Trek and Bontrager’s new helmet technology disrupts safety standards


WATERLOO, Wis., March 19, 2019 — Trek and Bontrager have unveiled a groundbreaking helmet technology called WaveCel, which 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 orthopedic 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 accounts 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 your head.  

This three-step change in material structure—flex, crumple, glide—is remarkably effective at dispersing the energy from an impact. Nearly 99 times out of 100, WaveCel prevents 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 lineup 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 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 ($299.99)
Blaze WaveCel MTB Helmet ($299.99)
Specter WaveCel Road Helmet ($149.99)
Charge WaveCel Commuter Helmet ($149.99)

WaveCel is available exclusively in Bontrager helmets sold online and through authorized Trek and Bontrager retailers. For more information, visit and follow Trek on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Trek Bicycle Corporation

Trek Bicycle is a global leader in the design and manufacture of bicycles and related products. Trek believes the bicycle can be a simple solution to many of the world’s most complex problems, and is committed to breaking down the barriers that prevent people from using bicycles more often for transportation, recreation, and inspiration.

*Results based on AIS 2 Injury (BrIC) at 6.2 m/s test at 45° comparing a standard EPS Helmet and the same helmet modified with WaveCel insert as described in detail in Evaluation of a Novel Bicycle Helmet Concept in Oblique Impact Testing.

SOURCE Trek Bicycle Corporation

Related Links