Hot on the heels of the launch of the new Émonda ALR, Trek has released the latest generations of its Ballista Mips and Velocis Mips top-tier helmets. Trek says both helmets have been designed around the needs of the Trek-Segafredo team, and included the team’s riders in the R&D process.
The Ballista is Trek’s aero helmet. This second generation is now a claimed 5.4 watts faster than the previous model. The Velocis sits as a performance all-rounder, with a larger focus on light weight and high ventilation, which Trek says is now 38% better than the last version.
Both helmets do not use WaveCel, Trek’s solution to mitigate rotational violence in a similar way to MIPS’ slip-plane liners, but conventional MIPS instead, and have achieved 5-star ratings in Virginia tech testing.
Up until now, Trek has sold its helmets as part of its in-house brand, Bontrager, but says it is rebranding its products under the Trek name, starting with the Ballista and the Velocis. The full rebrand is likely to take several years.
The Trek Ballista Mips and Velocis Mips are now available for £229.99 each.
Where they differ
As Trek does not make a full-blown time-trial helmet, the Ballista is the brand’s sole aero offering. The latest model is the Ballista’s second iteration and supposedly Trek’s ‘fastest ever helmet’.
With the focus on aerodynamics, the brand says it treats the whole helmet as one system, and has added an air trip – a gulley running across the middle of the helmet shell to control the airflow as it passes over the helmet – as well as altered vents and new inner channels.
Trek says the alterations can save a rider up to 5.4 watts over 1 hour at 45kmh, in comparison to the previous Ballista, and a whole 10.1 watts over the latest Velocis. This should translate to a 17 and 32 second advantage respectively, at 300 watts in a standard hour test.
Given that the Velocis is an all-rounder helmet, the Ballista’s aero advantage is unsurprising. Where the Velocis excels, says Trek, is in its light weight and high levels of ventilation.
The Velocis features a perforated polycarbonate layer to aid cooling. Trek says it has updated the vents and air channels to make this third generation 38% better ventilated than the outgoing model.
At 235g for the CE Europe model and 260g for the CPSC US – both for a size medium – the latest Velocis claims to be the brand’s lightest ever helmet. In comparison, the new Ballista weighs 255g and 275g respectively.
Where they are alike
Both the Ballista and the Velocis use Mips Air for crash protection. Trek has its own safety system, WaveCel, but says it opted for Mips as it was the best option for the Trek-Segafredo riders at this time. Trek says both helmets have been tested by the Virginia Tech lab and have received 5 star ratings.
They each use an expanded polystyrene layer (EPS) with a polycarbonate shell, with some small features made from plastic. The helmets are available in small, medium and large, and come in a variety of colours although the Trek-Segafredo team colours are not be available to purchase from launch.
The helmets are fitted with Boa-S dials, for indexed micro-adjustments, and use LockDown dividers and ‘light weight buckles’, though it’s not specified what these buckles are made from.
The biggest similarity between the two helmets is the introduction of a sloped front edge, which Trek says it included for improved visibility when riding in an aero position. The alterations came about after line-of-sight testing with riders, and the brand says the new shape allows for the necessary level of visibility.
While the Ballista and Velocis helmets take slightly different approaches, Trek says both helmets are designed for racing and high performance riding. It recommends the Ballista for out-and-out speed, such as road and track racing, as well as for triathletes after better ventilation than standard time-trial helmets. The Velocis aims to target a wider audience, with Trek suggesting its use for everything from road to XC to speed-oriented gravel riding.
Don’t miss our story on the newly updated and very slick Trek Émonda ALR