Kask unveils new premium aero road lid, the Protone Icon

The new flagship helmet is said to improve on the original Protone in every way.

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Kask has overhauled its popular breezy aero road helmet, the Protone. Now called the Protone Icon, this new lid – launched at the Sea Otter Classic this week – retains a familiar aesthetic with a number of welcome updates. 

Compared to its predecessor, the new Protone Icon is said to be more aero, better ventilated, lighter, safer, and more comfortable. 

We’re yet to spend any time in this new lid, but here are a few things to know about the helmet that should be trickling onto shelves over the next few days. 

All the things, better 

At the centre of Kask’s claimed improvements sits a new reinforcing internal structure that has allowed the company to widen the frontal vents. That of course helps to improve ventilation, and so do the new ribs seen running externally through the vents. These ribs are shaped to help draw air into the newly enlarged vents. However, Kask didn’t speak about any notable changes to the internal channelling. 

Wider vents and a reinforcing structure that directs airflow.

Those ribs are also said to help stall and smooth the airflow for improved aerodynamic performance. How much faster or how much more breezy is the new lid? And does the new Protone Icon solve the somewhat mediocre sweat management of its predecessor? These are questions I can’t answer (at least not yet). 

Improved comfort comes from a revised retention system that now offers more rounded pads at the back, designed to more naturally hug the occipital bone. According to Kask, this new shape should solve the rare issue of riders experiencing hot spots behind the ears, and I suspect it helps with eyewear compatibility too.

And speaking of the retention system, there’s now a new rubber-covered dial that feels easier to grip. Meanwhile, the thin, fixed webbing straps and Italian-made leather chin strap seen with previous Kask helmets are both carried over.

Kask’s new retention system is called OctoFit+. I expect to see this one rolled out in future releases, too.

Safety is one element that’s a little murkier. Like all of Kask’s helmets, the Protone Icon doesn’t feature MIPS or any other obvious anti-rotation-protection feature. Instead, Kask has begun pointing to “WG11” which is an emerging industry working group looking to establish an objective and science-based test protocol for measuring helmets against rotational impacts. 

What does a new industry working group mean and how does it help the design of this helmet? That part is a little unclear but Kask is claiming that the new helmet (and any other with “WG11″ mentioned) passes this new industry test standard. Either way, I asked whether the new Protone Icon has been tested by Virginia Tech for independent verification, and the somewhat vague answer hinted toward Kask being confident in the safety of their product. Either way, this is one we’ll aim to follow up on in the near future. 

The revised internal structure and more open vents have also led to a marginal weight saving. We’re only talking an approximate 5-7 grams saved, for a claimed weight of 230 g (medium, CE standard).

Kask offers the helmet in three sizes, and in a variety of gloss and matte colours. The new Protone Icon is priced in line with the old (region dependent). Expect to pay US$300 / €275 / £245 / AU$409. 

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