Trek is Being Sued for $5 Million Over Wavecel Safety Claims

Jan 9, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

A New York man is suing Trek Bicycles for $5 million dollars over safety claims about Bontrager helmets that he believes are misleading, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports.

Wavecel is Bontrager's proprietary rotational protection system that is applied to some of its helmets. Rather than using a slip plane, like Mips, it uses a collapsible cellular material that's designed to flex, crumple, and glide to absorb the force of an impact. This did not replace the EPS foam that is used in most helmets but the amount of foam that's used is greatly reduced.

WaveCel was developed over the course of four years by Dr. Steve Madey, an orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Michael Bottlang, a biomedical engineer. The technology was released with a peer-reviewed study that seemed to corroborate Trek's claims of increased protection, including that Wavecel was up to 48 times more effective than EPS foam at preventing concussions.


Andrew Glancey of Staatsburg, New York, is the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The suit claims that Trek's marketing was "false, deceptive and misleading". It questions the reliability of the study, claiming that its authors had a financial interest in its success and that they used a traditional helmet modified to include the WaveCel component instead of a Bontrager helmet. The suit also claims that Trek's marketing allowed it to sell more helmets at higher prices than it would have otherwise done, meaning higher profits at the expense of its customers.

In a statement shared with Cycling Tips, Trek said, "Trek believes in and stands behind our Bontrager Wavecel helmets. This lawsuit is without merit and we will vigorously defend against it. The plaintiff has not made an allegation of physical injury. Trek will continue to responsibly promote and improve this innovation in helmet technology.”

Wavecel equipped helmets shot to the top of the independent helmet rankings provided by Virginia Tech upon the release of the technology. However, subsequent revisions of the rankings have seen Mips-equipped helmets rise to the top once more. Trek's claims have also been questioned by other brands in the past including Mips and Koroyd.

Glancey is being represented by Sheehan & Associates of Great Neck, New York, which bills itself as a top consumer class-action specialist in areas including false or misleading advertising, B.R.A.I.N reports.


224 Comments

  • 1784 7
 Looks like a court session
  • 61 12
 I applaud this sir.
  • 16 42
flag ridestuff (Jan 9, 2021 at 9:10) (Below Threshold)
 Under-rated
  • 7 10
 Well played sir !
  • 165 3
 @Trls63: Could slash Trek's profits substantially.
  • 133 8
 While I tend to rail against frivolous law suits I think a super caliber case such as this one will likely find a remedy quickly.
  • 126 4
 Please don’t add Fuel to the fire
  • 66 6
 What could remedy this situation?
  • 27 64
flag Xlr8n (Jan 9, 2021 at 10:56) (Below Threshold)
 @doublej-cville: This thread should be Epic.
  • 46 9
 @nyhc00: One possible remedy is that Trek could slash their Wavecel helmet prices.
  • 3 73
flag jmtbf (Jan 9, 2021 at 11:01) (Below Threshold)
 Or a Trek session
  • 31 4
 I would love to help but It’s beyond my caliber
  • 32 6
 Regaining the trust of their customers will be quite an uphill Trek.
  • 1 27
flag curendero (Jan 9, 2021 at 11:19) (Below Threshold)
 @spendtimebehindbars: Doubtful...
  • 4 33
flag rivercitycycles Plus (Jan 9, 2021 at 11:42) (Below Threshold)
 @spendtimebehindbars: No the additional cost will be past onto the consumer!
  • 28 2
 Mips is the master of this Domane
  • 28 3
 The lead engineer must be a madone!
  • 3 13
flag Ooofff (Jan 9, 2021 at 15:07) (Below Threshold)
 @rivercitycycles: if I see anything bad about a helmet safety wise I’m not going to wear it simple as that it’s your head. Theres so many other good options that I’m not going to go trying out different helmets that a niche and especially ones that have been sued.
  • 15 1
 This is a top comment of 2021
  • 3 0
 @rivercitycycles: As long as it's not in the future, I'm OK with it.
  • 7 1
 Sounds like a crockett full of emonda boone
  • 6 0
 this is really making WAVES.
  • 12 0
 Isolated case or Team Issue?
  • 6 19
flag curendero (Jan 9, 2021 at 18:07) (Below Threshold)
 @doublej-cville: What would Trump do in this situation?
  • 2 1
 Top notch comment
  • 7 8
 The plaintiff must be really Ticket off at them.
  • 8 1
 This has gone off the Rail
  • 15 0
 Trek is going to have to get Re:Activ by doing a Project One overhaul and Slash 99% of the helmet line to Remedy the situation.
  • 13 0
 Straight to the comments. They did not disappoint.
  • 2 8
flag mallows-transcovert (Jan 10, 2021 at 2:59) (Below Threshold)
 All rise, court is in session
  • 2 3
 This is going to be topping the list of most-liked comments of the year, if not decade.
  • 3 1
 I keep checking back to see now many upvotes this gets.
  • 6 1
 Comment of the year after 10 days. Could it be done.
  • 5 1
 The 2021 Comment of the Year contest is officially closed. Congrats Upduro!
  • 2 0
 They might have to slash their helmet prices
  • 400 27
 Plaintiff personal injury lawyers are the scum of the earth. This is why helmet performance hasn’t changed much. People just can’t accept responsibility that they could hurt themselves even wearing the best protective equipment available. But it sounds like this plaintiff didn’t even suffer injury, he’s just an opportunistic POS. The US legal system encourages suits like this as the plaintiff lawyer just has to make Trek feel that there is some risk with proceeding to trial and they’ll settle and the ambulance-chasing PI lawyer will get his 40% to spend on fancy clothes, cars, and cocaine.

