Is Trek hinting at a natural fiber construction?

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3/2/2019 8:26 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/2/2019 12:49 PM

saw this in the old promotions inbox from trek. vague, but some kind of woven something-or-other, it's green in color and "matters." are they hinting at some kind of plant-based fiber construction? i have no idea at all, just figure that's what they're getting at. 17 days and counting i guess.

if you want to know first, you have to give up your email address and answer a question - https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/everything-else-is-history/

porsche has been messing w/ it a bit in non-performance parts https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/a25776025/porsche-natural-fiber-718-cayman-gt4-clubsport/

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3/2/2019 8:38 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/2/2019 4:33 PM

Curious to see how strong flax can be in this situation. Looks like Porsche is using it for non structural parts such as panels and wings. It’s been used in the ski industry as a “more eco friendly” version of fiberglass. Never heard anything about the strength to weight competing against carbon though.

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3/2/2019 8:53 AM

I wonder how far that statement by EnE regarding the use of flax composites in non-structural applications,extends to structural aspects of a bicycle, especially an MTB.
And it costs more than CF.
Ouch. like we need to pay more for bicycles as it is.

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3/2/2019 9:08 AM

Hemp bikes - smokin’

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3/2/2019 9:15 AM

Just a thought. What if it’s not Flax. What if it’s Hemp? Hemp is strong, light, cheap, renewable, and can be weaved into fabric. Or maybe I’ve lived in Colorado too long and have no idea what I’m talking about.

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3/2/2019 9:52 AM

TheRealist wrote:

Just a thought. What if it’s not Flax. What if it’s Hemp? Hemp is strong, light, cheap, renewable, and can be weaved into fabric. Or maybe I’ve lived in Colorado too long and have no idea what I’m talking about.

quite possible. But worth looking at some typical strength numbers:

One can observe that the tensile strength of the flax yarns (72±7 MPa) is significantly higher than the one of the hemp yarns (45±5 MPa) and this for equivalent yarn fineness and torque values. A ratio of 1.6 is observed. This is due to the fact that more ligneous residues are part of the yarn structure.

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3/2/2019 12:42 PM

Flax has been used in conjunction with carbon on performance road frames by Museeuw (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/amp/flaxen-beauties-professional-racing-bikes-made-of-flax-fiber.html) and hybrid bikes by Schwinn (https://bikerumor.com/2011/03/09/schwinn-vestige-flax-fiber-bicycle-that-lights-up-at-night-plus-ride-review/)

Will be interesting to see how it turns out with Treks resources.

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3/2/2019 12:51 PM

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3/2/2019 1:38 PM

They need a facility in Canada for Ken Kesey level testing. Free your mind free yo ride

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3/3/2019 3:18 AM

New linen cycle wear, they figured out how to stop it wrinkling. That and getting caught in your chainring 👍

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3/3/2019 4:56 AM

My engineering friends seem to think this looks like kevlar, though my first instinct was to say graphene as that is being touted as the next 'wonder-material'. I have no idea if that is what graphene looks like, but it would in theory allow a company like Trek to keep all of their carbon molds and knowledge gained over the past 30 years and just add a 'secret sauce' to the mix.
Does the release date ring a bell to anyone? My assumption was that this would be debuted on a road bike, but the only road race on March 19 is the last day of Tirreno-Adriatico, and the next big race would be Milan-San Remo, which would be a big deal for a factory team co-sponsored by an Italian coffee produced. The only other race soon after that is EWS #1, but I doubt they would debut a new tech on an enduro bike.

