Kali Protectives ventured into the road market last year with the Maraka R, although, in reality, it was just the standard Maraka XC trail lid without the visor. Now the company is adding two new helmets purpose-built for pavement use – the US$149/£120 Phenom and US$99/£80 Loka.
The new Phenom digs deep into Kali's bag of tricks. The Composite Fusion Plus dual-density liner features a harder density of EPS foam in-molded into the polycarbonate shell, for structural integrity, but a softer foam next to your head to absorb more energy.
According to Kali founder Brad Waldron, the unique cone-shaped interface between the two creates a sort of crumple zone in the event of a crash, offering more foam deformation – and, thus, more energy absorption – than the norm for both better protection and a lower profile.
The exterior of the Phenom is appropriately swoopy for the segment, with bits of the carbon fiber internal reinforcement peeking through. The biggest front and rear SuperVents are further bolstered with ABS bezels around their perimeters, which Waldron says provides necessary structural integrity without a need for harder foam.
Finally, Kali's BumperFit feature co-molds a layer of soft memory foam at key contact points inside the helmet. These don't add to the safety of the helmet but do make for a notably soft feel inside, without the bulk of traditional foam pads.
Target weight for the Phenom is around 260g, and Kali expects it to be in production in about three months.
Kali Loka road helmet
The lower-priced Loka ditches the SuperVent external reinforcements and carbon fiber bits but retains all the other features of the more expensive Phenom. The forward-facing vents are notably smaller, as a result, and there's no big central vent as on the Phenom. But it still looks as though it will be reasonably cool in warm temperatures while offering a similarly low profile and the same level of crumple zone protection.
Shiva full-face and Viva half-shell
Kali's innovations in in-molded full-face helmets already made for some of the lightest lids in the segment, but the new Shiva breaks the 1kg barrier with its carbon fiber shell and remarkably thin, dual-density EPS liner. In fact, a large Shiva has a smaller exterior than a medium sample of Kali's current top-end carbon full-face helmet.
The tidy form factor comes courtesy of a new Composite Fusion Three dual-density foam construction. It replaces the Composite Fusion Plus' cone-shaped interface with a three-sided pyramid shape that's supposedly more efficient at redirecting impact force laterally inside the liner.
More impressively, the Shiva is tough enough to not only meet EN and CPSC crash standards for bicycle use but also pass the far more stringent DOT test for motorized vehicles.
Kali Shiva DH full-face helmet
Not surprisingly, this sort of technology won't come cheaply. Suggested retail price will be US$449/£400 when the Shiva hits stores later this year.
Coming in at a far more reasonable US$59/£40, however, is the new Viva half-shell, with classic skate-inspired styling for cruising around town or hitting the local dirt jumps.
Kali Viva helmet
Waldron says the ABS shell is more resistant to dings and dents than most current offerings, while the Composite Fusion Three dual-density liner and BumperFit memory foam-enhanced interior yields a far lower profile than typical. Actual weight is around 425g.
For more information on Kali products see www.kaliprotectives.com.