Makes me sick.
  • 162 5
 “ "false, deceptive and misleading". It questions the reliability of the study, claiming that its authors had a financial interest in its success”

Ah, but $5,000,000 totally doesn’t constitute a financial interest to also be false, deceptive and misleading? Got it.
  • 25 1
 @tsn73: Yep. Looks like somebody has deep pockets, and wants them filled.
  • 93 9
 The problem is the US doesn't regulate safety well, and then also doesnt take care of people who are hurt by dangerous products. Plaintiffs lawyers provide a (what at times seems crude) form of safety regulation by seeking to hold companies finanically responsible for the risks they create.

Also, in a class action, the amount of fees an attorney gets is decided by a judge who also reviews the settlement for fairness. The judges will often reject or request changes to the settlement if they think the class got a bad deal, and any class member can object to the amount of fees or just opt out.

Not a perfect system, but it's all we have in America protecting us from oceans of snake oil.

**Also, the reason the amount of damages sought is $5 million is because that is the minimum threshold to qualify for jurisdiction under the class action fairness act, which allows you to file in federal court instead of state court.
  • 7 5
 As an insurance defense attorney, where have you been all my life?
  • 1 0
 Sounds like if the lawsuit goes ahead that it will become a class action suit, not a win for the plaintiff.
  • 20 1
 Ambulance chasers.
  • 14 2
 @friendlyfoe: Certainly a win for the lawyers though; 40% off the top for them.

@mtb-sf: I agree and have argued the same point to people that lawsuits are a form of checks and balances to keep people honest. That said, in this case I fail to see how this lawsuit is about safety or will protect anyone, nor does this lawsuit seem to claim as much. I do not believe anyone who bought this helmet will act in a way different to how they would with a standard helmet, and although you can claim that the percentage safety gains this helmet provides are arbitrary, I doubt they are less safe than a standard helmet. In other words, I do believe anyone who bought or would buy this helmet would suffer an injury that they would not have otherwise suffered with any other helmet.

So really what you end up with these allegations is strictly a financial issue, not a safety one.
  • 5 0
 @ninjatarian: probably closer to 25% and has to be approved by a judge since it's a class action. 40% is possible on an individual personal injury case, but still on the high side.

@friendlyfoe: lead plaintiff still likely to get an enhancement over the regular class members, but the judge has to approve it. Maybe $5k-$20k or so depending on the case and how much work they can convince the court they did.
  • 1 0
 Concussions will as well....
  • 30 0
 PI attorneys serve an important role for real victims, but firms that do this type of hunting for money are deplorable. The representative plaintiffs usually end up with little money from the action ($25,000) while the firm makes a fortune. I am an attorney and also on the Board of Directors for the local Bar association and can tell you the 90+% of attorneys find these types of lawsuits repugnant.
  • 12 1
 @RayDolor: the plaintiff PI lawyer sees Trek with the deep pockets and wants some $$$ for producing nothing nor contributing to society in any way. Suits like these deter the advance of safety products; especially by smaller companies.

You’d be surprised how much of the markup on a helmet is earmarked for future legal costs. Yay lawyers. I know we need them in some situations but they have too much free reign in my opinion and this suit is a clear example.
  • 2 4
 @mtb-sf: spoken like a lawyer
  • 4 1
 @mtb-sf:

You sound knowledgeable, so what damage is the plaintiff seeking remedy for?

If none, what standing does he have?
  • 3 0
 @RayDolor: As if corporations (i.e. Trek) did not have deep pockets...
  • 6 0
 @hllclmbr: The suit is claiming that Trek charged a premium for helmets based on marketing that claimed the helmets had a higher degree of safety than they really did. Or to say it in more general terms, that consumers were persuaded into buying a product based on fraudulent advertising.

What I'm not sure about is who the burden of proof would fall on here? Typically I would assume it is the plaintiff but in this case I'm not sure if Trek would be required to prove that its claims were backed up by data. Also interesting because there has never been anything resembling a consensus as to how to accurately test helmets based on real world factors.

I'm thinking that either
A) it's an ambulance chaser trying to pressure trek into an out of court settlement
B) the person filing the suit is somehow connected to an industry insider and is just trying to make trek look bad. You could get in pretty big trouble for that though.
  • 2 0
 It is a same people sue or go to court just for money and could care less about justice or what is the moral right thing to do
  • 3 8
flag RayDolor (Jan 9, 2021 at 17:53) (Below Threshold)
 @tsn73: Oh yes, I know, and I'm not surprised. I've never liked either Drek or Special Ed because of their corporate ruthlessness. Especially towards the LBS.
Like Shakespeare said.....
  • 3 0
 @Counsel: username checks out
  • 1 0
 @mtb-sf: thanks for that dose of reality!
  • 2 3
 cocaine makes me sick. uh, that's what the cocaine is for! it turns all your bad feelings into good feelings!
  • 3 0
 As an Italian attorney who doesn't know shit about US legal system, I think that the plaintiff should have some serious ace up his sleeve, otherwise he would get kicked very badly in his a$$?
  • 1 1
 People like should not ride bikes , I worked in the Bike Ind .for 15 years i wont say the Brand i looked after they were amazing , i had a customer (STORE) DEMANDING i give the end user Free Frame as he was going to sue because of noise -long story short he got his Free Frame -and i saw him on the trails with his old bike ( turned into Demo taking some people out and he made comment to the person riding the Demo and they turned around told him it's perfect what wrong with you !!
  • 3 7
flag drivereight (Jan 11, 2021 at 12:40) (Below Threshold)
 $181million revenue in 2020....This is for consumer protection, $5M is just loose change for Trek. Don't come crying when you crack your skull from their marketing hype!
  • 1 0
 @Tasso75: You would think so, but who knows as so many stupid lawsuits in the USA. Curious what do lawyers ride?
  • 2 0
 @drivereight: You know that revenue isn't the same thing as income right?
  • 3 1
 @RowdyAirTime: Well I represent working people in wage disputes so I just have an alloy 2018 Transition Patrol.

