Don’t cut corners on your next lid. MIPS is mandatory and, while there are lots of wallet-busting helmet options on the market, Bontrager wants to change that by offering the complete package with their new $149 Circuit MIPS.
2018 Circuit MIPS Helmet Features:
- Integrated MIPS liner for rotational impacts
- Blendr front and rear magnetic mounts for cameras or lights
- In-mold composite skeleton
- LockDown helmet strap dividers
- BOA ratcheting retention system
- Weight: 305 grams (Medium, actual)
- MSRP: $149.99
Visibility, lightweight and MIPS
While many house-brand products are just now starting to catch up to name brands, Bontrager has been leading that charge for many years. In all honesty, Bontrager’s products do stand toe-to-toe with any big-name brand on the market. Their wheels, shoes, helmets and lights are consistently superb and the latest version of the Circuit MIPS is another great example to add to the list.
With Bontrager’s focus on rider safety (#BeSeen), the Visibility Yellow color is one I’d recommend. Forget being all matchy-matchy, we need the most visibility possible. Taking that mantra to the next level, the new Circuit MIPS now includes magnet mounts for both forward and rearward-facing light attachments. And, without hesitation, Bontrager’s Flare series of lights is the best on the market. The magnetic Blendr attachments work great and stay secure — even on rough gravel rides.
With 15 large vents, the Circuit MIPS breathes well, but there are more airy helmets out there. I shave my head, so I depend 100% on the padding taking the brunt of my sweat. That said, it does a decent job, but, like most helmets, it still drips sweat onto the back of your glasses. Someone needs to nail that — will Bontrager accept that challenge?
MIPS is mandatory, in my opinion and this latest flavor rotates as freely as any I’ve tried recently. The entire cage sits against the interior of the helmet, yet rotates very easily. Luckily, I haven’t had a first-hand MIPS test with this one, but I have in the past. Trust me, your brain is worth it.
Now for some nit-picking. The leading straps don’t sit flat against my cheek bones. I’ve tried and tried, yet they still roll outwards, no matter how much I adjust them. Looking at photos of others wearing the Circuit MIPS, that seems to be common. I’ll also add that it’s easy to get the helmet cockeyed as well. I always find myself looking at myself in the window after putting it on to make sure it’s on straight.
The front-facing magnet mount is great for a GoPro (if you’re into that) or any of the many Bontrager Ion lights. I’ve been running the Ion 350 RT for morning gravel rides and it has enough rotational clearance to see out front. Longer light bodies may not shine forward enough — depending on how aggressive your riding position is.
- MIPS baby — yes, it’s mandatory
- Excellent visibility
- Large vents deliver airflow
- BOA dial is money
- Blendr mounts aid in lights or camera attachments
- Leading straps rotate outwards on my face
- Has a tendency to sit cockeyed
The Bottom Line: Bontrager Circuit MIPS
It’s got MIPS (check). It’s still affordable (check). Looks good and is available in bright visibility yellow color (check and check). Add the magnet mounts for added versatility and the new Circuit MIPS is a winner.
Buy Now: Available at TrekBikes.com (or your local Trek dealer)