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3/3/2019 9:51 AM

Masjo wrote:

My engineering friends seem to think this looks like kevlar, though my first instinct was to say graphene as that is being touted as the next 'wonder-material'. I have no idea if that is what graphene looks like, but it would in theory allow a company like Trek to keep all of their carbon molds and knowledge gained over the past 30 years and just add a 'secret sauce' to the mix.
Does the release date ring a bell to anyone? My assumption was that this would be debuted on a road bike, but the only road race on March 19 is the last day of Tirreno-Adriatico, and the next big race would be Milan-San Remo, which would be a big deal for a factory team co-sponsored by an Italian coffee produced. The only other race soon after that is EWS #1, but I doubt they would debut a new tech on an enduro bike.

interesting. having never heard of graphene, i did the non-engineer thing and googled it to find it on wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene - "strongest material ever tested" - it's history is pretty rad too.

the "this one matters more" claim in their tease is what really made me think it had some sort of environmental advantage. some of the wiki stuff i sort of barely understood seemed to imply there were ways to make it more eco-friendly (that Tang-Lau method?). i'm way out of my league w/ any of this stuff though.

to claim kevlar is "cycling's biggest change..." seems like a stretch since it's been used in various sports equipment for so long, doesn't it?

i'd agree w/ your hunch about this being launched in the road world too. only 16 days left now haha

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3/3/2019 10:03 AM

Masjo wrote:

My engineering friends seem to think this looks like kevlar, though my first instinct was to say graphene as that is being touted as the next 'wonder-material'. I have no idea if that is what graphene looks like, but it would in theory allow a company like Trek to keep all of their carbon molds and knowledge gained over the past 30 years and just add a 'secret sauce' to the mix.
Does the release date ring a bell to anyone? My assumption was that this would be debuted on a road bike, but the only road race on March 19 is the last day of Tirreno-Adriatico, and the next big race would be Milan-San Remo, which would be a big deal for a factory team co-sponsored by an Italian coffee produced. The only other race soon after that is EWS #1, but I doubt they would debut a new tech on an enduro bike.

sspomer wrote:

interesting. having never heard of graphene, i did the non-engineer thing and googled it to find it on wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene - "strongest material ever tested" - it's history is pretty rad too.

the "this one matters more" claim in their tease is what really made me think it had some sort of environmental advantage. some of the wiki stuff i sort of barely understood seemed to imply there were ways to make it more eco-friendly (that Tang-Lau method?). i'm way out of my league w/ any of this stuff though.

to claim kevlar is "cycling's biggest change..." seems like a stretch since it's been used in various sports equipment for so long, doesn't it?

i'd agree w/ your hunch about this being launched in the road world too. only 16 days left now haha

i wouldn't get too excited about graphene: they haven't yet found a commercially sustainable way of producing long chains of the stuff, much less fabrics of it. In industry, it's typically in short length form, and mixed in with other components. Given it's highly planar nature, it's strength will be in only one plane, and almost no strength and flexibility in others. That is, it's likely to be very brittle. It was intended to be the future of electronics, but again, there are manufacturing limitations.

kevlar is not enviro-friendly. I think that's last year's tech.

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3/3/2019 11:15 AM

My guess is a final layer of Kevlar in the layup process to increase strength and overall durabilty of the bikes and potentialy carbon parts such as wheels and what not. It was posted both in Trek bikes Instagram and Bontrager's so I would guess that we will see this new tech both on bikes and parts. There is also a lot of Carbon Kevlar hybrid materials out there too so maybe its a completley new material they will be using... Trek is not dumb they see all these smaller companies rolling out some killer new carbon tech in their bikes like Unno and Gurilla Gravity and they cant keep selling bikes at a high price but with old tech. .. OCLV at a time was a leader in carbon tech in the bike world but its gotten long in the tooth as each year passes and new technology becomes more available. Time for a revamp!


And of course I could be completley wrong and this could be some type of flynit material for new lightweight shoes or some shit....

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3/3/2019 11:32 AM

Capricorn wrote:

i wouldn't get too excited about graphene: they haven't yet found a commercially sustainable way of producing long chains of the stuff, much less fabrics of it. In industry, it's typically in short length form, and mixed in with other components. Given it's highly planar nature, it's strength will be in only one plane, and almost no strength and flexibility in others. That is, it's likely to be very brittle. It was intended to be the future of electronics, but again, there are manufacturing limitations.

kevlar is not enviro-friendly. I think that's last year's tech.

cool. thanks for the intel.

and @stoic_machine, LOL/bummer if it's just materials for shoes.

