Trek has made improvements to its Ballista and Velocis road cycling helmets, saying that both are now faster and lighter than the older versions. The Ballista is designed for quick finishers and focuses on aerodynamics, while the Velocis has a more open design, making it Trek's lightest helmet.
Unlike before when the helmets carried the Bontrager brand, the new ones will now have the Trek name. These helmets will be worn by Trek's sponsored teams, including the Trek-Segafredo men’s and women’s squads, as well as the Trek Factory Racing mountain bike, triathlon, and cyclocross teams.
Trek used smart computer modeling (CFD) to create the Ballista, claiming it's their fastest helmet ever. It's said to save riders 10.1 watts in a final sprint, compared to the more vented Velocis helmet. The new Ballista is 5.1 watts faster than the previous version from 2015, resulting in a 32-second advantage over the Velocis in an hour of riding at 300 watts.
The helmet is designed for efficient cooling, with CFD analysis considering the positions of Trek’s pro riders. It includes MIPS Air sliding-plane protection and scored a 5-star rating for impact protection in independent tests by Virginia Tech, a recognized standard in helmet safety.
Adjusting the fit is easy with a single-lace Boa system. The helmet's bevelled front edge improves the field of view when riding head-down. Trek suggests you can conveniently stash your cycling sunglasses in the front vents, with a rubber coating to keep them secure.
Even though it's designed to be more aerodynamic than the Velocis, the Ballista weighs 275 grams in the US for a size-medium (255g for the European version). Trek mentions that this is just 15g more than the Velocis, which is their lightest helmet.
At the launch, it will be available in four colors: black, white, white/navy, and purple. However, there won't be a pro replica color option initially, and the purple color may not be available in all regions.
Trek has introduced the Velocis alongside the Ballista, sharing many features but in a more open design. Trek claims the Velocis weighs 260g in the US, making it their lightest helmet. The ribs of the Velocis are reinforced with carbon fiber, ensuring a sturdy structure.
Trek highlights a 38% improvement in cooling compared to the previous-generation helmet, along with enhanced aerodynamics. Like the Ballista, the Velocis uses a Boa dial adjustment system, includes MIPS Air for added safety (rated five stars by Virginia Tech), and features the bevelled front edge for better visibility and a rubber retainer for sunglasses in the front vents.
Available in five colors, but not all options may be offered in every region.
Both the Ballista and Velocis helmets come in sizes S, M, and L to fit head sizes from 51cm to 63cm, and each includes a helmet bag. Trek offers a one-year crash replacement guarantee, providing a free replacement if your helmet is damaged – just keep your receipt.
While both helmets use MIPS technology, Trek hasn't abandoned its WaveCel tech found in many of its current helmets. However, for a pro-level helmet, Trek believes MIPS Air is a better solution due to its superior cooling and low weight.