The flagship lid in Bontrager’s range and the go-to helmet for such riders as Cancellara and his Trek Factory Racing cronies, the Velocis CE Road Helmet combines some neat features, a lightweight design and sleek looks for a hardy and stylish helmet more than capable of competing with other top-end lids.
Possibly the most unique feature of the helmet is the NeoVisor attachment. This little visor attaches to the Velcro on the inside of the helmet and is purported to provide all of the advantages of a traditional race cap without sacrificing breathability and airflow. The little visor is perfect for keeping the sun and rain out of your eyes and is easily detachable from the helmet in a moment’s notice. However, this is certainly not a deal-making feature and many riders, will likely prefer still to use a cap when the conditions require it. What the NeoVisor is great for is attaching if you use the helmet for commuting as it saves your head from getting horribly sweaty so you don’t show up to work looking like a wet dog.
At 285 grams for the medium size, the Velocis is not the most feather-like helmet on the market, nevertheless, what it lacks in lightness is certainly makes up for in fit and breathability. Bontrager’s Headmaster II fitting system utilises a dial that sits comfortably at the rear of the cradle and is height adjustable to fit any cranium size. If, like me, you have a rather tall head that is not necessarily very wide this system works perfectly and it nestles under the rear of your skull. The lateral fit is adjustable with a fine-tuned dial allowing a precise fitting that wont budge even over the most rough of terrain. This combines to make this one of the best and most comfortable fitting helmets I have tried.
Despite my unabashed commitment to the thorough reviewing of products I could not bring myself to face-plant for review purposes. I can, however, confirm that the Velocis does comply with N 1078 European Safety Standards and as an added bonus Bontrager does offer a crash replacement guarantee allowing you to replace your helmet if it is damaged in a crash within one year of purchase.
As the summer months approach it’s also a good idea to opt for the best possible cooling and venting. The Velocis provides a staggering 22 vents without sacrificing structural integrity. This is largely due to the helmet’s internal skeleton, which boosts strength with a tried and tested venting system that allows cool air to fully envelop your head while riding.
The superb venting system is further aided by the streamlined yet still comfy internal padding, all of which is treated with antimicrobial treatment so you don’t end up with a stinky helmet. The padding sits neatly between the vent recesses so airflow is not blocked and the foam brow pad wicks moisture away from your forehead. This further underpins this helmet’s climbing pedigree where decent ventilation and perspiration wicking can make all of the difference.
While not the most inconspicuous of helmet profiles, the Velocis has a sharp and unique look thanks to the terrific venting pattern. Sunglasses also fit neatly into the side vents without you having to bend them into compromising positions.
Overall, it is easy to see why the likes of Cancellara (despite being contractually obliged) opt for the Velocis CE helmet. Its breathability and comfort is really tough to beat and whether you’re riding the cobbles of Flanders or the steep gradients of the Pyrenees, the Velocis will keep you cool, comfy and protected no matter what.