Andy from Competitive Cyclist reviews the Kask Protone helmet. Far from being just another aero road helmet, the Protone pairs the expected aerodynamic advantages with a suite of features that keep it exceptionally cool and comfortable, in addition to flat-out fast.
Did you know that Competitive Cyclist carries 21 helmet brands? That’s a lot. When I started back in 2004 I’m not sure we had more than two (in maybe 4 colors each), so choosing a lid to protect your melon was pretty easy. Aero helmets certainly existed, but they were limited to those massive, teardrop shaped creatures that had zero ventilation and could only be used for short time trials.
It’s an embarrassment of riches now, though, because helmets have become almost as purpose-driven as the bikes we ride and the terrain we ride them on. So, once you zero in on a purpose, a brand, and a color – how do you choose from there? Well, in this case you’re probably a roadie looking for an all-purpose, everyday helmet that’s also aerodynamic and comfortable. And, if you’ve arrived at the Kask ProTone, I’m gonna guess that you’re looking at similar options from POC and Giro.
So, oddly – we’re kinda back to where we started: if you want an aerodynamic everyday helmet your options are limited. But I think Kask has dialed in the concept better than anyone else with the ProTone. I’ve been using mine for the better part of the last year, and here’s what I really like.
First, it’s comfortable. Really comfortable. The inside is lined with uber-soft Coolmax pads, and it has a good overall depth – I feel like my head is IN the helmet, rather than feeling like the helmet’s just sitting on top of my head. The Octo Fit cradle can be rotated up and down in the back by almost two inches, and has perfectly-shaped and padded brackets that gently hug your occipital bones once you dial in the perfect fit with the rear knob, which makes very small incremental adjustments. It’s extremely well-executed, and one of the best I’ve worn.
Furthering the comfort story are the straps: the side straps are ribbon-thin, and they practically disappear when you put the helmet on. And the Eco Leather synthetic chinstrap has the firmness of well-worn leather, but a surprising degree of softness when it contacts your skin – it feels like a combination of leather and neoprene. Which sounds odd, but ends up being about ten times more comfortable than the nylon straps on some of my other helmets because the edges are rounded off, and don’t cut into my skin.
But the big story here is that in addition to being superbly comfortable, it’s also more aerodynamic than a standard road helmet. In light of their sponsorship of Team Sky, it’s likely no co-incidence that Kask has created the helmet equivalent of Pinarello’s F8 and F10: a perfect balance of everyday usability and race-day aerodynamics. And, because it’s a far cry from the early days of aero helmets, it’s been engineered to keep your head as cool as a standard road helmet–which it does. I intentionally used the ProTone on several high-tempo rides with lots of climbing, and regardless of the ambient temperature, I never felt overheated, even with a cycling cap on underneath.
If you’d like to learn more about the Kask ProTone, please give us a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.