Kask eyes a bright road ahead with launch of sunglasses brand

You might consider it a funny time of year to launch a range of eyewear but that hasn't stopped Kask.

The Italian brand which is famous for its helmets, in particular the Protone, hasn't done things by half - not only has it launched an innovative approach to shades but it has created a brand especially to go with them

Enter Koo, which presumably stands for Kask Optics, but with an additional O, or ooh, if you will. If it reminds you of Vic and Bob calling the Dove from Above in Shooting Stars, you won't be alone. In truth the extra O probably stands for open, which they have named the model they've launched with.

We have been using a prototype pair of these all summer and can confirm they are a bit special. The frames are made from a tough polycarbonate which stands up to a whole load of abuse. The lenses are manufactured by Zeiss, and offer ridiculously clear vision. 

The real wow factor of these is the arms. They don't swing as you would expect them to, but instead pivot. This means you initially have the potential to snap the arms clean off until you work it out, but when you do, you'll see what a clever thing they have done. 

Because that pivot, which clicks down in tiny increments, means you can adjust the glasses oh-so-slightly to get some air in the top or click them right down when you need a bit more vision, such as going through a tunnel.

There are other elements such as a customizable nosepad and - sensible given the time of year - the inclusion of a clear pair of lens. Which brings us to the other innovation - the clever little switch at the temples that allows you to swap out the lenses in seconds.

These sunglasses were first seen on the noses of the Drapac Pro Continental Team right back at the start of the season. They have been helping Kask develop the eyewear along with Italian elite under 23 Team, Colpack.

You've still got a bit of a wait before you can get your hands on them -  the Open sunglasses range will be available from Christmas on in Europe, the USA and Asia, by which time sponsored rider and cyclocross legend Jeremy Powers will have been getting them filthy for half a season. And there will be even less sunshine to warrant their use.

If it's all too much of a wait you can track the progress of the release on the Koo Facebook page