-new Bontrager WaveCel helmet line-up received the highest marks in Virginia Tech’s five-star ranking. “For nearly a decade, we have been testing and rating helmets across industries to determine the products that will best reduce head injury risk,” said Megan Bland, a doctoral student and graduate research assistant from Virginia Tech.
“Helmets that receive higher ratings offer considerably more protection compared to other popular helmets on the market.”
WaveCel is seen as a major innovation in a category that has remained largely unchanged in 30 years, one that ‘underscores Trek’s commitment to making cycling safer for every rider’.
“We’re out to change the world by getting more people on bikes, and we’re committed to making riding safer and more accessible for everyone,” said Trek President John Burke. “WaveCel is the most advanced helmet technology ever designed, and these helmets are a big step toward making riding a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone.”
Bontrager WaveCel helmets are initially being offered in four models:
- XXX WaveCel Road Helmet (US$299.99)
- Blaze WaveCel MTB Helmet (US$299.99)
- Specter WaveCel Road Helmet (US$149.99)
- Charge WaveCel Commuter Helmet (US$149.99)
WaveCel is available exclusively in Bontrager helmets sold online and through authorized Trek and Bontrager retailers.