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Verdict: 
Highly adjustable, cool and comfortable helmet that claims impressive aerodynamics
Weight: 
250g
Contact: 
KASK Protone Helmet
9 10

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.

Find the Kask Protone online

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.

Verdict

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:

3D dry

The tridimensional 3D DRY padding utilizes a multi-layer open cell construction process: high technology for the best comfort and performance.

 

Aero Control

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.

 

Bag

 

Coolmax

Removable and washable inner padding in Coolmax® material

 

ECO Chinstrap

Chin pad with eco-leather chinstrap

The anallergic and washable chinstrap is extremely comfortable and helps to avoid irritation of the skin

 

Frame

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.

 

MIT

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.

 

OCTO FIT

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

 

Sanitized

Inner padding fabric treated with antibacterial and antimicrobial Sanitized® process.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

I really like the fit system and the strap construction.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

It's in-moulded and should last a long time if you treat it well.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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.

Overall rating: 9/10

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.

28 comments

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Liaman [60 posts] 2 years ago
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How do ratings of 9, 9, 7, 8, 9, 7 result in an overall score of 9?
I'd accept mitigation of the 7s for durability and value if you'd scored it 10/10 for quality or performance (or anything).

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tomturcan [66 posts] 2 years ago
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"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."

This is the only part of the review that mentions the helmet's primary purpose. Can you be more specific about the enhanced safety specification? Given that the EU cycling helmet standard is so poor, and one reason why riders say helmets only offer modest protection, it would be good to know which manufacturers are investing in increased safety and how much more effective their products are than the basic standard. Thanks.

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Mr Turning [124 posts] 2 years ago
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Liaman wrote:

How do ratings of 9, 9, 7, 8, 9, 7 result in an overall score of 9?
I'd accept mitigation of the 7s for durability and value if you'd scored it 10/10 for quality or performance (or anything).

Think that is explained on the right of the page: "The overall score is not just an average of the other scores. It reflects both a product's function and value."

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The _Kaner [1009 posts] 2 years ago
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Prot- one or Pro-tone

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sorebones [139 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks nicer in the black and red colours than the Team Sky version I reckon. That one always looks like they have it on back to front to me.

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stuartforrest [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks as if the same tester also tested the Giro Synthe, which this is pitched squarely against. Same promise, same price point.

Of the two (and I know that our heads are different shapes) which should I own?

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Mat Brett [640 posts] 2 years ago
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Hi stuartforrest, yeah, that's a good question. In terms of protection, we simply can't tell you which will work best for you. Sorry. Although that’s the primary purpose of a helmet, we don’t have the specialist facilities to test that. We just have to trust the safety standards bodies and report any manufacturers’ claims, making clear that they are manufacturers’ claims.

I’m a longtime Giro wearer but I must say that I’ve been won over by the fit and feel of the Kask. I’d happily own either but the Kask edges it for me because it feels a more secure and comfortable fit on my head. The trouble is, that might not be the case for you because, as you say, head shapes are different.

Really sorry not to be able to give you a definitive answer.

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levermonkey [681 posts] 2 years ago
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One. Don't all cycle helmets have a polycarbonate/plastic shell to hold the expanded foam in place and stop the helmet disintegrating when you try to put it on? The foam is the protective element not the shell.

Two. MIT Technology? I know I could look it up but I shouldn't have to. I therefore deem it to stand for Mouse in Trousers Technology. Well it makes the same amount of sense as three random letters taken straight from the brochure.

Three. [And yes I do know and accept that you don't have testing facilities] In keeping with all helmet reviews there is an awful lot about comfort, ventilation, cooling and lightness but almost nothing other than passing references to whether it gives better head protection than a Aldi/Lidl £5 special offer. To be fair you have to look very hard indeed to find any mention of testing and safety standards on a manufacturers website (that's if they're there at all).

Apart from that not a bad review for a not too bad looking lid.  4

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ajmarshal1 [417 posts] 2 years ago
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Here we go again......

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Mr Turning [124 posts] 2 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

In keeping with all helmet reviews there is an awful lot about comfort, ventilation, cooling and lightness but almost nothing other than passing references to whether it gives better head protection than a Aldi/Lidl £5 special offer. To be fair you have to look very hard indeed to find any mention of testing and safety standards on a manufacturers website (that's if they're there at all).

No one has ever said you get better head protection from a more expensive helmet. They all have to pass the same safety standards to be sold in this country. What has made you think that that might not be the case?

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stuartforrest [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks Mat. I've also been a long time Giro wearer but I'm currently in (under?) a Kask Mojito. It's fine at this time of year and is a comfy fit, but in warm weather I find that it's not good enough at ventilation and that the pad reaches capacity very quickly.

