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Review: Bontrager Starvos WaveCel road helmet

WaveCel technology at an affordable price point

Trek released its WaveCel technology last year, promising it would be the most important advancement in cycling safety technology in the last 30 year. WaveCel is a new helmet design that changes the way a helmet protects during a crash. Created by a team of doctors, researchers, and engineers, it’s a collapsible structure that lines the inside of the helmet and absorbs impact in case of an accident.

RELATED: Bontrager XXX WaveCel road helmet review

The helmets received a five star rating from Virginia Tech’s bicycle helmet safety testing lab. Engineers designed them to accounts for how most cycling accidents actually happen—ungracefully, with twists, turns, and angled impacts. Upon impact, the cells flex, then crumple like a car bumper while redirecting the energy of the impact away from the cyclist’s head.

The Bontrager Starvos

The at $399.99 CAD, XXX WaveCel is a performance road helmet.  This year, Trek’s Bontrager brand has released a more affordable WaveCel helmet, making the technology more accessible to all types of cyclists.

The Bontrager Starvos, priced at $134.99 CAD, comes in black white and high vis yellow. The helmets go from size XS/youth up to size XL, so they may be a good option for people with uncommon head sizes.

Testing the Stravos

At 300g for the small helmet, the Stravos isn’t very lightweight. At a glance looks like an archetypal helmet—the WaveCel underneath is a subtle, clear plastic.

It fits snugly and adjusts easily with the dial at the back. The padding is limited but, even on long rides, it felt as though there was enough cushioning.

The lack of MIPS means a cleaner internal helmet, and some riders say they actually prefer WaveCel for ventilation. That was not my personal experience. Wearing this (black) Stravos WaveCel on a mid-day ride at the peak of summer, I got so hot I had to pull over at a convenience store post-climb to dump a cold water bottle on my head.

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It’s important to note that this is an entry-level helmet, I have a decent amount of hair, and all things considered most of Canada doesn’t spend much time in 30+ degree weather. For the price point, the Bontrager Stravos is definitely a great choice for those looking to access WaveCel technology. It’s an attractive option for someone (recreational cyclists/commuter) looking for a clean and simple helmet that doesn’t skimp on safety.

The Bontrager Stravos WaveCel helmet, $134.99 CAD, is available at www.trekbikes.com