Bontrager Wavecel Helmet Review

I’ve been rocking a pair of Bontrager Wavecel Helmets for the last five months and I’m ready to share some thoughts after cruising around for a couple of thousand miles perched on a bunch of different saddles under the protection of these lids.

The Fit

The biggest factor that I look at, when I shop for a helmet is fit. My cranium currently measures 62cm in circumference. Most helmet brands’ largest size maxes out at 62cm. I like to shop for helmets that will fit a 65 cm skull because sometimes I like to wear a hat inside of my helmet. The Bontrager Wavecel helmets that I’ve been testing are the Rally 58-63 cm (size Large) and The Starvos 60-66 cm (size XL). The fit of both helmets is true to size. I wear the Rally primarily for mountain biking and since it has a visor, I don’t have to wear a hat. A thin hat (or hood) fits with no problem. The Starvos is extra-roomy and can fit the thickest cycling caps that I wear. The helmets both have a knob at the rear of the helmet that allows for micro-adjusting the fit. I found the fit to be quite comfortable. They fit every bit as well as the brand helmet that I’ve been wearing for years.

The Fashion

The second most important thing to me when shopping for a helmet is pure fashionista “how does it look?” Well, talk about a subjective area of discussion, fashion is fickle and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It doesn’t help that the model is a geezer that looks more and more like a god-damned gnome, but I think that the Starvos looks better than the Rally. However, the Rally does have the sort of added protection that I want for mountain biking. Here are some selfies that you should probably make fun of.

Safety Third?

That’s right, here at the fat dash bike dot com sanctuary for the cycling insane we say “Safety Third”. You would think that a company that has so many “Safety Meetings” would have a higher priority for helmet safety, but I guess it still ranks up there pretty far…ya know third is still a podium spot. This is where the Bontrager Wavecel Helmets are reported to shine. The Wavecel matrix creates a small crush zone that helps decelerate and mitigate the twisting phase of impact that is reportedly key to preventing concussions.

Trek and MIPs have entered into a war of words regarding the research that supports Trek’s claim that Wavecel is forty-nine times more effective at preventing concussions than standard foam cycling helmets. Trek makes the top 3 safest helmets on the market currently according to the helmet safety experts at Virginia Tech. Even if you put the marketing hype aside, you have to be impressed by the fact that Trek owns that podium. It makes it pretty easy to make the decision to switch brands from Lazer to Bontrager for the sake of protecting what’s left of my brain.

The Bontrager Wavecel Helmet earns all Five Gnomes

I’d buy my granddaughter or anyone that I love a Wavecel helmet and that’s about the best recommendation that I would give a product like this. Till they make something that fits as well, is as cool looking and is just as safe (or more safe) I’ll be riding in one of these bad boys.

For more information about Bontrager Wavecel Helmets visit –


4 Responses to Bontrager Wavecel Helmet Review

  1. Allroy November 10, 2020 at 6:33 pm #

    Does the “wave cell” replace “MIPS “ or is it a better alternative in a crash? Does the “Wave cell “ make the helmet feel bulky?

    • Nick Holzem November 11, 2020 at 8:25 am #

      Allroy, the Wave cell does not replace MIPS. Wace cell offers a better level of crash protection and has the highest safety rating. MIPS is still light years ahead of old school foam helmets in terms of injury reduction. Many of Trek’s Segafrado team opt for helmets with MIPS over the Wave cell because it’s lightweight and is less fatiguing for long days of tour riding.

      I recently had an accident while wearing the rally, really glad to have one on. Although I ended breaking my collarbone, the lights stayed on. Like Gomez says safety first! er third? Stay classy San Diego!

  2. Phil November 13, 2020 at 7:43 am #

    Interesting stuff. Mips seems to me to provide dubious benefits that your hair and skin over your skull already provide. I then pretty read much the same conclusion on the snell website. This seems to offer better energy absorption overall as well as resisting off centre forces and protecting your head where air vents are located. Maybe its all marketing bull, but lids have relied on polystyrene for 60 years so nice to see something new.

  3. Gomez December 23, 2020 at 7:14 am #

    Crash Update – I crash-tested the white Starvos Helmet that we reviewed and walked away…well, climbed my way back up to where I had a bar strike that sent me down a wooded embankment. Somewhere during that tumble, my head whacked a substantial tree. Apparently 830mm wide bars are just a few picas too wide for that spot on the trail. I switched back to a set that is 780mm. The bottom line here is that the helmet did its job and protected what’s left of my faculties.

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