Along with the launch of the Trek Factory Racing team kit last week, Bontrager showed a brand new Velocis AW helmet. While it looks like an aero helmet, Bontrager is calling it an all-weather version of the regular Velocis, offering greater protection against inclement weather.
The smooth one-piece polycarbonate shell is fixed in place.Underneath, the helmet remains the same as the regular Velocis. That includes an aramid and composite inner skeleton support structure, a Headmaster II retention system and FormFit, a flexible brow band. The weight is up, a claimed 271g, the shell adding about 46g over the regular Velocis.
Aero helmets have been surprisingly popular in early season races when it’s cold and raining. Block the vents up - most modern helmets are extremely well ventilated - and you keep most of the weather out. The rear vents are still exposed which might help avoid overheating. We can see the new helmet being worn in the Spring Classics, races where the weather can reasonably be expected to be cold and wet. Though the pros usually don a cotton cycling cap under the helmet for the early stages of such races.
Almost all helmet manufacturers now have an aero road helmet in their 2014 catalogues, it’s the latest must-have accessory for the fast guys in the pro peloton. Sprinters love them, as do breakaway specialists. So it seems odd Bontrager hasn’t taken the opportunity to develop a true aero version of the Velocis. We can’t imagine they’ve launched the helmet without running it once through a wind tunnel. Maybe this is a stop gap until they develop an aero helmet?
The helmet will only be available through the Trek Race Shop, the outlet for limited runs of equipment built specifically for the Trek Factory Racing team. The Velocis AW will cost you £189.99 and it's available in very limited numbers.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.