Kask Protone ReviewPrice: $300 List | $299.95 at Competitive Cyclist Pros: Durable, leather chin strap
Cons: Expensive, adjustment issues, not comfortable
Bottom line: The Protone is a pricy Italian semi aero helmet that falls short on comfort and adjustability.
Weight Grams: 268g (M)
Size Range: 52-58cm
The Kask Protone is a semi-aero helmet comparable in design to the Giro Synthe. Kask is an Italian company well known for making high-quality helmets. Team Sky, one of the most successful pro cycling teams in the Pro Peloton, uses Kask helmets. This helmet is designed to provide good ventilation while maintaining an aerodynamic profile. The Protone is undoubtedly a sharp looking, durable helmet. Unfortunately, it was hampered by comfort and adjustability issues during testing, keeping it out of range of high scoring helmets like the Giro Synthe.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We expected the Protone to be one of the more comfortable helmets in the test following our experience with the Kask Vertigo. Regrettably, that was not the case. The main issue with the Protone is a fore and aft adjustment system that does not lock in place, allowing the helmet to shift forward and backward on the head. In addition, the circumferential strap system has a bend near the temples that creates pressure points. Despite these complaints, the Protone does have very plush Coolmax padding, and a very comfortable leather chinstrap.
This helmet scores poorly due to a fore and aft adjustment mechanism that does not stay in place. Just touching the helmet while riding can cause it to shift forward or backward. In addition, it does not have an adjustable Y-buckles like the high scoring Giro Synthe and the Lazer Z-1. The lack of adjustable y-buckles made getting the straps evenly tensioned impossible for some of our testers. The rear straps have fixed anchor points, further limiting adjustability. For a more adjustable helmet, we suggest the Giro Synthe.
The Protone has a competitive weight of 268g. The Giro Synthe has a similar semi-aero design and comes in at the same weight, but it has a MIPS liner. The non-MIPS version of the Synthe would be most comparable to the Protone, and it is 30g lighter in weight. When you take the durable construction of the Protone into account, the weight is actually quite reasonable for a semi aero helmet.
Looks and Design
This is a nice looking helmet, with some aerodynamic benefits. Lots of vents up front give it an almost traditional look, but from the side the aerodynamic intentions are apparent, with a rounded top section free of vents. The Protone lacks rubber sunglass grippers found on other high-end helmets like the Giro Synthe and Specialized Airnet MIPS. We like the leather chin strap, and our testers found it to be very comfortable on the skin. The design is solid, with the exception of the fore and aft adjustment system, which does not stay in place.
Overall, ventilation is adequate, but falls short of the Giro Synthe, our Editors' Choice award. The Synthe has 26 vents, compared to 20 on the Protone. Fewer vents could be what makes the difference between the two helmets, but we feel it is more likely do to with the Roc Loc air suspension system on the Synthe that maintains a few millimeters of space between the head and the EPS shell. Internal channeling is quite extensive on the Protone, which helps with ventilation at speed. The extra heat build up is most noticeable at lower speeds when compared to the higher scoring Specialized Airnet and the Synthe.
The Protone is one of the most durable helmets we tested. A full wrap polycarbonate shell protects the EPS from damage. Though more of an aesthetic issue, the Protone scores lower than the Smith Overtake due to flimsy stickers that easily scratch and peel, compared to durable painted-on decals. In addition, the failure of the fore and aft adjustment system cost the Protone in the durability category.
This competitor is best suited to road racing and training.
It retails for $299.95. Due to the poor design of the fore and aft adjustment system, we do not feel it is a good value.
The Kask Protone is a nice looking semi aero helmet. It suffers from poor adjustability and lack of comfort. If you are looking for a semi-aero helmet, we suggest you consider the Giro Synthe.
— Curtis Smith
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Most recent review: February 17, 2017
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