I suspect my opposing counsel who represent corporations ride Moots
  • 1 0
 @RowdyAirTime: It all depends. Large firm attorneys make a fortune, defense attorneys generally make a decent living. Solo practitioners make from next to nothing to a lot. What bikes they ride is like anyone, a function of available money and a willingness to part with it. I have a buddy that makes seven figures, rides a pretty good amount, and has a 10 year old hardtail bought used for $500. I make way, way, way less than him and have much nicer bikes, but not nearly as nice of a house or cars.
  • 1 0
 @carym: ha, ha, just checking. True, you never know what someone rides by just their job title. I am not a Dentist but have 3 carbon bikes, a Factory Five AC Cobra and a HPA MKIV R32, but never put any money into my house. Depends what you like the most...
  • 2 3
 Trek is being sued for their marketing. I’m fine with that. This is the same company that told us their ABS breaking was 100% separated from breaking forces and never lost traction. Accept it never performed as well as the original, which was Dave Weagles’ Split Pivot.
  • 129 11
 I worked with Dr. Bottlang at the legacy biomechanics lab in portland oregon while they were testing this product. I was working on the development of a surgical device at the time, not working directly on collecting data for Wavecel but I saw the experimental process first hand. I wore the first working prototype of the helmet to commute to work and loved it. These are professionals who have respect for scientific accuracy. They in no way fabricated anything about their study. I wholeheartedly know for a fact that the study what legitimate and Wavecel is more effective in reducing the chance of concussion than MIPS and regular helmets alike. This lawsuit is baseless. Pisses me off that someone would file this as a money grab. The purpose of helmets it to protect and Wavecel is easily one of the best solutions.
  • 25 8
 Legitimate discussion. It is my understanding that medical science doesn’t completely understand the nuances of concussions. They obviously know the general scenarios that give rise. They probably have some threshold level where they can say that any deceleration of the head/brain above this level will lead to a concussion in the majority of the population. But, there are cases and scenarios where a lower level event might cause a concussion in someone like myself who has a history of them, but not in somebody else. The fact that it is not possible to definitely state that every event A will cause a concussion, but event B will not across all individuals means it is not possible to state that wave cell will decrease the chance of a concussion by 48x. This statement (the value may have been slightly different) was made in the original press release, and I think this is the source of the problem Trek faces. If they had come out and said that our wave cell helmet lowered deceleration values experienced by the ‘head’ in our experimental set-up by 25% as measured via xyz data collection system, they would be gravy.

I would give the benefit of the doubt that the investigators you know did their due diligence, but Trek did not in their product roll-out.
  • 14 40
flag mick06 (Jan 9, 2021 at 13:19) (Below Threshold)
 @dungeonbeast: Don't wear a helmet then. That way you don't have to worry about the lack of 5000 pages of terms and conditions to read prior to a helmet purchase to satisfy your desire for 100% clarity from marketing. Problem solved.
  • 7 3
 @dungeonbeast: It's customary to just say "up to" 48x.

Is it going to make you 48 times less likely to suffer a concussion if you jump out of a 20 story building? No.
  • 6 2
 @timeOday: Exactly. And that is what the claim was; "up to 48x times less likely". Meaning there was at least one test scenario in which that was the case, as published in the study.
  • 12 4
 @Dedward2: but you can't say that in regard to a concussion because you cant say definitively that a you would have caused one with helmet A but not with helmet B in any laboratory setting. That is the root cause of all this. You cannot put any number on it because you cant actually quantify it.
  • 19 1
 @mick06: I think your frustration maybe a little misplaced. I'm not defending the lawsuit, I'm simply trying to having a discussion on the statements Trek made that may have open themselves up to somebody filing one.

It would also be nice if marketing departments actually made valid claims. The claim they made cannot ever be verified because a concussion causing event if fluid and non-quantifiable by nature. I'm glad they are trying to make safer helmets, but they should be equally responsible when selling them to people who may not have the knowledge or time to spend determining if the claims are warranted.

I don't think your hyperbole is warranted.
  • 3 2
 @timeOday: But they cannot say its 48x in even one scenario simply because a concussion causing event is entirely dependent on each individuals head and underlying factors we don't fully understand at this point. It is by nature unquantifiable and thus a number can't be attached.
  • 4 2
 @websternaw you shouldn't post anything on here. You're essentially part of the case and anything you type might be used in the case.

