Bike racers generally obsess over the latest tech. And helmets have benefited from a quiet revolution in technology. Today's helmets are lighter, more comfortable and safer. We rounded up a selection of the latest lids in Issue 30, and in true Cyclocross Magazine fashion, looked to see which ones are are best suited for your mixed-terrain racing and adventures.
In part 1 of this on-line feature, we showed you the latest in aero helmets. Here we take a look at some more traditional lids in case you're wondering what else is out there in terms of helmet options.
by the CXM Test Crew
Kali Protectives Phenom
Kali has been quietly working at bringing new technology and value-packed helmets to cyclists and motorcyclists, and we’re fans of the versatile Maraka helmet. Kali’s road model, the Phenom, is a value-packed option for cyclocrossers, and comes complete with a winter/aero shell (we looked at Kali’s true aero offering, the Tava in part 1) and optional bug netting, all for $160.
Safety: Talk Kali representatives and the conversation is always about safety and fit. The Conehead foam promises to absorb more energy than single density foam when the cone shapes crush, sending the force sideways instead of towards your head. The Supervents add structure to the vents to further dissipate the force of an impact in an area that is typically the weakest.
Fit: Kali addresses fit through its Microfit system, a quick one-hand adjustable buckle at the back of the helmet instead of a dial. It’s ponytail compatible, good for some women or Fignon-inspired riders. The Bumperfit pads though might be our favorite feature. They’re marketed as a safety feature, but they help customize the fit to your head’s strange curves. It’s worth noting that the Phenom sits really low on your forehead. That’s awesome for protecting more of your head, especially when you meet a decapitating barrier at SSCXWC, but it’s low enough that the helmet can even enter your field of vision. It may not be an issue on some heads, but for ours, the Maraka or Maya from Kali are less intrusive.
Heads up: Some sunglasses seem incompatible with the Phenom. Find a local retailer to give this tremendous value a try to see if it will work with your head and shades. If you like huge visors and helmet-mounted lights or cameras, check out the mountain and urban-oriented Maya, our favorite on the muddiest days.
Specs: Weight: 304g (L/XL) // MSRP: $160 // Sizes: S/M, L/XL
More info: kaliprotectives.com