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Verdict: 
Light and well-ventilated helmet to keep you cool, but be sure to try before you buy
Weight: 
206g
Kask Valegro helmet
8 10

The Kask Valegro is a lightweight and well-ventilated helmet with a fairly low profile, although I haven't found it as comfortable as other models in the range.

  • Pros: Lightweight, very good ventilation, easily adjusted fit system
  • Cons: Narrow pads so try before you buy

The Valegro was developed in response to Team Sky's request for a lightweight lid with maximum cooling to sit alongside the more aero Protone in its armoury.

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It's certainly light, our medium-sized review sample weighing just 206g (Kask claims 180g for a small). I've never seen the point of counting vents, but for the record you get 37 here. More relevant, they do a really good job of keeping your head cool, internal channeling allowing the air to circulate and helping to prevent the buildup of heat and sweat. This is the Valegro's biggest strength – it's something you really notice – making it a helmet to consider if you find that others leave your head too hot in summer conditions.

Part of the reason for the Valegro's ability to keep you cool is that very little of the helmet actually touches your head. Aside from the fit system, contact is limited to narrow pads (I'm talking about narrow from side to side; they're 5mm deep) that run front to rear, allowing air to flow relatively unhindered.

kask_valegro_helmet_-_inside.jpg

kask_valegro_helmet_-_inside.jpg

The flip-side is that you don't get a pad running across the bottom of your forehead to soak up any sweat dripping down, and the pressure in the areas where the helmet does touch your head is a little greater than it would otherwise be. Fair enough, this is a light helmet, but I didn't find it as comfortable as either Kask's Protone or Mojito, both of which I've used a lot in the past. Don't get me wrong, I didn't find the Valegro uncomfortable, I just prefer the feel of those other two which distribute the force over larger areas.

That'll come down to the individual, though. Like saddles, a bike helmet's comfort is a personal thing. I asked several other people to try out the Valegro and they all loved the feel. You might find the Valegro to be the most comfortable helmet you've ever used.

Kask's Octo Fit adjustment system is excellent, connecting to the rest of the helmet at the temples and the rear. You alter the fit via a clicky wheel, as is usually the case, while the cradle offers a whopping 50mm of up/down movement at the back of your head. The occipital pads –the bits that contact your head back there – are independently adjustable too, so you can allow for any asymmetry. The overall feel when you have everything set up right is of a helmet that surrounds your head rather than being perched on top.

kask_valegro_helmet_-_back.jpg

kask_valegro_helmet_-_back.jpg

I found that although the arms of most sunglasses worked fine with the Octo Fit, some hit it and wouldn't sit quite right when the rear section was positioned all the way down – not a huge problem but slightly sub-optimal. Try before you buy, would be my advice. On the other hand, I found a good stash point in the vents for all of the glasses I tried with the Valegro, usually around the back.

The straps are worth a mention too. For a start, I like the way that Kask constructs them to fit around your ears rather than using plastic dividers like nearly everyone else.

kask_valegro_helmet_-_side.jpg

kask_valegro_helmet_-_side.jpg

I also like the eco-leather (synthetic leather) chin strap because it looks neat and doesn't dig in like some webbing, lifting the overall quality just a smidge.

kask_valegro_helmet_-_strap.jpg

kask_valegro_helmet_-_strap.jpg

At £169, the Valegro is hardly cheap but it's not as expensive as top-end helmets from other brands. The Met Trenta 3K Carbon helmet we reviewed recently, for example, is £265, the Giro Synthe MIPS costs from £249.99, and Kask's own Protone has a £199 RRP.

> Buyer's Guide: 16 of the best high-performance helmets 

That said, all of those helmets come with aero credentials whereas Kask doesn't make any drag-related claims for the Valegro. The Giro Synthe's use of Mips – a system designed to add protection against the rotational motion transmitted to the brain from angled impacts to the head – pushes the price up too. Kask doesn't offer a Mips version of the Valegro, or any other helmet come to that.

Overall, the Valegro puts in a strong performance if you're after a lightweight and cool helmet. The only real issue I had was that the pressure didn't feel as comfortably distributed on my head as with other helmets in Kask's range, despite an excellent fit system, although other people didn't find the same thing. If you're interested in the Valegro, I'd suggest you try before you buy because if the fit feels good to you this is a high-quality option.

Verdict

Light and well-ventilated helmet to keep you cool, but be sure to try before you buy

road.cc test report

Make and model: Kask Valegro helmet

Size tested: 52-58cm

Tell us what the product is for

Kask says, "Developed in cooperation with Team Sky, Valegro is designed to offer the best comfort ventilation when climbing or riding in hot conditions.

"The profile of Valegro's polycarbonate shell has been tested and refined by Kask's engineers in conjunction with a wind-tunnel to get the best results in terms of thermo-cooling performance. The Valegro offers advanced ventilation and an impressive weight of just 180g (size small). This new design offers maximum cooling through 37 ventilation holes with new breathable and quick-dry padding. The 5mm layer of fast-wicking thermoformed tri-dimensional padding is antistatic, bacteriostatic, heat regulating and moisture transferring using Resistex Carbon. Alongside this cutting edge technology, the chin pad with eco-leather strap contributes to a helmet that's comfortable to wear, all day."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Kask lists all of these features:

HYVENT: Structure and design of the shell implement the air flow and break up the exchangeable heat.

HIGH BREATHABILITY: Because the inner padding fibre speeds up the evaporation process of perspiration, slow down the formation of humidity on the skin and keeps the temperature constant.

ANTI BACTERIAL: Because the inner padding fibre respects the skin and protects it from bacteria and pollutant dusts. Eliminating the risk of annoying allergies.

ANTI STATIC: Because of its conductivity, the inner padding fibre absorbs and disperses electric charges accumulated from the environment or during physical exercise.

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

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.

ECO-LEATHER CHINSTRAP: Chin pad with eco-leather chinstrap The anallergic and washable chinstrap is extremely comfortable and helps to avoid irritation of the skin.

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.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The fit system and strap construction are particularly good.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

The Valegro is designed to be lightweight and cool, and it certainly is both of those things.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

I certainly didn't find the Valegro uncomfortable, but I've found other Kask helmets more comfortable. Several other people who used it loved the fit, so I've been outvoted there. Try before you buy.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

If you consider all the helmets out there, £169 puts the Valegro towards the upper end of the spectrum, but it's a good price for a top-end helmet.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It is light and feels cool in use, so it fulfils its brief very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The cool feel.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I found the comfort to be good but not exceptional, although other people felt it was really impressive on this score.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No, because I find other helmets out there work better for me in terms of comfort.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a high-quality helmet that puts in a big performance. I found the Valegro comfortable but not exceptionally comfortable, while others loved the feel. The price is good when you consider that this is a high-end product. All that adds up to an easy 8.

Overall rating: 8/10

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 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight 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.