- Great price for a MIPS helmet
- Blendr Magnetic mount system for Bontrager lights or GoPro camera
- Boa® System closure for easy adjustment
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Large vents and internal recessed channels for increased airflow
- AgION antimicrobial pads wick moisture and eliminates odors
- 1-year crash replacement guarantee
- Limited colors
Cost: $149.99 MSRP
How obtained: Review sample from company
Available: online, retail, Trek web site
Colors: Black, White, Heather Grey, Waterloo Blue, and Yellow/Black
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 40+ hours
Weight: Small – 277g, Medium – 300g, Large 330g
Sizing: Small (51-57cm), Medium (54-60cm) and Large (58-63cm)
Feature packed helmet at a great price
I had my first look at the new Bontrager Circuit MIPS road helmet in November last year at my LBS Vendor Night. What excited me about this helmet was first the price. At $149.99 MSRP, this is a very affordable MIPS helmet. Second, the Blendr magnetic mounts allow you to quickly add or remove a Bontrager headlight, rear light or GoPro camera. And third, the BOA closure provides a great fit.
For testing, I put this helmet through its paces in all types of weather. Winter trail riding on the fat bike, nighttime cross-country skiing at 17 degrees and road riding in both the Chicago cold and Tucson, AZ heat. It performed flawlessly.
Safety and Comfort
With the new Circuit MIPS helmet you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or price for added safety. This helmet comes standard with MIPS which gives you added piece of mind in the event of a crash. If you are not familiar with MIPS, see below.
MIPS – MIPS is a patented concept developed by a A Swedish company called. The acronym stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It is a slip plane concept using two layers in the helmet to reduce impact by allowing the helmet to rotate slightly on impact.
Should you happen to crash within the first year of owning the helmet, it comes with a Crash Replacement Guarantee. Bontrager will provide a free helmet replacement. Let’s hope you don’t need to use this.
There are 15 vents that keep you cool in the heat. I used it on a recent trip to Tucson, AZ and temps exceeded 80 degrees. In addition to the venting, the light weight and BOA closure make it comfortable. The straps are easily adjustable and once fitted lock into place. I put it on, adjusted the fit, and went for a ride, forgetting I was even wearing a helmet.
The Circuit helmet has AgION antimicrobial pads that wick moisture and according to the marketing materials eliminates odors naturally. I only tested the helmet over a few months, but there was no noticeable odor. The true test will be after a full summer of sweating.
Bontrager states that the pads can be washed with a solution of mild soap and water or in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. New fit pads can be purchased if needed.
As a rule of thumb, Bontrager recommends replacing your helmet every three years (immediately after any crash or impact). The lifespan of a helmet begins immediately after unpacking it. UV exposure begins to degrade the helmet’s initial quality.
Simple attachment for lights or GoPro
What I really like about this helmet is it comes with two Blendr magnetic mounts to easily integrate lights. One mount is for the top of the helmet and uses a friction mount with thumb screw. It fits any of the Bontrager ION headlights or a GoPro camera. There’s a mount for the back of the helmet to attach a Bontrager Flare R or RT rear light.
The magnetic mounts are ingenious. It eliminated dealing with mounting straps and the easy on/off lets you go from no lights to lights in a second. As part of my testing, I even tried the helmet and headlight one night while cross-country skiing. I didn’t have a headband light so I figured this was the next best thing. It worked perfectly. Light weight and the profile design provided plenty of room for my goggles (which I also use fat biking).
The magnetic mounts are very secure, but also gave me piece of mind. If I fell while the lights were mounted, they would release from the helmet. Some helmets are not designed to withstand the impact of a light or GoPro going through the top. I just remember the story of Michael Schumacher who suffered a brain injury during a skiing accident while wearing a GoPro.
I tested the helmet with two lights I’ve reviewed in the past: the Bontrager ION 800RT and FlareR/RT. As these reviews stated, you can sync the lights with certain Garmin computers to turn on and off. Or use the Transmitr to control the lights. Then you don’t even have to worry about turning the lights on or off.
The new Bontrager Circuit MIPS road helmet provides great performance and features all for a reasonable price. The safety of MIPS and the ability to easily integrate lights or a GoPro makes this helmet a favorite of mine. A testament to the features and functionality of this helmet, I received my sample free from Bontrager, but once Mitch tried it on, he wanted one in his size. Guess what I bought him for Valentine’s Day?
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.