Kask's new Protone helmet, developed in collaboration with Team Sky, is a highly adjustable, cool and comfortable lid, although it comes at a premium price. If Kask's claims are to be believed, it boasts impressive aerodynamics for a well-vented helmet too.
You know how some helmets feel like they perch on top of your head a bit like a flat cap? The Protone is the exact opposite. It feels like it fully encompasses your head, more like a beanie, say, reaching low at both the front and, especially, the back.
Kask's Octo Fit adjustment system is great and very simple to tweak. The arms of the cradle fasten to the inside of the helmet's expanded polystyrene body at your temples and again at the rear where you get a generous amount of height adjustment. There was still plenty of height adjustment available once I had it set right for me and I don't have a particularly large head so I imagine pretty much everyone will be able to get what they need in this respect.
The tightness of the fit is adjusted via a clicky dial at the back and you can alter the sideways position of those occipital pads independently so they sit in the most comfortable place. The overall result is that you can get a secure fit in no time at all.
One other feature that I really like is that the chinstrap isn't simply a continuation of the upper straps – a feature of other Kask helmets. Check out the pictures and you'll see what I mean. The result is that the straps always sit flat and there are no dividers to set underneath your ears.
Speaking of the chinstrap, it's made from eco leather and it's easy to wipe clean when you get it sweaty. I wouldn't say there's a massive advantage over the usual webbing but it looks pretty cool.
The antibacterial and antimicrobial inner padding – removable for washing and replaceable if it wears out – is made from Coolmax and most of it has a honeycomb inner surface. Along with large ventilation holes at the front of the helmet, it helps keep your head feeling cool and well aired.
I took the Protone on a recent trip to the South of France (very nice, thanks for asking) where I did a lot of climbing in high temperatures and I found the venting to be very effective. I didn't get a noticeably hot, sweaty head, or anything close to that, despite relatively little venting towards the rear of the helmet. There's good airflow right across the top of your head that keeps the humidity down.
One of Kask's biggest boasts about the Protone is that it has been designed using computational fluid dynamics software to have one of the lowest drag coefficients of any ventilated helmet – particularly important to the likes of Team Sky, obviously. Kask don't put a figure on their aero claims and we're not in a position to provide one, so you'll have to take their word for it or not, as you see fit.
They also reckon that you can take off your glasses and stow them on the helmet using the vents as anchor points without increasing the drag. I used the helmet with several different types of eyewear and they all sat up there securely.
Our size medium (52-58cm) Protone hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at 250g so it's lightweight although you can certainly find lighter if that's important to you. It's available in a whole bunch of different colours.
Highly adjustable, cool and comfortable helmet that claims impressive aerodynamics
road.cc test report
Make and model: KASK Protone Helmet (available January)
Size tested: 52-58cm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's a pro-level helmet (it debuted with Team Sky at the 2014 Tour de France) designed with heat dissipation and aerodynamics in mind.
Kask list these features:
The tridimensional 3D DRY padding utilizes a multi-layer open cell construction process: high technology for the best comfort and performance.
Incredibly aerodynamic and top performing shell, tested in the wind-tunnel and able to provide a really impressive CX rate. Any position the head will assume the outflow of the air will be perfectly in line with the helmet.
Removable and washable inner padding in Coolmax® material
Chin pad with eco-leather chinstrap
The anallergic and washable chinstrap is extremely comfortable and helps to avoid irritation of the skin
In case of shock it avoids the break of the helmet into pieces
M in moulding
The innovative 'in moulding' technology, joining the inner polystyrene cap to the outer polycarbonate one, ensures a better shock absorption.
The MIT Technology, applied to all KASK cycling helmets, guarantees a higher safety and a complete protection thanks to the polycarbonate layer that covers the shell on the top, on the base ring and on the back.
Rubberised Micro Dial adjuster provides improved finger grip
Floating cradle contact points combine internal gel pads for optimum comfort. These supports are designed to oscillate freely through 180° allowing a perfect fit on any shaped head
The Skeletal Brackets of the cradle have been designed and refined to provide the best fit and support whilst being as light as possible
Inner padding fabric treated with antibacterial and antimicrobial Sanitized® process.
I really like the fit system and the strap construction.
It's in-moulded and should last a long time if you treat it well.
Top end helmets are never especially good value in that they essentially do the same job as far cheaper ones, but you do get some good features here and the build quality is great.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit system and the straps.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price is high, although in line with that of high end helmets from other brands.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? I think I would. It's expensive, but the all-round quality is really high.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
You might argue that the high price should drag other overall mark down a point, but the overall high quality you get across the board here justifies a 9.
About the tester
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.