I'm not an attorney, but I know I'd not want weeks of my life spent sitting in a court room on the off chance they need to call me to the stand.
  • 4 1
 @dungeonbeast: based on the previous comments, if they said "up to 48x less likely" the "up to" is what covers their ass. Just like when a store advertises an "up to 70% off sale" and everything is 5% off except one thing that's 70%. They would just need to prove that in one testing scenario it reduced the concussions by that amount.
  • 8 17
flag DH-Angel (Jan 9, 2021 at 16:15) (Below Threshold)
 Being a lawyer is a very dishonest profession.
  • 3 18
flag mick06 (Jan 9, 2021 at 16:50) (Below Threshold)
 @dungeonbeast: You're absolutely right, every company should have to write every single possible scenario and variance that could possibly occur at the end of their ad rather than people just gaining some common sense and ability to think.....

I think I found a solution: Completely plain no frills advertising. "The Trek Helmet" written on the screen in plain text. No image of the helmet will be posted because god forbid the green shown on the persons computer screen does not perfectly match the green on the helmet in real life.

This shit is why beer ads are so boring these days.
  • 11 0
 @mick06: you’re still missing my point, and maybe I’m not articulating it well.

They should not be able to make the statement ‘decreases concussions by up to 48x’ because that cannot be quantified or proven in any way. Because of this it is patently false.

I realize that multitudes of companies across almost all markets make similar claims. The difference to me is that if a beer company says our ‘lawsuit lager’ tastes 48x more hoppy than the competition, the consequences of misrepresentation means somebody gets a poor tasting beer. Trek on the other hand is making claims about someone safety, health and possibly life in extreme cases. It has real consequences.
  • 4 0
 @friendlyfoe: I agree to an extent. But they also cannot prove the 48x in even one scenario by the nature of concussions. That to me is where the problem arises.

Again, if they would just say ‘minimizes the deceleration that plays a role in concussions by 48x’ they would be wholly within reason.
  • 1 16
flag mick06 (Jan 9, 2021 at 17:12) (Below Threshold)
 @dungeonbeast: How are you quantifying the poor tasting beer? Slanderous claim. PBR should sue your arse.

I'm guessing you'll be putting your name down for the trek class action? Get some of that free money!
  • 5 0
 @dungeonbeast: I agree it's a stupid way for them to word their claim but I'm not sure the burden of proof is quite that high for advertising. If they can connect their study to medical literature I would guess they're within the margins.
  • 2 0
 @timeOday: you are using your helmet in a strange way!
  • 2 0
 @dungeonbeast: It's accurate to say that medical science doesn't completely understand concussions, because like everything else about humans, no two humans brains will react the same to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). And with every experiment there is a degree of uncertainty (which they stated in the paper's discussion). In the case of the helmets they used an average male head size and a rotational headform acceleration to compare the wavecel to MIPS and a control helmet. They do have a quantifiable criterion to measure kinematics for rotational accelerations to predict concussion probability for this "average male" head.

I don't think that Trek face any real trouble in this scenario unless there is another published experiment that used the same exact procedure and found a lower value for concussion probability.

