Kask's K50 Evo helmet is a comfortable, well-shaped lid with plenty of ventilation and a novel cradle that helps it fit a wide range of heads.
I bumped into an old friend at the London Bike Show a while back. Matt was manning a retailer's stand and raving about the way Kask helmets were flying off the shelves faster than they could get them in. "What's special about them?" I asked, my journalistic instincts homing in on just the right question.
"The fit," he said, handing me a helmet to try on.
We wasn't wrong. That helmet was a comfortable, close fit and my subsequent riding experience with the K-50 Evo has confirmed those first impressions.
For the most part, this is a well-executed modern helmet. A thin outer shell protects an expanded polystyrene body. Twenty-four vents let air in and channels carry it over your head before it flows out. A cradle with a dial adjuster grabs the back of your head so it all stays in place.
A couple of features stand the K-50 out from the crowd of similarly-specced helmets. You don't have to use the dial to adjust the fit at the back, you can just pull together the sides of the adjustment slider. That's great if you're wearing winter gloves as it's much easier than trying to turn a dial.
The rear cradle is hinged, a feature Kask labels Up 'n' Down Technology. That allows it to pivot so that it can sit right under your occipital protuberance, the lump on the back of your head. Even with the chin strap unfastened you can do a handstand and the K50 stays put.
Once you're riding, it's easy to forget you have the K50 on. It's a sensible weight, although it's not among the lightest helmets, and its weight is so evenly distributed around your head you don't notice it.
Ventilation is decent, but not outstanding. Better ventilation usually costs more then the K-50's reasonable £85, though.
A soft pad over the chin strap is a welcome feature, helping to absorb sweat and improve comfort.
The Kask K-50 Evo meets the EN 1078 standard for impact absorption and comes in sizes Medium and Large. Our Medium sample is labelled as fitting 48-58cm heads. I'm right on the top of that range and it was spot on.
As far as performance aspects such as weight and ventilation go, the Kask K-50 is exactly what you'd expect of a helmet in this price range. It stands apart because its fit and features are carefully thought-out and in particular the hinged cradle makes for a very snug and secure attachment.
Great-fitting helmet with a couple of clever features that help it stand out from the crowd
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Make and model: Kask K-50 Evo helmet (2014)
Size tested: medium, black
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?
Quickly get the perfect fit when you dial the Kask K50 Evo Helmet's 3D Up-N-Down adjustment system. Now you can ride without annoying helmet migration, pinching joints, or''thanks to large, air-moving vents''a hot head. In the unlucky event you left your jungle-cat reflexes at home and a squirrel happens to take its life by jumping into your front-wheel's spokes ... sending you ass-over-teakettle in perfect head-first, lawn-dart form, the impact absorbing in-mold construction will help prevent any serious injury.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Up n Down hinged, pivoting cradle
Coolmax lined padding
Tidily-assembled, no dodgy edges.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit and attention to detail.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It wuldn't hurt for it to be lighter or better ventilated, but you can say that about almost any helmet.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? If I were buying a helmet, it'd be on my short list.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
With decent ventilation and acceptable weight, the Kask K-50 Evo would rate a 7 but its excellent fit and clever features pull it up a notch to 8.
Age: 48 Height: 5ft 11in Weight: 85kg
I usually ride: Scapin Style 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, touring, club rides, general fitness riding,
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.