Bontrager Oracle Helmet Design | Delve
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Case Study
Bontrager Oracle Helmet

Intuitive design clicks with users


Bontrager is a subsidiary of Trek that produces bike components, accessories and apparel. The company challenged us to create a high-quality, lightweight, adjustable fit system with a compelling aesthetic to match their sleek helmet design.

Interpreting Bontrager’s vision from images of sunglasses and fighter jets, our industrial designers created a high-end look with a true wow factor.

Our mechanical engineers investigated several options to create a system that adjusts smoothly and maintains tension around the riders head. After evaluating the impact on design and human factors, the team selected a wrap spring clutch. Several proof of principle models were tested to ensure it could resist the torque, even when wet. The team eliminated wires and cables, which reduced the number of parts and cost to manufacture. The design was optimized and materials were selected to reduce the weight.

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The adjustment system uses a minimum of parts.

Bontrager wanted an audible signal for users when adjusting the helmet. Our design provided Trek with the ability to tweak the strength of the audible and tactile click to achieve precisely the user experience they desired.

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Designing for auditory cues was important.

The adjustment wheel is located on the back of the helmet, which means the rider is reaching behind to use an unseen mechanism. Human Factors evaluated different ways to engage the system with one hand, identifying the most user-friendly solution.

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Human factors studies of one-handed, back-of-head adjustment.

The result is the Headmaster retention system, a key feature of the Oracle helmet. The easy, one-handed fit system is adjustable by height and head circumference. It effectively wraps around the skull, eliminating pressure points. Our industrial design team crafted a hubless form factor, giving the product a distinct signature appearance.

Bontrager Oracle was the helmet of the Radio Shack Nissan Trek team of 30 professional riders competing in world-class races including the Tour de France. As a branding bonus, the riders were easily identified by the jewel-like donut on the rear of the Oracle helmet. 

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