trek's bicycle helmet mimics the brain's protective fluid with wavecel technology
 

trek's bicycle helmet mimics the brain's protective fluid with wavecel technology

american bike manufacturer trek has launched a revolutionary new helmet design that removes traditional EPS foam with layers of cells that mimic the brain’s protective fluid. the helmets use a technology they call wavecel which relies on a honeycomb-style insert that absorbs rotational energy to protect the wearer.

trek's bicycle helmet mimics the brain's protective fluid with wavecel technology

images courtesy of trek

 

 

trek and bontrager company have partnered with wavecel to create a helmet technology that disrupts years of accepted safety standards. whilst EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam has been accepted as the norm in most consumer helmets ever since it was first introduced in the late 1960s, in recent year scientists have drawn attention to its shortcomings.

trek's bicycle helmet mimics the brain's protective fluid with wavecel technology

 

 

EPS helmets that can withstand just one protective blow to the head and are incapable of bouncing back any energy received from the blow. EPS helmets mainly intake energy in a linear direction which is not always how a person falls off a bike. instead, their head turns and pivots and its this rotational-style concussion that poses the most danger. in response the brain uses cerebrospinal fluid, a natural cushioning which shifts allowing the brain to move around unprotected, potentially damaging the delicate nerves inside.

 

that’s why in recent times ‘MIPS’ has become a buzzword when it comes to bicycle helmet design. MIPS, or multi-directional impact protection system, is described as a ‘slip-plane’ technology that works to redirect the impact of rotational forces from angled impacts.

trek's bicycle helmet mimics the brain's protective fluid with wavecel technology

 

 

MIPS is a thin liner that when placed between the head and the helmet’s hard shell, creates a low friction layer allowing the helmet to slide back and forth just like your body’s natural fluid cushioning. trek claims its new bike helmets takes that technology one step further creating a MIPS-like slip insert that absorbs rotational energy rather than just redistribute it.

trek's bicycle helmet mimics the brain's protective fluid with wavecel technology

 

 

the problem with MIPS is that when a fall reaches high energy impact friction starts to build between the insert and the EPS helmet stopping it from being able to deflect energy anymore. once it reaches that point, the wavecel insert, which just like MIPS moves freely via a low friction surface, works to prevent friction build up by absorbing that energy rotationally as it starts to build up.

trek's bicycle helmet mimics the brain's protective fluid with wavecel technology

 

 

the construction of the wavecel helmets still retains some EPS foam, although the volume is significantly reduced in comparison to traditional designs. in addition the flexible wavecel construction also offers a comfortable fit that flexes to individual head shapes.

video by trek bicycle

 

 

according to a press release the technology adds approximately 53 grams of additional weight to the helmet but this is a small compromise for the safety gains made. the new helmets come in four designs including the cheapest charge, wavecel commuter helmet and the specter wavecel road helmet at $150, and the most expensive, the wavecel road helmet and the blaze wavecel MTB helmet at $300.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    491,183 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample