Admittedly I'm 'one of those' roadies, a newbie!!! mtb helmet, mtb shoes and I have only recently progressed into lycras. I'm a mountain biker at heart but enjoy a road ride now and again, so when TWC sent me the Kali Loka road helmet I was entering a whole new world of helmets- I nearly look like I'm supposed to on a road bike. Kali protectives market the Loka as an entry level road helmet...Perfect for me then!
Kali Protectives owner and principle founder Brad Waldron is an engineer by trade and a is trying to design helmets that do what they’re intended to do; it's obvious when doing some background research that he is always trying to design a better and safer helmet, originally from a motorbike background he has recently progressed into both road and mountain biking designs.
I was surprised by the weight of the helmet, weighing in at 284g this is a big difference to what I normally wear as a mountain biker, for a road helmet this is midrange and comparable to the price tag.
The lightweight design of the helmet is down to the manufacturing process and new technologies. Most road helmet manufacturers use foams that are around 120 grams per cubic litre: significantly more dense than the very low density soft foam construction kali use At 80 grams per cubic litre.
Safety is not compromised by keeping weight down, Kali use 'Cone technology' which features pyramids that sit inside the shell and collapse upon impact, spreading the forces outwards into a greater area of the low-density foam and away from your head. The Composite Fusion Plus technology incorporates EPS foam that is fused to the outer shell of the helmet. This reduces the total force transferred to the head during an impact.
Kali's 'Bumper Fit' System' is a compressible membrane built into the front of the helmet that moulds to the shape of your head, meaning ultimate comfort by eliminating pressure points and hotspots, while also helping to absorb shock.
The inner cage with dial makes adjusting the fit nice and simple, the only drawback I have with this is it comes a long way down the back of the head compared to the outer shell: making it difficult to place over/above my ponytail, but problem solved: it fits through the cage!!
The chinstrap is also easy to adjust with 3 clips, one either side to adjust fit around the ears and one on the actual chin.
I tested the nice girly powder blue and white Loka, but it's also available in black/white, red/white and silver. As a unisex helmet there's a colour-way to suit everyone. The graphics are subtle on all of them with just the simple Kaliprotectives logo, which is in-keeping with the subtle yet functional design.
The Small/medium Loka sits perfectly on my 56cm head, the outer shell looks reassuringly sturdy even with all those vents and coverage is a lot more than I'd expect from a road helmet, coming down my forehead to almost my eyebrows and nice and low at the back, even with the coverage it offers the overall profile is still nice and slim.
The loka is well vented with a total of 22 vents,my test rides have all been 20degrees plus and I'm happy to say I was not too hot in the helmet, the vents works really well to channel the air through. Once on and out riding I could barely even tell I had the helmet on it was that comfy and light. The bumper fit system does exactly as it says and moulds to your head to eliminate any pressure points.
Kali make safety there priority when it comes to making helmets, and even tho the Loka may be their entry level helmet it still features many of their technological advancements. It's quite pricey at £89.99 compared to competitors entry level road cycling helmets but reading into the design and features of the helmet I think if you value your head then it's well worth investing in the technology.
Expensive entry level helmet but you get what you pay for
No spare lining pads
Lightweight and comfortable with good coverage using technologies that have been used and tested within the motorcycle industry.
Price: £89.99 available from Formby Cycles.
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