TREK VELOCIS – GREAT PERFORMANCE IN A TRADITIONAL STYLE
There’s a lot to like about the Trek Velocis road bike helmet. It’s supremely comfortable, well-ventilated, expertly executed, and has traditional styling with just a few flaws that shouldn’t be deal breakers for most cycling enthusiasts.
SUPREMELY COMFORTABLE AND WELL VENTILATED
From the first time my fellow tester Adam and I put the Velocis on, it was comfortable on our more oval than round-shaped heads. The helmet’s weight seems well distributed and feels like just another part of my head rather than an extra I’d added on top of it.
Adam especially likes how the Trek Velocis’ combination of thin but dense padding, secure BOA-dialed tensioning, and sense of being open-to-the-air creates a superior level of comfort.
The Trek Velocis has two horizontal vents spanning your forehead, five large intake vents across the front and sides of your head, and three more at the top. Five exhaust vents sit at the back, and all of the helmet’s vents appear in good alignment to channel the airflow.
That’s a lot of venting in one helmet, and you feel the wind moving through them when you ride along at speed.
FIRST RATE EXECUTION
The Trek Velocis is also very well executed. The MIPS safety system integrates seamlessly within it; you wouldn’t notice it without the yellow logos. And among the over 100 road bike helmets receiving five-star ratings in the Virginia Tech impact tests, the Velocis ranks in the top 15.
It also looks and feels expertly constructed, with no rough or unfinished edges between its inside EPS foam liner and its outside shell. The helmet we tested has a handsome, consistent black matte finish running the length of the surface with grey-black patterned crossing ribs.
The rear cradle, with its BOA dial and thread-like circumference strap, folds into the helmet and out of the way when you’re not wearing the Velocis. This feature, similar to what you find in the aero road Trek Ballista that was introduced alongside the Velocis, is unique to these Trek helmets. It’s a space saver and protects the whole mechanism when you store the helmet between rides or pack it into a kit bag or luggage for a trip.
A FEW FLAWS BUT NO DEAL-BREAKERS
There are a few things I wish Trek had done better with the Velocis.
I like that the rear down straps come from separate, fixed positions rather than threading through the cradle and that the front ones come from inside the helmet rather than the shell’s edge.
At the same time, I would prefer they used a more pliable strap material. If you’re not careful, the strap edges can fold in at the locking clip below your ears. And between those clips and the clip below your chin, the straps don’t lay flat against each other.
The Velocis (and Ballista) straps run too long for my 15 ½ in size climber’s neck and even for Adam’s 17 ½ in size sprinter’s one. You can easily cut them and use electrical or black duct tape to finish the edges, but it seems like an oversight with this otherwise well-made helmet.
Sunglass docking is also hit-or-miss with the Velocis. The helmet has 2cm or 3/4 in wide rubber pieces at the inside edge of the outermost front vent to help hold your sunglasses in place. But even with those, only the most flexible sunglasses with average-size lenses inserted upside down held firmly and confidently enough against the helmet during a ride.
The Trek Velocis also sits lower on your forehead. That’s something my fair skin appreciates, and that also improves aero performance with average-size cycling sunglasses. That said, if you wear the very large frame shades, they will likely come in contact with the front lip of the helmet and press down on the bridge of your nose.
While not heavy, at 309 grams for the Large model that Adam and I tested, the Trek Velocis weighs about the same as many of the better aero helmets. That’s also similar to many of the best-ventilated road bike helmets from other brands we’ve tested. This probably says more about the advances aero road helmets have made and the challenges of reducing weight while maintaining the features of the best road bike helmets.
Prices for the Velocis and other top-performing road and aero-road helmets come in at around US$300. While that’s not cheap, considering all the safety, fit, comfort, and performance benefits you get from a helmet like the Velocis, it’s money well spent.
Considering how good the best road bike helmets have become, many of us will choose between helmets that both fit and perform well based on how we like the way they look.
To my eyes, the Trek Velocis has a traditional road bike helmet style and, except for aqua, comes in standard albeit wonderfully finished black, white, and red colors.
If that look suits your style, and you appreciate all the performance benefits packed into this helmet without being put off by the strap or sunglasses limitations I’ve pointed out, the Trek Veloics is one of the best cycling helmets you can buy.
You can order it for US$300, £230, €300 using this link to the Trek online store.
Compare the Velocis to other top road cycling helmets for road and gravel.
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