By Mazy Ryder-Allison
During the 2014 season Team Sky was on fire, a great black skidmark carving its way around the countryside, dragging a multi-coloured peloton in its wake.
Team Sky had it all, the Italian dream machines, the slick black kit, a massive bus. They even had their own mattresses. And they had those helmets. Lids of the kind no one had seen before. They were smooth, rounded off, and they had a back reminiscent of a Lamborghini disappearing off into the distance.
They were helmets from a different mould, literally. And everybody wanted one. Of course these being made by Kask, an Italian brand in both style and chronic disregard for any sense of urgency, it was more than a year before the general public got so much as a look in.
Fast forward a couple of years and the Protone remains one of the most advanced helmets on the market. The flattering looks have garnered many admirers, even if they are based in the pretence of practicality. That smooth profile is supposed to aid streamlining and ergo aid riding efficiency, while the vents have been created to provide maximum airflow over the head. The two holes above each temple provides the perfect garage for your glasses.
Male riders have embraced the Protone, and so have women, so much that Kask have promised a women's-specific version.
There's something about a Kask Protone that makes it a particularly pleasing object to wear on your head. t about 258g for a medium, it's not the lightest helmet out there, although it is close. But it is among the most comfortable I have worn. It feels reassuringly well seated on the head, too. The real clincher, however, is those looks, and that's with a lid designed for men.
If you're after the women's version, you could be waiting a while yet - Kask announced this in the summer of 2016 but at the time of writing in early 2017 there hasn't been so much as a sniff of it.
Don't let this put you off. The male version is so capable and attractive that you have to wonder what they could do to a women's version to make it any more suitable. Should you wait, though? This is after all a high-end helmet with a high-end price tag, what if the women's version is a better fit?
In answer to that I can only draw on my own experience. This is probably the most comfortable helmet I have worn, and I'm wearing the men's. It is comfortable both physically and mentally. You just know that you're wearing the best-looking helmet available.
So if I were you I wouldn't wait. Right now the Protone is the best looking and performing helmet out there for women, even if it was designed for men.
Summary: At last cycling helmet that you don't feel a fool in. The Protone performs both in features and stunning looks, I can't think of a bad thing to say about it.
5 / 5