The Ballista and Velocis helmets has been in the pro peloton for months, and they are now available for everyone. If you are trying to find one, here’s a hint: don’t look for the Bontrager logo any longer, as the helmet range is now branded as ‘Trek’.
New product overview (April 2023)
The new Ballista helmet that has been appearing on the heads of Trek-Segafredo riders for some time now is difficult to miss. With a duo-tone finish which highlights the aero-styling at the rear stands out in a crowd. What you might not know, however, is that it’s also surprisingly light (at 255g for the Australian Standards approved version), and also cheaper by AUD$100 than the other new helmet launched by Trek this week.
The other major difference is that instead of being branded as Bontrager – as helmets from the Trek family of companies have been in the past – the new helmets are the ‘Trek Ballista’ (above) and ‘Trek Velocis’ (below).
Of course they are… yep: more comfy, more aero, and lighter than ever before. This is 2023, and that’s the claim for every new cycling product release these days, right?
You’ll save a certain number of watts and blah, blah, blah… but let’s leave that for Trek to explain. The real news about the latest helmets is that there is clearly some flow in the supply chain and, after a few years of juggling demand versus availability, the cycling industry is hitting the ‘GO!’ button on an array of product launches in 2023.
If you’re in a rush to get the new helmets, RIDE Media has it on good authority that they are already in bike shops in Australia.
The Ballista looks funky and fast – and it certainly got plenty of exposure in the recent Ronde van Vlaanderen when Mads Pedersen went on the attack early, then went solo, then outsprinted Wout van Aert for third place. And, in Australia in April 2023, it will retail for AUD$299.
The Velocis range is a more versatile, ventilated helmet that has long been part of the Bontrager collection of products. Now it’s not only a Trek Velocis, it is also significantly redesigned and the claim is that it’s “38 percent cooler than prior generation”.
The latest Velocis still boasts MIPS and the BOA tensioning system that made the previous offering comfortable and safe. And now the shape has been tweaked a little, with extra ventilation added.
Of course, Trek continues to offer “secure sunglass storage”, just as most modern cyclists like their helmets to be.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the additional vents at the front of the Trek Velocis – which are the most obvious aesthetic difference to the previous iteration (ie. the Bontrager Velocis) – have been added for the sunnies storage. That’s not the case. Instead, the idea is that you flip your sunglasses upside down and easily slot the arms into the housing of the large side vents.
The retail price upon launch for the Trek Velocis is AUD$399.
Another selling point for the Trek helmet range is the “crash replacement guarantee”, which means that if the helmet has been put to use (ie. impacted in a crash) within the first year, you can get a new one without having to pay for it. (Ask your local bike shop for more details.)
You won’t find yourself in the position Pedersen was in on that first Sunday of April 2023, when he needed to save watts and get every advantage he could squeeze out of his equipment to help him overcome a rival like WvA, but you will find these new helmets in shops now.
Both the Ballista and the Velocis are available in small, medium or large, and there’s a range of five colour options to choose from.