Sizes: S (51-57cm), M (54-60 cm), L (58-63 cm)
Weight: 240 g (small), 260 g (medium), 285 g (large)
Colors: Black, White, Dark Aquatic, Viper Red/Cobra, and White/Deep Dark Blue
Safety features: MIPS Air System
Fit system: Single-lace BOA® S-series
Safety rating: Virginia Tech 5-STAR
# of vents: 14
Availability: In stores and online
How obtained: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
Extremely Lightweight and Aerodynamic
In early April, Trek launched their 3rd generation Velocis helmet. A lot has changed with this version. First, the company is phasing out the Bontrager branding and moving to Trek. Second, the helmet is incredibly lightweight and aerodynamic. Third, it now uses the MIPS Air System for protection instead of WaveCel.
If you buy Trek apparel, you’ve noticed the Bontrager name was phased out, and the Trek name is now used. The company is doing the same with its helmet line. The Ballista MIPS and Velocis MIPS helmets are the first in the line under the Trek brand.
The new Velocis is 6 grams lighter than the previous model and more aerodynamic than its predecessors. I tested a size small helmet that came in at 240 grams, and this model is the lightest in Trek’s lineup. Part of the weight reduction is the company went from using WaveCel to MIPS. One of the major complaints I’ve heard from riders since the inception of WaveCel was it was too warm. By redesigning the ventilation system and using MIPS, Trek claims it has improved cooling by 38%.
To also reduce weight, the Velocis uses a low profile shape and an OCLV carbon inlay instead of a standard nylon or wire skeleton. The inlay also increases strength, allowing for larger vents ― a total of 14. I would caution those with thin or no hair put extra sunscreen on their scalp or a do-rag to prevent sunburn.
Safety and Better Fit
Trek’s Velocis with the MIPS Air system is light, cool, and designed to improve comfort and protection. As a result of the new design, this helmet received a 5 star rating from Virginia Tech ― the highest rating possible.
For the perfect fit, Velocis features a single-lace, 360° BOA fit system with two lace height positions in the front and three yoke positions in the rear — letting you dial in the perfect fit. I did struggle a bit trying to change the rear yoke position.
Trek also uses a beveled edge above the brow that opens up the field of view. Even when in the drops, my field of vision wasn’t obstructed. And when there’s a need to stow sunglasses, Trek designed a rubberized side vent into the helmet for easy and safe storage.
Inside the Box
When my review sample arrived in a brown box, I thought Trek accidentally sent me a pair of shoes instead of the helmet. But sure enough, it was a helmet. The reduced packaging saves retailer shelf space, reduces waste, and lowers shipping costs.
A black carrying / storage bag is supposed to be included with the Velocis helmet, but it was missing from my sample. I’m unsure if it was a mistake or if the website is incorrect.
I think the new Trek Velocis with MIPS is the lightest helmet I’ve tested. And for an aero helmet, the large vents kept my head cool even on a humid 85-degree F day. The 5 star Virginia Tech rating and the use of MIPS give me a little extra piece of mind.
This helmet crosses over into various riding styles, from racing to gravel to triathlon. Anyone who wants a lightweight, aero helmet with excellent ventilation, check out the new generation Velocis. I didn’t give it a full 5 out of 5 stars because of the pricey $299.99 price point and the difficulty of changing the rear yoke position. It is an expensive helmet, but unless you’re mountain biking, it’s the only helmet you’ll need this season.
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.