Kask Valegro, the Airhead's Helmet
Helmets like the Giro Synthe and Kask Protone are among the most popular road helmets on the market (and at our shop), thanks largely to their combination of technology and good looks. However, if there’s anything that is immediately apparent with these helmets, it's that they’re chosen for their comfort more than anything. The fact of the matter is that cyclists who buy these helmets (and other high-end road bikes like these) don’t care much about marginal gains in aerodynamics, which both the Synthe and Protone are designed to accomplish, but for their comfort and strong ventilation. The all-new Kask Valegro helmet is made for these people, who want a high-performance helmet but care more about all-day comfort than small aero gains. Ventilation is key to comfort, and the Kask Valegro has it buckled down. The has a whopping 37 ventilation holes, plus shaped internal air channels. Kask says the helmet was developed in a wind tunnel, but unlike an aero road helmet, was designed to funnel air through and around your head. The clear entry and exit points offer an excellent place for air to travel through. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly), the helmet is pretty darn quiet too. Whether that's down to smart wind buffetting, a lack of wind, or the helmet fitting perfectly with my head shape is up to you to decide. The Valegro helmet is all about ventilation, but the helmet is pretty darn comfortable just being worn around as well. Kask’s Octo Fit retention system, also found on the Protone, makes an appearance here. With up to 50mm vertical adjustment, it offers a wide fit options both vertically and around the head’s circumference to provide a secure fit. Fixed strap splitters, again found on the Protone, contribute toward the helmet’s low weight. We dig them because they provide little to no irritation and are one less thing to worry about. The eco leather strap, a Kask hallmark, is also way comfortable and is a classy touch. Thank you Italians! Topping it off is weight; it weighs just 180g for a size small. The Valegro is a minimalist helmet, and some may take issue to the lack of padding at the front of the helmet (shout out to everyone who loves to sweat like crazy). It has a more universal fit in size medium than the Protone does, and offers one of the best overall fits of any helmet we have. The wind channels make for a cooler head, so in theory the pads do less work. Your results may vary; I wouldn't expect there to be issues. One complaint is older Kask helmets is their interference with most glasses. Perhaps it was due to my negligence, but one of the coolest features I found here is a small kink in the retention system just above the ear that provides just enough space for sunglasses. Overall, the helmet played well with glasses from Oakley, Tifosi, and Shimano S-Phyre, but your results may vary depending on preferred retention system placement. The Valegro stored glasses up front decently well (though not as nicely as the Synthe), and really well in the back. We don’t carry products we wouldn’t ourselves use, and Kask’s newest helmet is a winner. It fits more head shapes than the Kask Protone, it feels impressively airy, and it’s low profile design looks good on just about everyone. $250 is still on the high end of the market, but the Kask Valegro helmet offers excellent value for what you're getting.