I do think that the investigators will pull phrases out of context but in the research paper they have their bases covered with stating that concussions are variable person to person.
  • 64 4
 So all those Schwinn helmets near the bottom of the Virginia Tech safety rankings are fine, but the Trek helmets at the top are the actual secret problem that science doesn't know about.Ok, guy.
httpss://helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicycle-helmet-ratings.html
Time to put down the buffalo hat and put on a shirt, it's winter.
  • 45 4
 None of those helmets claim to be (up to) 48 times better than the competition though, that's a hell of a claim to make if you aren't absolutely certain you can prove it beyond doubt. Doubly so in litigation happy America.
  • 14 2
 @Fix-the-Spade: So true. But as we've seen lately courts here do on rare occasion do the right thing and throw out frivolous cases.
  • 8 14
flag Starsky686 (Jan 9, 2021 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 @DirkMcClerkin: considering you tried to conflate low end helmet performance to a deceptive marketing claims suit. I’m not sure if you’re the best judge of what lawsuits are frivolous or not.
  • 5 0
 @DirkMcClerkin: We'll certainly see, although it wouldn't surprise me if Trek make a private settlement and change the wording about Wavecel either.
  • 6 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: I don't see them saying they're 48x better than the competition, they're saying they are better than EPS foam. Staying 48x better than MIPS would be saying they were better than the competition. EPS foam alone is not even in the same ballgame as MIPS or wavecell.
  • 4 4
 @TheBrosCloset: you do know that EPS foam doesn't compete with MIPS, but complements it, right? One is for impact protection, the other for rotational energy. A piece of plastic sheet doesn't do much against impacts. And EPS foam is still used as part of motorcycle and car racing helmets (together with different density foams). It matters which aspect of protection you're comparing.
  • 44 0
 I suffered a concussion caused by the whiplash my head went through when I first saw the price of these.
  • 6 1
 You whipped your head back and forth
  • 1 0
 you pounded the wrong head
  • 42 1
 If someone sued every time a bike company used 'false, deceptive and misleading marketing you'd never be able to buy a bike again because they'd all be constantly in court.
Any sufficiently advanced marketing is indistinguishable from b@llsh1t.
  • 11 0
 Carl Sagan himself would be proud of that statement. Beer
  • 7 0
 or maybe they'd stop using false and deceptive marketing...
  • 7 1
 @dthomp325: Not as long as you chumps keep lapping it up.
  • 19 2
 What bothers me is who conducted the study... orthopedic surgeons may be considered specialists in dealing with skeletal injuries... but its neurosurgeons who are the ones you want to consult when it comes to concussions and traumatic brain injuries...and the absence of such a doctor from the study is troubling to me.
  • 16 1
 It's not the rider it's the lawer working with insurance . Not about helping people or saving people. That's what the helmet is for. You choose a sport that is about taking risk. Take some responsibility. Unfortunately this story is quite obscure on detail.
A man in New York is suing Treck because the helmets safety claims are misleading? I'm certain I don't own the only helmet with a sticker inside stating that the helmet prevents injury but will not be effective in every situation.
Lawer: who do we get big buck$ from. Treck is huge they have $ .
  • 17 2
 I've heard Spesh has some pretty good lawyers. Might want to give them a call.
  • 2 0
 Better call Stan.
  • 17 2
 I am glad there a no BS lawsuits like this where I live
  • 2 2
 It's hard to care about minor drains on societies resources when the richest man in the world is spending most of the money he's accumulated trying to go to mars.
  • 1 1
 @friendlyfoe: I'd rather he went to mars than supporting coups....again.
  • 9 0
 As someone who formerly worked in the helmet industry. It is really straight forward. Everything about helmets is government regulated. When you make claims past that you take on a massive amount of responsibility to justify the test method and the reasoning. These test standards are established by a mountain of highly educated people. Just remember. To sell an unsafe helmet is illegal. Every 10$ helmet at Walmart passed the same requirements as the most expensive options. Frankly, the helmet industry pushes the limits on safety claims all the time and many of them deserve to get called out.
  • 4 0
 That sounds kind of backwards. The US CPSC standard for standard bike helmets has not changed since 1999. So obviously there is no "mountain of highly educated people" working on standards, which is why there hasn't been an objective standard developed for concussion prevention/rotational energy reduction. Helmet manufacturers are trying to make better helmets than the $10 Wal-Mart helmet, but because they can't say "we exceed the Mountain bike concussion reduction standard" because it doesn't exist they're left trying to make claims that get them in trouble.
  • 13 7
 What a loser, such a failure in life his only way to get ahead is to make up some crap and take advantage of a company who actually try to help others. The lawyer is probably the kind of person to defend a pedophile or rapist to try to keep them out of jail..
  • 8 2
 I'm sure it's 48 times more effective than the foam bucket I wore on my head 20 years ago. I would rather see that 5 mil go towards R&D and the next advancement in safety. The latest and greatest will be junk in 5 years anyway. Glancey, Sheehan & their associates are the only people that benefit form this.
  • 8 0
 Wait. They did not use the Trek helmet, but added the WaveCel to another helmet themselves? Umm...
  • 6 0
 According to the lawsuit, the lab in Portland didn’t actually test a Trek helmet but a Scott ARX with wavecell inserts. If true, it would be like Chevy using a modified Volvo for the crash test and then claiming how safe their car is.
  • 3 0
 @Baciatutti: It is strange that they didn't use a Bontrager helmet.. but they also used that same Scott ARX helmet for the other tests to act as their controlled variable to test the wavecel technology, MIPS, and EPS foam.

It seems to be getting mixed up a lot but their Wavecel technology is similar to MIPS where it can be inserted/repaced in helmets rather than it being the entire helmet. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @shawn1140: search on justia 20140013492#claims Here are some answers
  • 5 0
 The potential consequences of Trek's loss are huge. What if the next mountain biking whatever turns out to be NOT 2% stiffer and NOT inspire confidence while going down hill?! I also look forward to diff testing with actual goats in terms of climbing.
  • 5 0
 Trek knew the risks of the claims they were making, their lawyers would have told them this was very likely. Its why helmet companies that actually make safer helmets don't make these claims, they know the liability involved. Trek moves like a bull in a china shop,
  • 6 1
 I wonder if maybe all us old guys who bought a Corvette in the late 70’s can start a class action against GM. I mean the subliminal message I got was that I was gonna get all the babes when I got a ‘vette. All I got was dudes with mullets.
  • 10 1
 Better call Lau!
  • 7 2
 Better call Saul
  • 3 0
 LOL
  • 1 0
 Chrondor's comment gold... Laugh/crying.
  • 3 0
 ‘It’s the helmet, Lau...It’s breaking bad’
  • 7 0
 I'm sure MIPS is somehow connected to this bogus law suite, as part of their world domination master plan...
  • 5 0
 Didn't they release a statement conflicting wavecell's claims shortly after the tech was released? Haven't they also tried to sue another brand for copyright infringement... you could be closer to the truth than you know
  • 2 0
 @ctd07: I think they've released the statement the same day or day after which was ridiculous. Wouldn't be suprised that they want to rattle their competitor through a willing proxy.
  • 5 0
 I'll be watching this with highest attention as I'm very curious will it be a real case where truth is vs top marketing bullshit from one of the biggest bike manufacturers or is it law suit scam.
  • 4 0
 I’m just a measly AP Biology Teacher with my degree in microbiology here. Not some executive at Trek. But how do these people that make 10x the money I do not say at a meeting “you guys sure you want to use that language 48X less likely to get a concussion? Of course it sounds fantastic and I get it - but we are in the bicycle business and this is a safety device meaning we should tread very lightly and only use language like ‘new technology’ ‘greatly reduces the negative acceleration during impact’ ‘reduces negative acceleration in rotational impacts - actual quantifiable evidence that the research protocols collected.”

