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Revolutionary new design – Bontrager WaveCel helmets

Trek and Bontrager have come up with a new helmet that significantly reduces the effects of an impact in a crash. Having carried out extensive research led by Dr. Michael Bottlang is the founder of the Legacy Biomechanics Laboratory in Portland, Oregon they have demonstrated that this new design has the potential to significantly reduce the risk of brain injury. The claim is that the helmet is 48x more effective at preventing concussion. However if you look at the published research paper the real evidence is a little more complicated. This claim is for a normal helmet vs the new WaveCel when the impact is at a speed of 6.2 m/s and an angle of 45° in the carefully controlled test conditions. The authors are very clear that the claimed improvement is only in these exact conditions and we all know real crashes are never standard? However Bontrager have innovated here and there is no doubt that this new design with collapsible material has significant advantages when it come to potential rotational brain injury. I expect to see other manufacturers follow suit with their own designs.

Bliven, Emily, Alexandra Rouhier, Stanley Tsai, Rémy Willinger, Nicolas Bourdet, Caroline Deck, Steven M. Madey, and Michael Bottlang. 2019. “Evaluation of a Novel Bicycle Helmet Concept in Oblique Impact Testing.” Accident; Analysis and Prevention 124 (March): 58–65.