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3/3/2019 2:35 PM

If someone would be able to develop graphene for industrial applications it would be the likes of Northrop Grumman or spaceX, definitely not Trek

Graphene made huge impact in science some 15 years ago when it was first discovered as it was first pure 2D material, before that 2D materials were assumed to only exist on substrates. Guys who discovered graphene were also awarded fastest Nobel prize ever, only 5 or 6 years after the discovery when everyone was saying this material will change the world without any proofs, 10 years after that price there is still no proof about changing the world


About the strength of graphene, if you would somehow be able to make each part of the bike from layers of graphene - think how carbon frames are made from layers that are basically held together by epoxy - but then each layer would be actually one complete molecule, I believe such frame would last forever... I also think we are decades if not centuries from having such technology, last time I checked they were able to make graphene flakes the size of milimeters...

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3/3/2019 4:23 PM

There is a road bike company called dassi that already use graphene in the resin of the carbon. It really isn't a industry first but cool that a minstream company may be jumping in the boat nonetheless

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3/3/2019 7:42 PM

For reference to using graphene as a frame material, I was thinking more along the lines of what Vittoria are doing with their tires or what this company is doing with bikes. Video from GCN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaKl3OymFy4
From what I gather, it's more of an additive to existing carbon fibre that increases strength-to-weight ratios. To me, this would be an easy transition for manufacturers because you get to keep your tooling/knowledge/modelling, but you are using a stronger and lighter material.

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3/4/2019 4:58 AM

A few years ago I looked into building my own ski press and jigs and got into materials, using tons of help from skibuilders.com. There are also "natural" industrial epoxy resins, generally made from industrial byproducts, and I seem to remember at least one made from hemp and other plants, maybe pine resin? Entropy resins makes "super sap" resins, mostly just recycling industrial byproducts.

I learned that carbon fiber products are actually made up mostly of resins (or at most around a 1:1), not the actual fibers. Additionally, if you are discussing the environmental implications of CF products as a whole, it is the resin that is more caustic to make, requires more natural resources, more caustic to use (from a human health standpoint), and is generally what makes CF products difficult to recycle. The fiber strands can *in theory* be recycled, but how do you unbind them from the resin at reasonable cost? a question that has been around for a long time.

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3/4/2019 6:50 AM

atleast there are no federal charges anymore

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3/4/2019 9:28 AM

Wow, that escalated quickly. Unfortunately it's not quite as exciting as the click-bait implies.

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3/4/2019 10:46 PM

I did my final year project in university on the potential usage of flax as an alternative to more traditional composite fibres.

Quick summary of what I discovered:
Due to the fact it is organic it would be very difficult to guarantee its properties to the levels required in the composite industry; varying diameter throughout its length as an example. 
Secondly because of its hydroscopic properties it requires extensive conditioning to achieve the mechanical properties stated above; around 8 hours at 60 degrees. Further this issue and relating back to point one as soon as it leaves the oven it will instantly begin absorbing moisture, not impossible to work with but again making the manufacturing process more complex.

So not impossible but it would need a fine tuned manufacturing process and strict QC. If it was to be used I would expect it to be used instead of the final bixial plies for its impact resistance properties.

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3/5/2019 3:18 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/5/2019 3:20 PM

The original top photo has an almost 3D look to it. What if they are out to try and solve the disposable helmet situation? Right now one is supposed to replace a very expensive helmet after only one crash, out of an over abundance of caution of course. Few people do this in my experience.

What if they are changing helmet technology by adding a third/fourth layer to the helmet structure? One could have a hard shell, then perhaps a thinner, multi impact foam layer, that could anchor a MIPS layer, that would act against a final, replaceable inner layer that could be made of a woven or molded natural fiber. Replace it weekly if you toss your helmet into the car a lot. Replace after every minor crash. But the expensive and stylish structure of the helmet could last for years.

