As technology makes its way into almost every product, bike helmets are not behind when it comes to integrating high-tech material. Trek has recently announced its WaveCel line of helmets, and said the protective gear is 48 times more effective than foam for preventing concussions, according to New Atlas.
The helmets were developed by Dr. Steve Madey, an orthopedic surgeon, and engineer Dr. Michael Bottlang.
WaveCel is a collapsible cellular material that goes through a three-step change in material structure on impact to absorb energy before it reaches your head. If the rider endures a crash or collusion, the rider’s head will press into the liner of the helmet where the material flexes and then crumples. This disperses energy, where the energy will move to wherever the direction of the impact is. This feature helps prevent rotational injury.
Many helmets experience intracerebral shearing where the helmet hits the road at an angle. If this type of crash occurs, the helmet’s shell catches the pavement which causes the rider’s head to twist around. When a rider’s head twists like this, it’s so fast that the brain can’t keep up, so it moves milliseconds after the skull. The outcome from this can be shearing of nerves and blood vessels.
To prevent both concussions and collusions of this type, Trek created the WaveCel material to slide in relation to the helmet. This allows the helmet to suddenly twist but doesn’t bring a person’s head along with it. Trek did say the WaveCel helmets should be replaced after a serious crash, similar to other helmets.
A total of four models are available in the Bontrager brand helmets and includes WaveCel road, mountain, commuter, and e-bike. Prices for the helmets range from $150 up to $300 for mountain-biking and road versions.
Filed Under: Product design