Off to my LBS to try them both on I guess.

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macrophotofly [233 posts] 2 years ago
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Hi Stuart, Keen to hear your thoughts back here, once you've tried them both on (please!)

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levermonkey [681 posts] 2 years ago
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Mr Turning wrote:
levermonkey wrote:

In keeping with all helmet reviews there is an awful lot about comfort, ventilation, cooling and lightness but almost nothing other than passing references to whether it gives better head protection than a Aldi/Lidl £5 special offer. To be fair you have to look very hard indeed to find any mention of testing and safety standards on a manufacturers website (that's if they're there at all).

No one has ever said you get better head protection from a more expensive helmet. They all have to pass the same safety standards to be sold in this country. What has made you think that that might not be the case?

You miss the point (I think deliberately). I didn't say that it didn't reach EN1078, I felt the review raised a couple of questions.

One. So where does the money go? How do you justify £195? and,

Two. What is the heightened safety mentioned in the review and by Kask? Are they saying that it exceeds the standard or is the heightened safety to bring it up to the standard? Unless they say where it stands in relation to the standard then it is a meaningless claim and should be challenged.

If you look at any other item of PPE then it will state where it falls in relation to the standard, what that standard is and if they exceed it. So why is it so different when it comes to cycle helmets?

EN1078 is a standard that is set so low that you would think that manufacturers would be falling over themselves shouting about how far they exceed the standard. EN1078 is a minimum standard. Maybe we are the ones at fault because we don't shout about these things loudly enough.

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levermonkey [681 posts] 2 years ago
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ajmarshal1 wrote:

Here we go again......

No we don't! This is not about being pro or anti helmet. This is about clarity.

For the sake of repetition.
I am not pro or anti helmet. I am pro informed choice.
I do not wear a helmet for my everyday cycling and training. My Choice.
If your event states that I must wear a helmet to participate then, I wear a helmet. It is my choice to enter your event just as it is your choice to insist that I wear one. But I have no illusions as to the protection it offers and I am aware of the increased risk of torsion injuries.

If you want to wear a helmet or wearing a helmet makes you feel more comfortable then wear a helmet. That is your choice.
If you want to spend £300 on a helmet then pay £300 for a helmet. That is your choice.

We are a broad church with many opinions. All are valid.

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Pierre [102 posts] 2 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

One. So where does the money go? How do you justify £195?

Expensive R&D (that's "research and development", in case you can't be bothered to look that up either). Expensive materials. Better design. Wind tunnel testing. All so that the helmet is lighter and more comfortable while still meeting the required safety standard.

levermonkey wrote:

Two. What is the heightened safety mentioned in the review and by Kask? Are they saying that it exceeds the standard or is the heightened safety to bring it up to the standard? Unless they say where it stands in relation to the standard then it is a meaningless claim and should be challenged.

As Kask's website says, MIT is Moulding-In Technology (OK, not such a catchy term, but they're Italian so maybe it sounds better in Italian). It basically means that not only is the plastic outer shell moulded to the polystyrene-ish body of the helmet (which increases the design's rigidity), but there's plastic moulded to the base ring and the back parts. This has an unspecified effect on the helmet's adherence to the safety standard, but common sense says it will make the helmet safer in the long run because it will stop those bits of the helmet getting dented, chipped and scuffed which can lead to cracks and crushed bits which will decrease the helmet's strength and ability to do its job when required.

levermonkey wrote:

If you look at any other item of PPE then it will state where it falls in relation to the standard, what that standard is and if they exceed it. So why is it so different when it comes to cycle helmets?

Inside the helmet is a CE mark, meaning it meets EN1078. That gives you all the information you need to go and find out what that standard is. I have yet to use an item of PPE, in any capacity, that gave me more information than that. I'd expect to be able to look that up with the manufacturer if I needed to.

levermonkey wrote:

EN1078 is a standard that is set so low that you would think that manufacturers would be falling over themselves shouting about how far they exceed the standard. EN1078 is a minimum standard.

Every standard is a minimum standard! That's the point of standards (if we're going to be picky, actually the point of a standard in the traditional sense is that something exactly conforms to that standard.)

There are plenty of helmets that dramatically exceed EN1078, and plenty of other ways one could protect one's head if so desired. The helmet in this review is expensive because it's light weight and aerodynamic. What you've done is the equivalent of read a review of a £150,000 sportscar and start whingeing about how you'd expect bigger crumple zones or more airbags. From the position of someone who admits he doesn't even drive a car.

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Al__S [1140 posts] 2 years ago
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levermonkey wrote:

If you look at any other item of PPE then it will state where it falls in relation to the standard, what that standard is and if they exceed it.

