Aerodynamics has been front and center for many racing helmet developments in the last few years, so I was surprised to see KASK ignore aero with the Valergo, basically calling it the best lid for climbing and hot weather.
This lid definitely caught my attention. I must confess I love marginal gains from wearing an aero helmet, both perceived and actual, but I also keep finding myself gravitating towards my “regular” helmet for better ventilation and frankly, better aesthetics.
When the helmet showed up last May my first impression was the Valergo was one good looking helmet that also happens to be darn light, thanks in part to its 37 vents. My size large CPSC-certified version tipped the scale at a mere 236 grams. The Valergo uses the Octo Fit retention system, carried over from the flagship Protone helmet. It doesn’t have the tech built in to combat against rotation impacts like MIPS, but it does have an extended polycarbonate layer that wraps around the edges, and a design KASK claims makes a safer helmet.
Out on the road those 37 vents proved to be super effective. The Valergo is by far one of the best ventilated helmet I have tried. It kept my head cool on those slow long summer climbs to the point where there wasn’t any noticeable heat build up throughout. And for these very same reasons I would strongly advise against wearing one during the winter months.
The slim profile, especially the frontal brow area is also quite evident, especially compared to the POC Ventral I was concurrently testing. Sadly, there is no dedicated place to put your sunglasses, and the small vents were not particularly friendly to stick my glasses into.
To save weight, Kask forgoes the buckles under the ears with a non-adjustable sewn junction which fit me perfectly, but could possibly be problematic for some. The adjustable chain strap also differs from other brands in that it uses a faux-leather chin strap in favor of the traditional webbing, which I found it to be soft to the touch and comfortable on long rides. Note to Kask: Please get rid of that white “Made In Italy” label on the black strap. It’s just plain ugly on a otherwise gorgeous helmet.
The inside of the helmet is lined with seven thin strips of 5mm thick antistatic and antibacterial padding. It’s comfortable, breathes well and dries fast, but there were not enough of them to soak up all the sweat pouring off my sweaty brow. As a consequence, excess sweat dripped on my face with more frequency compared to other helmets with more built in absorption. A horizontal brow pad would probably alleviate those unintended showers. My workaround is to wear a sweatband or a cap, but that reduces the very purpose of having an airy helmet.
So who is this helmet made for? KASK developed it for Team Sky to use during those hot July stages of the Tour. The $250 Valergo fulfilled its purpose of being a lightweight, airy helmet. Despite the sweat dripping issue holding it back from being the perfect helmet, it’s still a helmet I would love to have around for those long, hot days in the saddle. Come on Kask, fix it and it’ll easily be my all-time favorite helmet.