AJACCIO, France (VN) — Team Sky will ride in a brand new Kask helmet this Tour de France, featuring a sliding, adjustable vent designed to allow for a quick transition between aerodynamics and heat dissipation.
The new helmet is called Infinity, and its middle section — the part in blue, on the Sky lids — is a sliding cover. Slide this “mobile aerator” backwards and three large induction vents are exposed, sending cooling air straight to the forehead and over the scalp. When the weather cools, or in those moments when a bit of extra aerodynamics is more important than heat management (a sprint finish, for example) the cover can slide forward again, closing off the vents and providing the maximum aerodynamic benefit.
The Infinity will hit U.S. shops in January with a retail price of a whopping $360. But it’s almost like two for the price of one, right?
That’s the idea, anyway. Kask is touting the Infinity as the do-it-all aero helmet; the only one you’d truly want to wear in the heat of July, and still count on to save as many watts as possible. We think this may be a bit of a stretch, as most of the helmet is still solid plastic even with the front vents exposed. But it’s certainly a step towards increased versatility for aero road helmets.
Whether the cover is open or closed, the general shape of the Infinity is tailored towards aerodynamics; more plastic than vent. The form is born from Kask’s Bambino time trial helmet, which features a rounded profile to minimize interruptions to airflow. A rib down the side is intended to minimize the low-pressure zone behind the head.
There’s still a bit of built-in ventilation with the lid closed and the forehead vents covered thanks to side channels that serve to channel air across the temples and out the back of the helmet. The cover is infinitely adjustable, too, and will stay put in any position between fully open and fully closed, allowing a rider to fine-tune airflow.
Thick, 5mm Coolmax padding is designed to draw sweat quickly away from the head and let it evaporate quickly, and the helmet’s internal ventilation channels reduce head-to-helmet contact, which should also help the Infinity feel a bit cooler.
At 270 grams, the Infinity is neither impressively light nor horribly heavy; the weight is on par with many non-aero helmets on the market, but heavier than the lightest options like Giro’s Aeon or the Limar Ultralight.
Check back for a full ride review.