- Excellent build quality
- Comfortable shape and pads
- Makes WaveCel tech more affordable
- WaveCel stops most airflow
- Pretty heavy
- Thick rim can interfere with glasses
The Rally WaveCel from Bontrager shares the looks of the brand's flagship Blaze helmet. Although it does away with some of the cool techy bits of its pricier sibling, the Rally brings WaveCel at a wallet-friendly price. It's comfortable and the shape looks rather nice, however it's weighty and fairly warm.
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With the fancy WaveCel tech, the Rally gets a Boa fit system, adjustable visor, lockdown strap dividers, and moisture-wicking pads. Rather than the Fidlock found on the Blaze, it gets a traditional clip closure.
You may have seen WaveCel introduced with Bontrager's Blaze helmet (see our review here). While offering a similar form of protection to MIPS, it’s more akin to Smith's Koroyd tech, as it uses a cellular structure rather than a cradle and pivots.
WaveCel is designed to use three stages. First, the material flexes, to reduce initial frictional forces; it then crumples and finally glides to redirect energy around your head.
One thing that’s clear with the Rally is that it’s built very, very nicely. It’s a solid helmet with its plastic outer bending around the rim of the lid, which protects the foam there from damage. However, its planted feel makes it a heavy little number, weighing in at 400g in a medium.
Fortunately, the helmet does a reasonable job at hiding its weight, and it's comfortable thanks to the pads inside. The Boa fit system helps too, allowing the user to micro-adjust the helmet to their head.
That’s where the positives seem to fade away. There’s no getting away from it – this is a very warm hat. Even with those sizeable vents, the super safe WaveCel material stops a great deal of airflow in its tracks. Because of this, slow and warm climbs get that bit sweatier.
Something that may not affect everyone but certainly bothered me is that the rather chunky brow sits quite low. If you’re a fan of big sunglasses, the helmet perches on top of them, putting pressure on your nose. If you ride with smaller glasses, or better yet, none at all, you’ll be absolutely fine here.
If you’re prepared to sacrifice weight and cooling for what could be an incredibly safe helmet (fortunately I haven’t had a chance to test WaveCel in a tumble) the Bontrager Rally WaveCel isn’t a bad choice. It’s comfortable, well priced and I personally think its shape looks pretty sharp. If you wear glasses or run hot, however, it's probably best avoided.