Australian Mountain Bike - - Tested - WORDS AND PHOTOS: MIKE BLE­WITT

The Velocis had a re­cent over­haul, mak­ing the top hel­met from Bontrager some­thing be­tween an aero hel­met like the Bal­lista that Brendan John­ston nor­mally wears, and their more tra­di­tional road hel­met. It might seem odd to test a road hel­met here in AMB, but if go­ing fast be­tween the tape is your thing, a road hel­met like the Velocis MIPS is more likely to serve you well than a reg­u­lar trail lid. Here’s why.


Cross-coun­try rac­ing isn’t for ev­ery­one. But if it is your thing, you’ll want fault­less equip­ment that helps you go as fast as pos­si­ble. And that’s ex­actly where a hel­met like the Bontrager Velocis MIPS fits in. Cast your eyes across World Cup or Na­tional Se­ries XCO cov­er­age and many rid­ers are reach­ing for hel­mets with some aero ad­van­tages, but not the full ‘Mario Broth­ers mush­rooms’ that first hit the mar­ket via the pro­fes­sional road pelo­ton a few years back. Aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency is key when rac­ing fast, and when races are won and lost in sprint fin­ishes, it is worth mak­ing sure you can ac­count for ev­ery sec­ond you could gain or lose. Com­pared to the pre­vi­ous model, the Velocis trims back the huge amount of vents with the new it­er­a­tion. This up­dated ver­sion still has plenty of ven­ti­la­tion as the five lead­ing vents force air through in­ter­nal chan­nels, keep­ing air mov­ing over your head. The hel­met is more solid on top, which is no is­sue when mov­ing at speed as air is flow­ing through. Slow down, and it’s a warm hel­met. The pads that sit against your head have pretty gen­er­ous cov­er­age, and do a handy job of deal­ing with sweat. You can whip them out to wash them, which is highly rec­om­mended if you’re us­ing this hel­met for its in­tended use – go­ing fast.


The Bontrager Velocis MIPS has a neat re­ten­tion sys­tem us­ing a BOA sys­tem right at the back. It’s easy to use with gloves, whether you’re mov­ing or not. The straps are eas­ily ad­justable, and quite long so I ac­tu­ally trimmed the ex­cess off the test model to stop it flap­ping in the breeze. There are three sizes, and I opted for a medium, which fits a 54-60cm head. So it’s a pretty gen­er­ous medium. I’d sug­gest con­firm­ing your size at your shop.


The Bontrager Velocis MIPS has, you guessed it, the MIPS sys­tem. This is es­sen­tially a layer be­tween the hel­met and the liner that re­duces the ro­ta­tional force on im­pact. Whether it works much in the real world is hard to tell, but MIPS has be­come an added safety fea­ture on many top hel­mets. And if it comes to a crash, Bontrager re­ally have you cov­ered with a 12-month crash re­place­ment pol­icy. Not a dis­count – a re­place­ment. If you race a lot, and train hard, then you are quite likely to find your limit more of­ten than many rid­ers. The added pro­tec­tion of a hel­met with MIPS and a crash re­place­ment of­fer from Bontrager shouldn’t be eas­ily dis­counted.


If you love rac­ing and go­ing fast, or do a mix of XC and road, this is the hel­met for you. There are true aero gains to be made, even if they are small, for the per­for­mance-minded rid­ers. But if you tend to move slower and en­joy the ride, then this hel­met might just be a bit warm for your in­tended use. You might pre­fer the Rally MIPS for trail rid­ing, with big­ger vents that will gulp air - as op­posed to work­ing with it in the name of speed.


- Re­ally ad­justable - MIPS and crash re­place­ment - Aero gains!


- Warm if you’re slower than you think


$269.00 trek­

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