The Bontrager Velocis is a lightweight and airy helmet with an easy-to-fit-or-remove visor (peak) to keep the sun and rain out of your eyes.
The Velocis is Bontrager's new top-end lid, used by the Trek Factory Racing team and built around an in-mould composite skeleton. That skeleton is designed to add to the structural integrity, allowing Bontrager to tinker with the vent size and shape without compromising the ability to hit impact absorption standards.
The airflow here is very good with internal channels guiding the breeze over your head and out the back. I didn't get a particularly sweaty head while wearing this helmet. Quite the opposite, in fact; it feels really comfortable in that respect.
Bontrager use Agion fit pads inside – that's Ag (as in silver) ion. The idea is that they're antimicrobial so that things don't start to get nasty in there after a couple of rides. The pads provide good cushioning and they wick well.
I always like a pad that goes right across the forehead so that sweat doesn't drip down through the gaps and compromise your vision, and that's exactly what Bontrager provide here. They actually call it a 'FormFit flexible head-conforming brow band [with] a tailored feel that also improves ventilation'.
That reference to ventilation is accurate because plenty of air can get in between the pad and the EPS thanks to recesses in the rim. That helps keep that pad from getting soaked in sweat on a hot ride.
I don't know how much difference that Agion actually makes, but I didn't notice any unpleasant odours even after using the helmet for several hot days in a row. You can whip the pads out for washing easily enough anyway, and there's a spare set that you can use if you need to.
The Velocis feature's Bontrager's existing Headmaster II fit system. The cradle attaches to the EPS (expanded polystyrene) at the temples , as it does on most helmets, and three different height positions at the back govern the degree to which it reaches down your head. I'd actually prefer it to reach just a touch lower but that's just a personal preference; it still feels perfectly secure. You adjust the circumference via a clicking wheel. It's a one-handed operation that you can easily perform while riding along. It couldn't be simpler.
The straps used here are a little more soft, flexible and lightweight than most, with a little Bontrager B logo embroidered on each side. Speaking of weight, our size medium helmet weighed in at just 222g which is actually a touch lighter than Bontrager's claimed weight. That hardly ever happens. There are lighter helmets but that's a decent weight for one with this much comfort and adjustability, and it certainly doesn't feel heavy or cumbersome when you have it on.
One of the Velocis's most interesting features is the NeoVisor. It's a simple peak that fixes in place via hook-and-loop fastening (like Velcro) between the forehead padding and the rim of the helmet. It takes seconds to fit/remove and hardly affects the fit. Even if it does make the helmet a bit tight, you can sort that out with a click or two of the Headmaster II wheel.
The NeoVisor is about the size of a peak that you get on a normal cycling cap and it can help to keep the sun out of your eyes, and also to keep rain off your glasses in wet weather. I must admit that I initially thought it was a bit gimmicky, but it works and it's completely secure, so it won me over. If you don't like it you don't have to use it.
The Velocis complies with EN 1078 safety standard, as it must, and Bontrager offer a Crash Replacement Guarantee where they will provide you with a free replacement if your helmet is involved in a crash during the first year of ownership.
Lightweight and airy high-end helmet with an easy-to-fit/remove visor to keep sun and rain out of your eyes
road.cc test report
Make and model: Bontrager Velocis Helmet
Size tested: Medium, white/titanium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Bontrager say, "You'll forget you're wearing it. The competition won't. Our new Velocis helmet is as comfortable on your head as it is in the pro peloton, featuring an advanced in-mold skeleton, one-finger fit system, plus the game-changing, removable NeoVisor.
* In-mold composite skeleton allows a greater variation of vent shape and size
* Headmaster II - One-handed fit system with premier look and feel
* FormFit - Flexible head-conforming brow band improves comfort and ventilation
* AgION fit pads - Moisture-wicking antimicrobial pads completely eliminate odors
* Internal, recessed channels manage airflow through the helmet and over the head
* NeoVisor - Integrated and easily interchangeable visor
* Crash Replacement Guarantee"
The "you'll forget you're wearing it" is obviously hyperbole but it is very comfy and the NeoVisor is a very neat idea.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Velocis is an in-mould helmet meaning that the EPS and the shell are formed together so they won't come apart. A composite skeleton inside adds to the structural integrity
It's not cheap but it's not a crazy price for a high-end helmet. Remember, a score of 5 is average so 6 isn't a poor score here.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In terms of shock absorption, it passes the relevant standards. It's very comfortable and easy to adjust.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
That NeoVisor is surprisingly good, and I like the ease of adjustability. The forehead padding is very good too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lockdown strap dividers work as they usually do, I just think that someone has to come up with a better (less fiddly) solution at some stage.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? I would consider it, certainly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.