If you love racing and going fast, this is the helmet for you.
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.
A question of fit
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.
Why reach for the Velocis MIPS?
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