The Kask Protone (£195) is a top end racing helmet designed to aid aerodynamics without impacting breathability.
Though Kask are working with Strongher on their women's provision, they don’t make women’s specific models. This said, the general consensus is that women’s heads aren’t differently shaped – just smaller. Unfortunately the smallest size available (Medium - 52 to 58cm) in the Protone was still too large for our Editor’s head, so we sent Cat 2 racer and Norwood Paragon development rider Rosie Lethbridge out into the lanes of Surrey and Kent to put one to the test…
Words and pictures: Rosie Lethbridge
Kask is a brand with an excellent reputation and their Protone model is one of the most prominent helmets within the professional peloton. Having tested one out, it is clear to see why.
At first glance the helmet looks the business. Aero features, smooth geometry and curves fitting to all areas of the head with a variety of colours to match all your visual needs. The helmet is super light-weight for optimal comfort but also provides overall protection to the head, should you need it.
The Kask comes in at an incredibly light 230g. Although it boasts a very light body Kask uses an internal plastic sub-structure that increases crash protection which also helps to maintain the helmets integrity after collision. It is advised that after any crash or impact with any visible sign of damage helmets should be replaced, however. Which is of course a nice excuse to cheer yourself up with another Kask….
I have ridden with this helmet in both hot and cold weather conditions, the ventilation on hot days allows for the wind to breeze through allowing any heat to transfer away from your head keeping you cool. I never felt the need to opt for a cap on cold days but if you feel you need one the adjustment system works well and the extra layer would help to provide your head with extra warmth.
The cushioning within the helmet provides excellent comfort and won me over instantly, it almost felt like putting on a thick woolly hat. The dial at the rear works like a traditional ratchet and is easy to use and adjust even whilst riding. Previous versions I have used have felt adequate on flat roads but then needed to be tightened while descending to prevent them from slipping, and once I get back to a flat road the tightness can then cause a headache, not something you need whilst on a relaxing ride. This has not been an issue with the Kask where the style and fit of the helmet is secure at all times whilst still feeling comfortable. I hardly ever had to adjust the ratchet whilst riding.
Although the optimum fit for a cycling lid varies between individuals as our head shapes and sizes all differ, the Kask helmet uses Octo Fit adjustment which aims to guarantee a perfect fit to any kind of head shape. Although I cannot validate that, I can say that this helmet is the most comfortable helmet I have ever tried and this comfort did not alter after over 4 hours of riding where some helmets start to dig in and apply pressure to certain parts of the skull.
The base ring at the rear of the Protone allows you to pull the fastener down to whatever position you feel is best for you, which is great news for those of us who like to pop our ponytail through the rear to avoid a concoction of a sweaty hair lying on your neck. Another feature I was pleasantly surprised with was the chin strap, which is treated with an anti-allergen, avoiding irritation that can often be a nuisance particularly if it’s a hot and sweaty ride.
The Kask Protone provides superior comfort, looks the part but comes with a price tag to suit at £195. Having said that you can’t put a price on safety and it is certainly a piece of kit you will be pleased to have invested in and will have your friends having serious helmet envy. You may not ride for Team Sky but if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for us, right?
It would of course be nice if Kask could look at increasing their size range to add a 'Small' to the collection, to suit the needs of small-headed individuals such as our now very envious TWC editor.