That being said - the reason these lawsuits actually occur is there is a good likelihood that the company knowingly advertised claims they cannot possibly prove to sell more helmets at a larger profit margin. Should they be financially liable if so - I believe the answer is yes. How else are we as a pool of citizens supposed to hold corporate power accountable for the way they market to us. They need fear of liability.
  • 5 2
 Maybe I don’t understand but the lawsuit cites that the authors of the study had financial interest. Of course they did they are the ones investing the time and research for the product right? The article goes on to say that their studies were peer reviewed which is how science works. Those peer reviews backed up the authors claims before going to market.
  • 20 0
 This is a common, mistaken assumption about peer review. Peer reviewers don't replicate the authors' experiments, and they don't even necessarily re-run the authors' data analyses that support the article's primary findings. They are looking at the plausibility of the study. They are checking for obvious errors. Passing peer review only means that no obvious problems were detected, no obvious other factors that really should be considered in a wider/richer experimental design were excluded in favor of only testing the authors' favored hypothesis. Peer reviewers do not back up claims. Cheers!
  • 4 0
 Although there are cases where reviewers or editors of journals reject submissions because of the authors conflict of interest and/or financial motive. In that sense, peer review can act as a filter against overly biased articles.
  • 1 0
 And of course I should have said that since the folks tapped to referee papers are themselves often killing it in the same field as the authors of a given work, what's obvious or even not so obvious to them all working together covers a lot of ground. I never meant to take a dismissive tone
  • 6 0
 Remember when Red Bull had to settle a lawsuit because it really doesn't give you wings?
  • 6 3
 Id just like to say: I was on a local ride today and had a huge crash, headfirst into a rock. I was wearing a bontrager XXX Wavecell helmet. Because of that helmet (and the technology in it) i walked away from my crash with a destroyed helmet, but perfectly healthy and unharmed. Not even a concussion as far as i can tell. I can honestly say that helmet probably saved my life today. A big thank you to Trek/Bontrager and the damn good helmets you make. My day could have been a lot worse without my wavecell helmet.
  • 1 0
 Mine had so many dents in it before I finally decide to trash it. Didn’t feel one.
  • 10 0
 Yes, but to prove that the Wavecell did anything, we're gonna need you to have the exact same crash again wearing a plain EPS helmet. And doing it again with a MIPS helmet would be good too. For science!
  • 10 0
 @barp: you’ll also need a baseline without helmet.
  • 1 0
 @mitochris: Silly me! Of course. The experimental control group.
  • 3 0
 The money claimed is ridiculous and the USA's tendency to over-litigate is ridiculous. At the same time, it is right to hold companies making potentially false claims to account. People are attacking the litigant, why not attack companies that falsely advertise too?
  • 3 0
 I could see the symbolic question of the oriented study but the 5 millions are pure evil legal system! So lawyer defends nobody, they just want the big cash, thus is the real misleading and deceptive case!
  • 8 4
 Court is now is Session. The judge will seek to find a Remedy for the situation and encourages the defendant not to Fuel the plantiff's anger.
  • 2 0
 I used the mentioned peer-reviewed article for a project last term in school. It explicitly says in the abstract of the paper that two of the researchers involved in the experiment were developers and had a financial interest in the product. It is very common to expose any potential bias in a peer-reviewed article so they know that the results should be taken with a few grains of salt. Also, this was written prior to Trek/Bontrager purchasing the WaveCel technology. They were fully transparent in the article so I am not sure where the “misleading” context is coming from if this text is the basis of their argument. Pretty lame.
  • 3 0
 "Trek's claims have also been questioned by other brands in the past including Mips and Koroyd." ....who also rely on proprietary data with obvious reason for financial interest causing bias.
  • 2 0
 What are the plaintiffs losses? Each individual in the class bought a helmet for $200 and now they believe it’s not as good as they thought? What are they out? They still have a helmet that meets government standards don’t they?
  • 6 0
 I have a headache.
  • 5 0
 As a New Yorker, I’m not surprised the plaintiff is from NY.
  • 4 2
 A wannabe Ralph Nader.....Bro our country is ripping at the seems and you want to sue Trek over some marketing. We live in the marketing and false claim capitol of the UNIVERSE. Ever heard pick your battles.
  • 5 1
 Can't say they didn't see this coming with the claims made over the safety of this helmet.
  • 4 0
 100% correct and I'm surprised it has taken this long with all the self fulfilling studies these companies (MIPS etc) use that are performed by owners of the same patents.
  • 3 2
 Most insert technology helmet devices are nothing more than money making joke. The only way it actually works is when a persons head upon a violent impact strikes the ground or solid object at either an Acute or Obtuse angle and not at a 180 deg. straight line angle, which can occur in a large percentage of crashes. All testing done by the engineers is done so using deflection with indirect blunt force not direct force impact.
In my opinion, having a couple crashes with head impacts and currently own the MIPS systems and examining the way in which it is to function, i believe it's a step forward; but defiantly doesn't render the overall safety of a helmet that's much better than a helmet without. The only way to design a helmet how i see it, would require a type of gel or cushion to reduce greatly, the trauma during a violent impact. This combined with the helmet ability to rotate is going to do the job better than anything available but would have a weight penalty but with added comfort.

Also, lots of people don't wear a helmet correctly or purchased a helmet with an improper fit; sometimes due to the shape of their head and or sizing availability of helmets at their local bike shop and don't know any better. All these factors can play a roll in the performance of safety development with any given helmet.
  • 3 0
 I don't understand how this lawsuit will even get past the first hearing because he has no damages. How does he justify the five million? Punitive damages? IDK
  • 1 0
 Another rich person trying to make more money! £5 million is a little over the top when no 1 has been injured (yet)! If he does win I hope he puts the money to some sort of charity that deals with people who have a bad injury’s from biking!
  • 2 1
 "...claiming that its authors had a financial interest in its success and that they used a traditional helmet modified to include the WaveCel component instead of a Bontrager helmet. The suit also claims that Trek's marketing allowed it to sell more helmets at higher prices than it would have otherwise done, meaning higher profits at the expense of its customers."