Eh? Not it doesn't. PPE will state what standards it passes. If the standard has particular levels/protection against different categories it will state those. It won't state how much it exceeds by or such rubbish.

So, if EN1078 is simply a pass/fail standard, that's all they'll say.

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ls3bvet [12 posts] 2 years ago
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tomturcan wrote:

This is the only part of the review that mentions the helmet's primary purpose. Can you be more specific about the enhanced safety specification? Given that the EU cycling helmet standard is so poor, and one reason why riders say helmets only offer modest protection, it would be good to know which manufacturers are investing in increased safety and how much more effective their products are than the basic standard. Thanks.

Before going on about standards look at the helmet dot org site and check the facts about standards.

All helmets are designed to protect to the standard to which they are tested. I read this review to see if this helmet is worth getting knowing that it has passed the protection test.

I'm still waiting to see how good mips protection is going to be.

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levermonkey [681 posts] 2 years ago
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.

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tomturcan [66 posts] 2 years ago
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"Here we go again……"
@ajmarshal1: no. there's no polarised debate here about whether to wear a helmet or to make them compulsory. (Despite your efforts!)

"EN1078 is a standard that is set so low that you would think that manufacturers would be falling over themselves shouting about how far they exceed the standard. "
@levermonkey: agree 100%. The present situation reminds me very much of car marketing in the 1980s. All adhered to (weak) minimum standards. Nobody mentioned safety except Volvo. When the market eventually demanded higher safety standards Volvo were very well positioned.

"There are plenty of helmets that dramatically exceed EN1078". @Pierre: where can I find more information about them? Which company is the Volvo of cycling helmets?

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ajmarshal1 [417 posts] 2 years ago
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tomturcan wrote:

"Here we go again……"
@ajmarshal1: no. there's no polarised debate here about whether to wear a helmet or to make them compulsory. (Despite your efforts!)

"EN1078 is a standard that is set so low that you would think that manufacturers would be falling over themselves shouting about how far they exceed the standard. "
@levermonkey: agree 100%. The present situation reminds me very much of car marketing in the 1980s. All adhered to (weak) minimum standards. Nobody mentioned safety except Volvo. When the market eventually demanded higher safety standards Volvo were very well positioned.

"There are plenty of helmets that dramatically exceed EN1078". @Pierre: where can I find more information about them? Which company is the Volvo of cycling helmets?

I couldn't give a toss about the helmet debate, wear one, don't wear one. Whatever. That wasn't my point, I wrote 'Here we go again' as it was heading down a similar path to the Giro Synthe comments: i.e. comments regarding no mention in the review of how well it protects. It meets the standard, great. Now what else does it offer the RACER it's pitched at? That's why there's plenty of mention of aerodynamics, comfort, weight and ventilation.

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1860 [35 posts] 2 years ago
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It would be very helpful if road.cc in the helmet reviews could please list which sizes are available for the helmet. This would save me a lot of searching to figure out if I should even be interested in the helmet due to my high percentile score in head size.

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simondbarnes [50 posts] 2 years ago
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1860 wrote:

It would be very helpful if road.cc in the helmet reviews could please list which sizes are available for the helmet. This would save me a lot of searching to figure out if I should even be interested in the helmet due to my high percentile score in head size.

From Kask's website...

SIZE:
M - 52-58 cm – 20-1/2 - 22-7/8 Inches
L - 59-62 cm – 23-3/8 - 24-1/2 Inches

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Tin Pony [73 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm positive this will be an excellent, comfortable, aerodynamic and safe helmet. But can any helmet really be worth paying best part of £200 for?? I'm personally not convinced then I am a Northerner so maybe the stereotypes are true. (Tight fisted) Ha ha
www.tinpony.co.uk

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edvelo [49 posts] 2 years ago
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It's worth noting that Kask to a half price crash replacement scheme as well. Send them your old Kask helmet and you can buy a new one at half RRP.

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deero83 [36 posts] 2 years ago
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Did you try this or the Giro Synthe with a cap underneath?

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deero83 [36 posts] 2 years ago
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Did you try this or the Giro Synthe with a cap underneath?

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Bigfella195 [8 posts] 1 year ago
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Looking for a new helmet and tried on both the Mojito and Vertigo, best fitting helmets ever. However, read some issues about the arms of sunglasses not sitting properly because of the retaining system being so close to the back of the ears. Sure enough when I tried the helmets with sunglasses they pushed the sunglasses forward, something that would really irritate me. I so want a Kask, but not willing to compromise on my sunnies. Please tell me they have fixed this issue with the Protone.

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bendertherobot [1367 posts] 11 months ago
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