If I had to sum up the Kask Vertigo in one word, it would be this one: quality. There's no doubt that £165 is a serious wedge to pay for a helmet, but whereas some bike kit seems to get more ephemeral the more you pay, this helmet feels every inch a dependable, pro level piece of kit.
Kask, for those who don't know, are Italian and Sky's helmet sponsor; this is the lid you'll see perched atop the heads of Wiggo et al, though you'll have to pay £20 extra if you want it in the team colours. As top dog in the road range the Vertigo has some neat features. Structurally it's the usual high-end deal: an EPS layer formed around a skeleton (polycarbonate in this case) with an in-moulded shell. There's plenty of attention to detail and it's good to see a protective shell layer all around the base of the helmet.
The retention system pivots from the side of the helmet and there's a second pivot nearer the back to allow for plenty of height and angle adjustment. A nice big clicky dial allows you to adjust the fit on the go. The pads on the retention system are a very grippy silicone which feels a bit odd first time round and can pull your hair, but you get used to that. The upside is that once on and fitted this is the most secure-feeling helmet I've ever tried. That may be partly down to it fitting my particular head shape but everyone who's tried has agreed: if you fall off, your helmet's not going to. The Vertigo is certified to the European EN-1078 standard.
It's not uncomfortable with all that security either: there's big pads at the side and a waffle-profile one in the top that's supposed to help with air flow, and the straps are imitation leather instead of the usual nylon. That doesn't sound like a big difference until you've tried them. The 24 vents do a good job of keeping you cool and the skeleton system means there's two big channels all the way across the top of your head to funnel away hot air.
Weight-wise it isn't light: 280 grams is a hundred more than the lightest lids out there, so if you're a weight weenie it isn't for you. If you like a bit of quality and have the readies for it though, this is the kind of thing you'll be wanting to buy. If it's good enough for Team Sky and all that... If you don't have the requisite pocket depth then it's worth looking at the K-10, which carries a lot of the features over to a slightly cheaper lid.
If you want to splash out on a pro-level lid then the Vertigo gets top marks for quality. It's comfy, too.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Kask Vertigo C50 helmet
Size tested: White, M
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?
The Kask website (possibly via Google translate) says:
Protect ourselves is the worldwide bicycle password, both on the road practice and on impassable paths, any respectable keen cyclist in terms of safety looks for the maximum effectiveness.
This means more peace in giving the best of ourselves, more fun into any contest, more self-confidence and the certainty that at the arrival someone will envy you, regardless your performance.
This is KASK’s continuous commitment: each your personal success is also a KASK’s one, which by Vertigo gives you the best of itself:
• The cap is made by the in-moulding innovative system
• Vertigo is provided with a reinforced frame as a guarantee of product with greater mechanical resistance
• 24 symmetrically arranged air intakes on the complete helmet surface for excellent ventilation and top aerodynamic qualities
• Up’n’down adjustment system for a precise and comfortable fitment due to a central knob and to two lateral winglets
• Nylon thermo fixed holding system with quick release micrometric buckle, provided with soft lateral spacers which, in contact with the skin, enable excellent ventilation as a result of their curvilinear outline
• The anallergic and washable chinstrap is made in imitation leather to improve the wearing comfort and avoid irritation
• High visibility stickers for maximum safety even in poor visibility conditions
Nothing is left to the chance and Vertigo is the tangible proof: KASK wants to spoil his keen cyclists because respects and loves the sport and those who practice it at any level.
No matter if it is the first time that you ride a racing bicycle or if you haven’t won the Giro d’Italia, the important is that enjoy yourself by increasing the value, as well as KASK does with Vertigo, love for freedom and challenges.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, a bit salty for me
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, the well-heeled ones anyway
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 190cm Weight: 96kg
I usually ride: whatever I\\\'m testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.