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3/5/2019 3:23 PM

#MillionDollarIdea

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3/19/2019 12:19 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2019 12:34 PM

so the helmet guesses were right and my "is it a natural fiber for bike construction?" guess was definitely off. trek/bontrager laid out the new helmet technology today. the Blaze MTB lid is $299. the claims and possibilities are definitely intriguing, especially considering fit and lack of pressure points they discuss.






here's the full press release
Trek and Bontrager's new helmet technology disrupts safety standards

[Waterloo, WI] — Trek and Bontrager have unveiled a groundbreaking helmet technology called WaveCel, which is proven to be up to 48x more effective than standard EPS foam at preventing concussions from common cycling accidents.*

WaveCel is a collapsible cellular material that lines the inside of Bontrager WaveCel helmets. It was developed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steve Madey and biomechanical engineer Dr. Michael Bottlang, who have collaborated for the past 25 years and pioneered advances in fracture care, thoracic and pelvic trauma, and head injury prevention.

The creation of Bontrager WaveCel helmets is the result of a four-year partnership between Drs. Madey and Bottlang and Trek and Bontrager's Research & Design teams.

Unlike a standard foam helmet, which is designed to protect against direct impacts, WaveCel accounts for how most cycling accidents actually happen—ungracefully, with twists, turns, and angled impacts.

WaveCel absorbs energy in multiple ways. On impact, the layers of the WaveCel material move independently and flex until the cell walls crumple and then glide, actively absorbing direct and rotational energy and redirecting it away from your head.

This three-step change in material structure—flex, crumple, glide—is remarkably effective at dispersing the energy from an impact. Nearly 99 times out of 100, WaveCel can help prevent concussions from common cycling accidents.*

"We are cycling enthusiasts on a mission to help more people enjoy the benefits of biking and to do that with the most advanced protection possible,” said Tony White, lead engineer on the project. “WaveCel represents a significant leap forward for all types of riders, and we are proud that this technology is exclusively available in Bontrager helmets.”

Every model in the all-new Bontrager WaveCel helmet lineup received the highest marks in Virginia Tech's five-star ranking.

"For nearly a decade, we have been testing and rating helmets across industries to determine the products that will best reduce head injury risk," said Megan Bland, a doctoral student and graduate research assistant from Virginia Tech. "Helmets that receive higher ratings offer considerably more protection compared to other popular helmets on the market."

WaveCel is a major innovation in a category that has remained largely unchanged in 30 years, one that underscores Trek's commitment to making cycling safer for every rider.

“We're out to change the world by getting more people on bikes, and we're committed to making riding safer and more accessible for everyone,” said Trek President John Burke. “WaveCel is the most advanced helmet technology ever designed, and these helmets are a big step toward making riding a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone.”

Bontrager WaveCel helmets are initially being offered in four models:

XXX WaveCel Road Helmet ($299.99)
Blaze WaveCel MTB Helmet ($299.99)
Specter WaveCel Road Helmet ($149.99)
Charge WaveCel Commuter Helmet ($149.99)

WaveCel is available exclusively in Bontrager helmets sold online and through authorized Trek and Bontrager retailers. For more information, visit trekbikes.com/wavecel and follow Trek on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Read the Full Story of WaveCel

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3/19/2019 12:46 PM

sspomer wrote:

so the helmet guesses were right and my "is it a natural fiber for bike construction?" guess was definitely off. trek/bontrager laid out the new helmet technology today. the Blaze MTB lid is $299. the claims and possibilities are definitely intriguing, especially considering fit and lack of pressure points they discuss.






here's the full press release
Trek and Bontrager's new helmet technology disrupts safety standards

[Waterloo, WI] — Trek and Bontrager have unveiled a groundbreaking helmet technology called WaveCel, which is proven to be up to 48x more effective than standard EPS foam at preventing concussions from common cycling accidents.*

WaveCel is a collapsible cellular material that lines the inside of Bontrager WaveCel helmets. It was developed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steve Madey and biomechanical engineer Dr. Michael Bottlang, who have collaborated for the past 25 years and pioneered advances in fracture care, thoracic and pelvic trauma, and head injury prevention.

The creation of Bontrager WaveCel helmets is the result of a four-year partnership between Drs. Madey and Bottlang and Trek and Bontrager's Research & Design teams.