So how is Trek's financial interests any different the the lawyers who don't have any car accidents to chase this week?

If they're successful, I think I'll sue someone too cuz I'm still fat despite having bought a sick new bike this year.
  • 3 2
 Such a dumbass lawsuit... this does nothing but disincentivize investing in developing better helmet tech. Companies are already excessively cautious in promoting the improvements in helmet design out of fear for liability and this type of shit just makes the whole pursuit not worthwhile, and cements the status quo.
  • 1 1
 If the lawsuit is correct, you're exactly wrong. If they're pushing crap with falsified data they're stealing sales from companies that are selling truly safer products. They're developing better marketing techniques while gambling with our safety. Only if it's true, which I have seen Trek do before
  • 1 2
 @truckee1: Trek didn't conduct the study, Virginia Tech did. Trek simply used the study in claiming that it protects against concussions up to 48x more than traditional helmets. The study supports that claim... this is ambulance chasing bullshit that discourages companies from bothering to invest in innovation by creating undue financial risk associated with advertising the benefits of that innovation.

Nice to see you support baseless litigious assaults on the sport more than you do cycling though.
  • 7 1
 Only in America folks
  • 2 0
 Yeah, unfortunately your right
  • 4 0
 Well, I broke a rib and a wavecell helmet last year..... and no concussion. Did its job.
  • 1 0
 Anon Helmets (by Burton Snowboards) just sneak peaked that they are introducing helmets with Wavecell tech in a week from now, I guess their Marketing department will be busy in the next couple of days to re-write all press releases, product info, pop, packaging? Will cost them most likely a shitload of money because of this and they didn't even released it yet.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I always thought that being 48 times more effective than EPS at preventing concussion was a misleading comparison. We already know EPS helmets prevent fractures, but not concussions. Since they provide no concussion protection, it's easy to say another helmet is 48 times more effective--after all, 48 times nothing is still nothing.

But I don't need $5 million for that opinion.
  • 1 0
 I get that manufacturers should not make unsubstantiated claims about product performance. No one wants that. But shouldn’t there be a government regulatory board that would monitor this stuff and fine offenders? Like the CPSC? Why is this in the hands of a private bunch of citizens and private lawyer?
  • 1 0
 I was just talking to my daughter about economic systems and at one point, the negative powers of capitalism. I used Trek as an example. They had a Fuel that had more MBA's than engineers working on the bike. The consumers lost by riding an inferior bike but Trek was financially succeeding.
  • 1 0
 I got included (without my permission no less) in a class action suit against Ford for tailgates opening on their own.
IF you paid for a repair, you could get back 'up to' $200.
Know how much the lawyers got? OVER $-MILLION-FIVE-$
  • 1 0
 Great work, hope the judges think alike most PB comments here Big Grin . Now let this law firm show balls and sue the UCI / Tour of Poland as well because of the failling safety measures / checks last year when a rider crashed through the barriers...
  • 1 0
 I crash tested my Blaze Wavecel this morning.. The shell is dented, some of the Wavecel material is damaged, but I'm still walking and squawking.. Biggest drawback i found is that you'll be shaking dirt out of it for the rest of your ride. Time to take advantage of the 12 month crash replacement program..
  • 1 0
 It's fair to upcharge for helmets with Wavecell. Those that have MIPS and Koroyd are upcharged too; nothing new there. It is always fair to upcharge for a product with an innovative feature. Rotation protection in helmets is not yet an industry standard requirement (although it should be). The argument seems to be hinging on whether or not the wavecell equipped Bontrager helmets are as safe as the supposed "traditional" non-Bontrager helmet that was allegedly tested with the equipped wavecell. It would somehow have to be proven that this discrepancy is real for this case to have any traction. This guy in New York that is suing must have crashed on his bike wearing a wavecell helmet and suffered a concussion, or had a client that suffered a concussion or worse.
  • 1 0
 I have a Rally Wavecel that I got late spring 2020, I originally went into my LBS for the Rally MIPS but they didn't have any in stock and I was in need of a new lid that day. I'm pretty indifferent of it, it fits my head well. I don't feel like it's heavy or too hot. I have found that I appreciate the Wavecel helps prevent branches and shit poking me through the vents. I do notice that the shell of the helmet seems soft, it's got a bunch of little tiny dents from it rolling off things, like the tailgate of a truck. Maybe I can tap into the Bontrager 1 year crash replacement program to get a Rally MIPS before I hit my anniversary this June.
  • 1 0
 Can't say much about the reliability of the study myself, I haven't done any independent testing of these helmets. But I did unintentionally test the helmet by pedal striking a hidden rock and rag dolling into a tree. I actually could feel the wavecel flex and deaden the impact and I'm pretty sure its the only reason I didn't get a concussion. So idk, I do think the price is a bit high but I definitely have found the helmet effective. Plus they do crash replacements.
  • 4 0
 Hey Ambulance Chasers need to buy Yeti's too.
  • 4 1
 This is the truth = Plaintiff personal injury lawyers are the scum of the earth
  • 2 0
 This is what happens when both greedy a**holes and certain types of lawyers sit at home during a pandemic, bored and wondering what to do with their time...
  • 2 0
 I think the lead plaintiff needs to do a no-hander backflip over a 50 ft. road gap to prove his claim BEFORE he sees one red cent......
  • 2 0
 Who exactly gets this money if they win? If no one has suffered an injury from these helmets how is it fair someone gets to cash in? America you guys make no sense.
  • 4 0
 America! Fuck yeah! Matt Damon!
  • 1 0
 One remedy to fuel this court session for Trek...stache away your remaining wavecell helmets or slash prices before Gary Fisher rides into town on his clunker going ape-sh*t.....a real madone!
  • 1 0
 Ever since Trek Segafredo decided to suspend an American team member for exercising his first amendment rights I have no respect for them . I hope they are sued out of business .
  • 4 0
 Ouch.
  • 5 2
 When did Specialized change its name to Andrew Glancey?
  • 1 2
 I went to my LBS when these 1st came out to see what all the fuss was about. The models they had in store were akin to putting a cheese grater on your head IMO. From what I saw & felt it was clear that if I fell wearing 1 of these helmets and hit my head that the "wavecell" would shred my scalp.

