The KASK Bambino time trial helmet is one of the hottest go-faster products that's not yet on the market. We'll have to wait until after the 2012 Olympics for its public release, as it forms part of Team GB (who used it at the Beijing Olympics) and Team Sky's aero weaponry.
In the meantime, we've managed to get our hands on one for a quick first impression before it heads to the Triathlon Show 2012 in Surrey this weekend, where you can see it on the CompuTrainer stand. That said, we're sorely tempted to steal it for a race on Sunday...
Most modern aero helmets use a teardrop shape to help keep the airflow smooth across the rider's head and down their back. There are definite advantages in using them over standard road helmets, although you do pay a weight penalty and your peripheral vision can be compromised. The KASK Crono TT differs from this design by lopping off the tail (this isn't completely new – Chris Boardman did the fastest ever Tour de France prologue in 1994 in a stubby helmet).
According to the designers, who've tested it extensively in a wind tunnel, this means it performs better than a standard teardrop when the wind is coming from varying directions – as is typically the case on the road. It also frees up your neck, and according to our partners Koolstof Coaching, can help you produce more power.
The KASK Crono TT visor is easy to remove
There's a modest weight saving compared to other aero helmets, too – according to our scales the Crono TT is 380g including the visor, for a 55-58cm model. The visor is an elegant piece of work. It solves the problem of using electrical tape or less aero ways of attaching visors by using five magnets mounted to the visor and helmet shell. This means it fits snugly onto the front of the helmet and is also very easy to remove.
Ventilation is minimal – six slits at the front and four at the rear – which means the air channels inside the helmet are fairly shallow. Better for aerodynamics, maybe not so good for cooling. When it comes to adjustment, there's none around the ears but at the back of the head it's controlled by a Velcro strap with a carbon fibre effect backing. The chin strap is leather for extra comfort, which is a nice touch.
Last but not least there's a go faster stripe running from the forehead to the tip of the tail. This could be merely for effect but we think it might have an aerodynamic benefit too.
Price wise, the KASK Crono TT, available in black or white and including the visor and bag, is set to retail for £299.