You can’t fight it. The ongoing trend with aero helmets isn’t going away and Italian helmet brand KASK unveiled their new Infinity aero helmet today. They sent one over for me to review and to my surprise, I kinda liked it…
It was Team Sky that brought KASK to the forefront of my attention. Personally, I think they make some of the best looking helmets out there but I’ve never had the opportunity to try one before. Until now.
It’s been said that the new wave of aero helmets are for aerodynamics, but we also saw many riders wearing them at this year’s Spring Classics because they’re apparently warmer, thanks to less ventilation. However, coming into the European summer months, warmth is the last thing you need.
The KASK Infinity was created to have the same aero advantages of the fully sealed KASK helmets that Sky have used for the past couple of years, and to feature full ventilation to keep the head cool. The Infinity allows the rider to switch the vents from fully closed for maximum aerodynamics, to fully open for ventilation on warm days.
There’s no doubt that you can feel the difference in air flow through the helmet when comparing between vents open and closed. The helmet is also very comfortable and remarkably light (270g) and a touch of leather on the chin straps feels quite nice. The straps are placed perfectly on the sides of the face and around the ears.
Does it improve aerodynamics? Well, there’s no doubt that a helmet accounts for a lot of aerodynamic drag (see this post) and if you’re in a time trial then an aero helmet is most definitely a good idea. But in a road race where you’re sitting upright and drafting behind other riders (if you stick your nose in the wind all day, you’re not going to win the race regardless of how aero you are), my feeling is that any aerodynamic advantage is going to be negated in many ways.
As far as safety goes, KASK says that the position of the aerator boosts safety — the area is apparently reinforced with an internal plastic substructure that increases crash protection to maintain the helmet’s integrity in the event of an impact.
I do like the rear support straps — they are quite comfortable — but I’d question whether they make the helmet safer in the case of a crash, given they are held together by velcro. (Of course, these will have to go through standards testing, so they will certify the safety element). I would prefer a twist lock like many other helmets on the market since I’m always adjusting it.
As far as the aesthetics of the helmet are concerned, it’s always going to come down to individual preference. But this trend back towards Stack Hats is still yet to grow on me. I did chuckle when I put the helmet on for the first time and looked in the mirror, but I think it’s definitely one of the better-looking aero helmets out there.
- EUR €250
- GBP £200
- USD $360
- AUD $360
- YEN ¥ 35,000 tax inc.
Colour options: Red/Black/White All Shine
Sizes: M (48-58 cm) and L (59-62 cm)
- Europe: December 2013
- USA & AUS: January 2014
- Open/closing vent is innovative and functions well
- Extremely comfortable, light, and good quality construction
- Rear velcro adjustment would function better using a dial
- The aesthetics of aero helmets are not my cup of tea, but getting better