Kask Mistral out of box

A long story short I opened the huge box of a Kask Mistral their new Time Trial Aero helmet yesterday. From the get-go, I was disappointed. You see "I have this friend who was looking into Time Trialling" ;)

My first impression was the flimsy nature of the helmet - and this was something that was so hard hitting that I was unable to get away from it.

The main point of reference for me is my trusty MDT carbon kevlar head faring. This must have been twenty-five or so years ago. They were long, sharp-edged, ventless, inflexible, looking like raw GRP on the inside. Impact resistance would have been zero - but would have done a good job of keeping all your grey cells and fluids off of the road, or at best stopped sharper objects readjusting your skull post impact. Very aero but otherwise ineffectual. Any deviation from looking forward would deploy an air brake that a Blackburn Buccaneer would have been proud of. This is how things were back then. Simple times.

So, here I am, removing the Mistral from its packaging. The Mistral is the replacement for the much-praised Bambino - the ubiquitous stubby go-to for the last few years. However as I lift the tail twists as I lift... what... the... hell?

Close inspection shows what appears to be a vacuum formed shroud that fits over a foam helmet.

Wafter thin, with a mesh/foam lining bonded to it which a guess would be that this is going to deaden sound, kill vibration and cavitation.

The visor appears to be a similar kind of weight. The difference between those Oakley/Addidas optics you have, and that pair that cost a tenner with three lenses from eBay? Yes. Those. I am... I need to wash my hands. Compare this to say the thick, coated, optically correct Carl Zeis offering on the Giro Aerohead (albeit needlessly large) and this is how they line up.

It notes four vents. The reality is that the shroud has two vents at the pointy end - however, it is empty underneath so unless you have this fully against your back - these are slightly mute short of dropping pressure inside the shroud to aid airflow?

Now - the decision for me was simple enough - this is not for me. However here are three positive points:

1. Straps. GOOD GOD KASK GIVE GOOD STRAP. It was setup for my odd shaped noggin out of the box. The 'leatherette' chin strap is not a nice to have it is a necessity. Being a sweaty soul - having your neck sawn into by a salt-encrusted Cordura strap is not a place I enjoy being. I love their straps. This has one.

2. Levers. I once read a very in-depth paper about the issues raised about helmets not being 'head shaped'. Key to this was creating levers that stick out from your head, which, in an impact put loads on your neck that your evolution in NO WAY prepared you for. Generally speaking - rounder, better. This may not be still considered fact - however, it would make a lot of sense. This helmet has a small, dull, round EP helmet with a 'vac formed' shrowd that is going to exert zero in a crash more than fabric would. Shattering, shearing, bending I should think by five minutes of holding the thing. This from a safety point of view is nice.

3. Aerodynamics. The point of a TT or aero helmet is to be exactly that. I do not have a wind tunnel. It could be the greatest thing since sliced bread for all I know. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that there is an element of getting your kit on the right heads in there. None the less there is no getting away from if you where to ask a physicist, or a child with a penchant for sketching aircraft they would mutter something about youngsters and their truncated aerofoils, along with knowing nods to skin, induced, form friction. Oh, and mmmmmm shiny.

This is not for me.

It however probably fulfils a bunch of someone's requirements.

Thats my 2p anyway.

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