About a year ago, Bontrager lifted the curtain on a new technology, called WaveCel, that was designed to help helmets deal with the forces that cause injuries – a category that has seen a lot of activity in recent years. What was novel about WaveCel is that it’s designed to mitigate both linear and rotational impact forces. Traditionally, EPS foam handles linear forces, while technologies like MIPS, Turbine, SPIN, and others are designed to help reduce rotational forces.
At that time the Blaze WaveCel was the only one geared towards mountain bikers, and it came in at 300 USD / 399 CAD. Maybe no price is too high when it comes to head protection, but that was 30-50 dollars more than other premium contenders in the category.
Today, Bontrager rolls out the Rally WaveCel helmet, with many of the features of the Blaze WaveCel, at exactly half the price. For 150 USD / CAD, you get the WaveCel/EPS foam combination structure, BOA Fit system to fine tune fit, a three-way adjustable visor, and LockDown dividers to manage straps and fit. But other than WaveCel, the most notable feature the Rally shares with the Blaze is the crash replacement guarantee: if, during your first year of ownership, you crash in your Rally helmet, Bontrager will replace it, free of charge. And yes, like with almost all helmets, the Rally WaveCel is one-and-done; WaveCel is not intended to protect your head properly after it’s been crashed. Bontrager recognizes this and wants to make sure you do the right thing if you have a crash. They also want that crashed helmet so they can study it to help them make better helmets in the future.