Much as with high-end road bikes, road helmets tend to be traditional or aero these days. The former generally offer excellent ventilation and light weight but little advantage in terms of drag, while the latter can be slippery to the wind but hot on the head. The new Team Sky Kask Infinity promises to be both aerodynamic and cool. Suggested retail price is a whopping US$360/£200/€250.
Just as snow sports helmets have done for years, the new Kask Infinity includes a sliding cover that allows you to open or close the vents. When closed, the helmet's sleek exterior and rounded shape supposedly generate less drag than a traditionally vented lid – although Kask doesn't offer any wind tunnel figures to quantify the difference. Ribs on the sides of the Infinity are said to 'trip' the passing air, too, and encourage it to stick to the surface of the helmet instead of turbulently careening off the back.
Reach up and slide the rubberized 'aerator' back, however, and you expose three large vents by your forehead – just the thing for steep climbs on hot days when aerodynamic performance isn't as important.
Kask claims good ventilation at speed even with the aerator closed, thanks to a pair of small vents at the front lower edge that feed air into internal channels that run across the top of your head. The eight exhaust ports at the back of the Infinity are always open as well, so that hot air is free to escape regardless of the aerator situation.
The Infinity is almost completely devoid of sharp edges
The internal structure supporting the aerator is supposed to lend additional safety in the event of a crash. Additional features include a faux leather chin strap, a simple retention system made of soft nylon, and 5mm-thick padding that's generously perforated to promote airflow.
Claimed weight is 270g, and the Kask Infinity will come in red, black, or "white all shine", with availability in Europe and the UK starting in December. US and Australian samples will follow a month later.
We've just received our test model at BikeRadar's US office, so stay tuned for a full review shortly.