Unlike a standard foam helmet, which is designed to protect against direct impacts, WaveCel accounts for how most cycling accidents actually happen—ungracefully, with twists, turns, and angled impacts.

WaveCel absorbs energy in multiple ways. On impact, the layers of the WaveCel material move independently and flex until the cell walls crumple and then glide, actively absorbing direct and rotational energy and redirecting it away from your head.

This three-step change in material structure—flex, crumple, glide—is remarkably effective at dispersing the energy from an impact. Nearly 99 times out of 100, WaveCel can help prevent concussions from common cycling accidents.*

"We are cycling enthusiasts on a mission to help more people enjoy the benefits of biking and to do that with the most advanced protection possible,” said Tony White, lead engineer on the project. “WaveCel represents a significant leap forward for all types of riders, and we are proud that this technology is exclusively available in Bontrager helmets.”

Every model in the all-new Bontrager WaveCel helmet lineup received the highest marks in Virginia Tech's five-star ranking.

"For nearly a decade, we have been testing and rating helmets across industries to determine the products that will best reduce head injury risk," said Megan Bland, a doctoral student and graduate research assistant from Virginia Tech. "Helmets that receive higher ratings offer considerably more protection compared to other popular helmets on the market."

WaveCel is a major innovation in a category that has remained largely unchanged in 30 years, one that underscores Trek's commitment to making cycling safer for every rider.

“We're out to change the world by getting more people on bikes, and we're committed to making riding safer and more accessible for everyone,” said Trek President John Burke. “WaveCel is the most advanced helmet technology ever designed, and these helmets are a big step toward making riding a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone.”

Bontrager WaveCel helmets are initially being offered in four models:

XXX WaveCel Road Helmet ($299.99)
Blaze WaveCel MTB Helmet ($299.99)
Specter WaveCel Road Helmet ($149.99)
Charge WaveCel Commuter Helmet ($149.99)

WaveCel is available exclusively in Bontrager helmets sold online and through authorized Trek and Bontrager retailers. For more information, visit trekbikes.com/wavecel and follow Trek on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Read the Full Story of WaveCel

I came here to ask if they published any data backing up their claims, followed the link and -almost suprisingly - they have a synopsis of their study readily available. haven't read it yet, but i plan on digging into it. direct link for anyone else interested:

http://trek.scene7.com/is/content/TrekBicycleProducts/WaveCel_Whitepaper-Evaluation_of_a_novel_bicycle_helmet_concept_in_oblique%20_impact_testing.pdf

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3/19/2019 12:55 PM

jonkranked wrote:

I came here to ask if they published any data backing up their claims, followed the link and -almost suprisingly - they have a synopsis of their study readily available. haven't read it yet, but i plan on digging into it. direct link for anyone else interested:

http://trek.scene7.com/is/content/TrekBicycleProducts/WaveCel_Whitepaper-Evaluation_of_a_novel_bicycle_helmet_concept_in_oblique%20_impact_testing.pdf

they included that white paper w/ the PR too. thanks for the link to it

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3/19/2019 1:00 PM

sspomer wrote:

so the helmet guesses were right and my "is it a natural fiber for bike construction?" guess was definitely off. trek/bontrager laid out the new helmet technology today. the Blaze MTB lid is $299. the claims and possibilities are definitely intriguing, especially considering fit and lack of pressure points they discuss.






here's the full press release
Trek and Bontrager's new helmet technology disrupts safety standards

[Waterloo, WI] — Trek and Bontrager have unveiled a groundbreaking helmet technology called WaveCel, which is proven to be up to 48x more effective than standard EPS foam at preventing concussions from common cycling accidents.*

WaveCel is a collapsible cellular material that lines the inside of Bontrager WaveCel helmets. It was developed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steve Madey and biomechanical engineer Dr. Michael Bottlang, who have collaborated for the past 25 years and pioneered advances in fracture care, thoracic and pelvic trauma, and head injury prevention.