Stuck with my MIPS equipped Giro.
  • 1 0
 I had one and it works. Looked at it last month and saw all the dents and thought about how I didn’t know I hit my head that much.
  • 3 0
 @ridingrascal: probably time for a new helmet
  • 1 0
 @ridingrascal: Hm, that could either mean the helmet worked really well, or really poorly...
  • 1 0
 @dubod22: Got one three months ago. Old ones in the dump!
  • 1 0
 @MtbSince84: What do you mean by really really poorly?
  • 1 0
 @ridingrascal: "I didn’t know I hit my head..."

That you are concussed and lost your memory. :-D
  • 1 1
 @MtbSince84: Oh! No I didn’t lose my memory... I think. Just did it’s job awesomely.
  • 2 2
 "false, deceptive and misleading". It questions the reliability of the study, claiming that its authors had a financial interest in its success”

Welp, time to throw out the free market then.
  • 1 0
 I am not impressed with the plaintiff, we have heard this short of things are happening in America. But I am definitely impressed with some of the responses in here!!!
  • 1 0
 PI lawyers throwing darts at a board, and hoping something sticks. It would be interesting to see what else the law firm of record has going at the moment.
  • 1 2
 I bought one the day after release and feel the hype wasn’t warranted. Fortunately I haven’t had to test the main feature, that being the Wavecell and the claimed protection it provides.
It was ultra expensive, it wobbles about on my head, it makes additional noise other lids don’t, and it is a tad heavy.
I think the lawsuit is aimed in the correct direction. It was overhyped and the price was inflated. Hopefully the lawsuit proceeds to find out just how much I overpayed. Still, I am aware that as a buyer it is my responsibility to be aware of what I’m buying. But if this product is grossly overpriced, as I suspect, I’d like to see some compensation.
  • 1 0
 The ultimate troll would be if he won the suit, then used the money to empty all of specialized warehouses and buy everything
  • 1 0
 this is hard to beliveie. that joke won't make any sense when they fix the typo.
  • 3 2
 Now if we could just get the plaintiff to examine some of Specialized’s products...
  • 3 3
 After the Covid shelter in place you should stop by the headquarters and see if you can take a tour of the machines they use in order to ensure their products viability. wether you like them or not they are one of the best!
  • 2 0
 I already imagine the headaches in Trek
  • 2 0
 I guess I know why price hikes are on the horizon....
  • 1 0
 To heck with dentist bikes, I cant wait to get me one of them fancy class-action-lawyer bikes in the buy-sell
  • 3 0
 What a dickhead!
  • 2 0
 The asshole of the year....
  • 2 0
 Screw you ‘new york man’ get a £ucking life you unt
  • 1 0
 "claiming that its authors had a financial interest in its success" so like 99% of academia?
  • 2 0
 Lawyers fuck off. Soon a lawsuit for a hole in DH track
  • 3 2
 Calm down, it's America, country where "it's hot" labels are needed on coffee cups
  • 3 0
 Do you have any idea why that actually came about, or are you just running your mouth?
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ If you're referring to the infamous McDonald's case, the plaintiff was absolutely in her right. Read about it before just repeating what people on the internet say.

Or how about Fords that don't explode on impact anymore? You have the American consumer and their will to hold companies accountable to thank for that and many more examples of products that are now safe to use instead of cutting costs left right and centre at your life and limb's expense.
  • 1 0
 Anyone notice that Treks adjustable rear axle dropouts are no longer marketed as "stranglehold dropouts" ?
  • 1 0
 They should sue the ceap out of mips its just a cheap Chinese plastic piece
  • 2 0
 How many RedBull cans do I need to drink before my wings grow?
  • 1 0
 Be afraid Tony E...........we're coming for you next.
  • 1 0
 Looks like the price of Trek bicycles is going up again.
  • 2 0
 "A New York man"...
  • 1 0
 They should be sued for that garbage knock block technology too
  • 1 0
 Come for the news, stay for the comments.
  • 1 1
 Trek aint really my cup of tea....but I still think this is a bunch of BS. Resemblant of a Session. Ugly.
  • 1 0
 In other news, grown man realises how marketing works.
  • 1 0
 I was expecting florida man when i saw 5 million
  • 1 1
 There are other helmets apart from Bell, Giro, TLD & POC??
  • 1 2
 5mil to Trek ..... that's like tree-fiddy to you and me. Covid has made for extra time to bring the silly level to 11.
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