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The Trek Velocis Mips helmet is excellent, impressively light with good ventilation and a very comfortable Mips system. This all comes at a high price – but not as high as some rivals.
For more options, check out our guide to the best cycling helmets.
I've reviewed several high-quality helmets this year, but the Trek Velocis is much more striking than any of them. I'm not a massive car guy, but when you see the front of this helmet it is eerily reminiscent of a Ferrari 458.
I don't know if this was a deliberate move by Trek, but the similarities are there, even down to the shape of the vents – helped, admittedly, by the Ferrari red colour of the version I tested.
It's a thing of beauty, with sharp angles on the vents and a low profile across the top of the head. The central skeleton is made from OCLV Carbon; I don't know how much weight this saves, but it gives it a striking look.
Anyway, enough about aesthetics, because this helmet is so much more than just looks. Trek's tagline for it is 'Cool is fast', because this helmet is designed for both aerodynamics and ventilation.
Trek claims that the helmet is faster than the previous version, but that's not something we can test. As for the 'cool' element, though, I can say that it's impressive, with the wind noticeably blowing through my hair as I was riding and my head staying nice and cool. Trek has used computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modelling and windtunnel testing to optimise airflow for the helmet, which seems to have done wonders.
Shaun looked at the last iteration of the Velocis in 2017 and at that time commented on how impressive its ventilation was. According to Trek the newer version is 38% cooler, which isn't a stretch to believe given how impressive it is in this department.
Getting a good fit is very simple thanks to a 360-degree Boa system, which tightens and loosens with a dial on the back of the harness and a Boa lace running around the entire circumference of the head. The Boa dial allows for micro-adjustment quickly, too, with a small amount of movement between each click.
The harness sits much lower than others, and with only a single anchor point on the helmet it is much more supple, too, and sits more comfortably on the back of your head; it feels more like it's cradling your head than being pressed against it.
Mips stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, which reduces damage from rotational impact, and this helmet uses the new Mips Air system, which is essentially the safety tech built into the helmet pads. You can read more about the technology in our feature All you need to know about Mips.
I confess I didn't test the effectiveness of the system in a crash, on its own or against the traditional Mips system. However, according to Mips the key element to the system working properly is a 10-15mm allowance for relative movement, which this system provides, so I have no reason to believe it won't be as effective as other Mips variations.
One thing this system helps with is both integration within the helmet and with ventilation, as it avoids any vent obstruction. It's practically invisible, both in appearance and feel on the head, so combined with the very good fitting system it's something you can wear for hours in hot conditions without any irritation at all.
The straps sit nicely against the head, too, with easy-to-move separators that have a lever to tighten or loosen them and slide them up or down, and a traditional chin clip that's simple to use.
The only slightly annoying thing is the length of the excess on the straps, which you need to tuck under a provided loop. Yes you can trim them, but for my fit I had over 10cm of excess, which seems unnecessary.
The helmet hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at a very respectable 235g. It isn't the absolute lightest we've tested, but is definitely amongst the lighter helmets we've seen around this price.
The Rapha + POC Ventral Lite that Dave tested earlier this year weighed 188g but costs £10 more (though it's currently half price) and lacks the adjustability of the Velocis, plus it doesn't come with any Mips tech.
There is no doubt that £229.99 for a helmet is a hefty price tag, but in the context of top-line helmets it sizes up well to its competition. Helmet fit is always slightly subjective, but having used a lot of high-end helmets over the years I would say this is the most comfortable, both in terms of ventilation and fit.
All in, I think this helmet is a fantastic package. It is light, comfortable, and has excellent ventilation to boot. The only thing I could think of as a negative is the excess on the straps, which rather says it all. Okay, it's not cheap, but it really is an excellent helmet, and it makes it look like you're wearing a Ferrari on your head too.
Very comfortable and well-ventilated helmet, and it looks like a Ferrari!
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Trek Velocis Mips Road Bike Helmet
Size tested: M
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?
Trek says: "An all-around, road racing helmet that is light, cool, fast and features the added protection of Mips
"Velocis Mips is now lighter, cooler and faster than ever thanks to insight and feedback from Trek-Segafredo. And with a full suite of pro-level features, this helmet is bound for the podium.
"Velocis is designed with protection front and centre. This helmet earned a Virginia Tech 5-STAR safety rating and features a Mips Air safety system."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Trek lists these product details:
Trek's lightest road helmet is now even lighter, saving grams and providing more comfort
Improved ventilation and channelling keeps you cooler and moves you faster
The Mips Air system is light and cool and designed to improve comfort and protection
The single-lace BOA® fit system is fully adjustable to provide a custom, 360° fit
Rubberised sunglasses docking port provides secure and easy-to-use storage
Bevelled front edge improves field of view while riding on the hoods and in the drops
The Crash Replacement Guarantee provides a free helmet replacement if involved in a crash within the first year of ownership
The 30-Day Unconditional Guarantee allows you to return your helmet if you're unsatisfied for any reason
And these features:
A low-profile design and new lighter-weight components, like an OCLV Carbon inlay, make the Velocis 6 grams lighter than before.
Cool is fast
Multiple rounds of computational fluid dynamic modelling and wind-tunnel testing revealed a new helmet design that's optimised for airflow and is 38% cooler* and 18 seconds faster at 45 km/h.
*Compared to the prior Velocis and the original Ballista
Mips Air safety system
Less weight, seamless integration, improved sweat management and rotational force management technology from Mips provide better performance and a better experience on the bike.
A better fit system
For that Goldilocks fit, the Velocis features a single-lace, 360° BOA® fit system with two lace height positions and three yoke positions – offering complete customisation.
The Velocis's rubberised side vents make it easy to stow away your sunglasses when you're not wearing them.
A clear view
The Velocis features a bevelled edge above the brow that opens up your field of view and lets you easily see the road ahead – even when tucked in the drops.
Virginia Tech 5-STAR Rating
Velocis has received a 5-STAR safety rating from Virginia Tech's third-party testing facility, an unbiased, industry-accepted assessment of the level of protection a helmet provides to a cyclist.
Very well made.
Very well ventilated, light, and comfortable.
Very light; not the lightest on the market, but not far off.
So comfortable, with the full-head Boa system combined with excellent ventilation.
It's not a cheap lid, but compared with similar it's not bad value: a tenner less than the Rapha + POC Ventral Lite, which lacks the adjustability of the Velocis and does not come with any Mips system, and £60 less than the Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. It's comfortable, well ventilated, and light. I was comfortable in this for long rides on very hot days, without any issues at all.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The ventilation – I was very impressed by how cool it kept my head while riding.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing major, there's a bit of excess strap material.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Rapha + POC Ventral Lite that Dave tested earlier this year hits the scales at 188g and costs £10 more, but lacks the adjustability of the Velocis and does not come with any Mips system. The closest thing I think we've seen recently has been the Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips that Jamie tested last year, which uses the same Mips Air system, weighs 12g less, but costs £60 more.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's excellent: very comfortable with a brilliant fit, looks great, and offers superb ventilation. There is very little not to like about this helmet if you're willing to pay a premium price for a premium product – and it's better value than some.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.