The creation of Bontrager WaveCel helmets is the result of a four-year partnership between Drs. Madey and Bottlang and Trek and Bontrager's Research & Design teams.

Unlike a standard foam helmet, which is designed to protect against direct impacts, WaveCel accounts for how most cycling accidents actually happen—ungracefully, with twists, turns, and angled impacts.

WaveCel absorbs energy in multiple ways. On impact, the layers of the WaveCel material move independently and flex until the cell walls crumple and then glide, actively absorbing direct and rotational energy and redirecting it away from your head.

This three-step change in material structure—flex, crumple, glide—is remarkably effective at dispersing the energy from an impact. Nearly 99 times out of 100, WaveCel can help prevent concussions from common cycling accidents.*

"We are cycling enthusiasts on a mission to help more people enjoy the benefits of biking and to do that with the most advanced protection possible,” said Tony White, lead engineer on the project. “WaveCel represents a significant leap forward for all types of riders, and we are proud that this technology is exclusively available in Bontrager helmets.”

Every model in the all-new Bontrager WaveCel helmet lineup received the highest marks in Virginia Tech's five-star ranking.

"For nearly a decade, we have been testing and rating helmets across industries to determine the products that will best reduce head injury risk," said Megan Bland, a doctoral student and graduate research assistant from Virginia Tech. "Helmets that receive higher ratings offer considerably more protection compared to other popular helmets on the market."

WaveCel is a major innovation in a category that has remained largely unchanged in 30 years, one that underscores Trek's commitment to making cycling safer for every rider.

“We're out to change the world by getting more people on bikes, and we're committed to making riding safer and more accessible for everyone,” said Trek President John Burke. “WaveCel is the most advanced helmet technology ever designed, and these helmets are a big step toward making riding a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone.”

Bontrager WaveCel helmets are initially being offered in four models:

XXX WaveCel Road Helmet ($299.99)
Blaze WaveCel MTB Helmet ($299.99)
Specter WaveCel Road Helmet ($149.99)
Charge WaveCel Commuter Helmet ($149.99)

WaveCel is available exclusively in Bontrager helmets sold online and through authorized Trek and Bontrager retailers. For more information, visit trekbikes.com/wavecel and follow Trek on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Read the Full Story of WaveCel

jonkranked wrote:

I came here to ask if they published any data backing up their claims, followed the link and -almost suprisingly - they have a synopsis of their study readily available. haven't read it yet, but i plan on digging into it. direct link for anyone else interested:

http://trek.scene7.com/is/content/TrekBicycleProducts/WaveCel_Whitepaper-Evaluation_of_a_novel_bicycle_helmet_concept_in_oblique%20_impact_testing.pdf

sspomer wrote:

they included that white paper w/ the PR too. thanks for the link to it

yea, that's where i found it. i'm glad to see more companies are stepping up and developing safety tech to help mitigate the risk of concussions. also nice to see them publishing (at least some of) the data behind their claims.

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3/19/2019 10:18 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2019 10:24 PM

But is it replaceable? By the video it looks like it's near the last thing to go in. Is it $300 per crash? Factory helmet rebuilds so you can keep "Old Trusty That Keeps Failing Me." alive? Just slip in another liner before the ride or race tomorrow?

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3/20/2019 8:09 AM

Big Bird wrote:

But is it replaceable? By the video it looks like it's near the last thing to go in. Is it $300 per crash? Factory helmet rebuilds so you can keep "Old Trusty That Keeps Failing Me." alive? Just slip in another liner before the ride or race tomorrow?

i didn't see anything regarding whether or not it could withstand multiple impacts. i think that's another area where there's room for substantial improvement because not every rider is going to replace a helmet after a single impact. I'm guilty of this myself. but my wife is still recovering from a concussion from a car accident that happened a year ago; while not a direct comparison IMO the prices of high end helmets are worth it when compared to the costs (financial / time) for recovering from this kind of neurological injury. Plus, this is brand new tech. The prices will eventually drop as the manufacturing processes improve, the sales volume improves (from being introduced on more helmets). Same thing happened with MIPS.

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