Given Catlike Tako helmet's moniker translates as 'Gift from God' in ancient Greek, I was expecting something very special from the Spanish firm. Minor shortcomings aside, it's probably the closest I've come to a competitive rider's commuter lid that still looks great with civvies.
Now let's stop and consider this label for a moment. Commuter has enjoys some dubious connotations- a euphemism for lower standards of finish/build quality, frumpy styling, boil-your-brains poor ventilation or a combination of all three. Tipping my scales at 249g and with twenty-three vents, the Tako could give some race fare a good run for our money.
Styling certainly isn't frumpy, neither are the matt colour schemes, although while the in mould construction (where shell and foam liner are formed simultaneously) is blemish free, the underside is left exposed and therefore more vulnerable to knocks, scrapes and everyday carelessness. Similarly, the cradle's plastics feel whippy in comparison with higher end fare but adjust effortlessly via a serrated thumbwheel for a very comfortable fit nonetheless.
Ours was a stealthy matt black (matt grey or white are the alternatives) with retro-reflective logos and detailing that come alive under the glare of vehicle headlamps.
These seem effective to fifty metres, so more safety conscious types and those of us regularly negotiating rural backwaters will be pleased to note the cavernous cluster of rear vents readily accept silicone bodied blinkies. The rear section is slightly shallower than most, thus avoiding interference with a backpack when checking behind or left to right at junctions.
Up the front, its bog standard bug net stops unwelcome visitors getting sucked inside but the removable slimline peak's more interesting since it manages reasonable protection during moderate rainfall and strong autumnal sun without casting shadows, or looking overtly genre specific.
For the most part, I've only noticed it in the positive sense; airflow comes surprisingly close to sportier road designs, offering a seamless flow of cooling air, even when grinding up hills in muggy weather. At the other extreme, intrusive wind noise has proved conspicuous by its absence, conducive to conversation on social outings, while maintaining awareness of potential dangers.
Versatile and stylish everyday helmet.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Catlike Tako helmet
Size tested: Black, Medium
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?
"Tako is dedicated to the bicycle commuter. Tako is a helmet that combines comfort and style at an affordable price. It is sporty, yet functional with a compact design. Tako comes with a removable visor and can accommodate those riders needed a larger helmet".
Meets the design brief handsomely.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CE1078 in mould construction
"MD/ 54-57cm / 260gr
LG/ 58-62cm / 290gr
23 air intakes
ANTI INSECTS NET
WHEEL RETENTION SYSTEM"
Uniformly good on our sample.
Genuinely impressive on all fronts, especially given the commuter tag.
Exposed EPS could be an issue but only for the really careless.
Svelte by commuter standards and some racier offerings too.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Catlike Tako manages to combine, soft flattering effect with the sort of performance and overall weight marvelled at just a few seasons back. There are some minor concessions-bare EPS shell and softer retention plastics spring to mind but nothing I'd lose any sleep over and certainly no worse than similarly priced fare.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Generally good build quality, sporty yet chic design, light weight and great fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief and asking price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, far more than I'd anticipated.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,