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With 37 ventilation holes packed into a compact 234-gram helmet (size medium), the Kask Valegro hits the mark for cooling and weight. Kask claims the polycarbonate shell was tested and refined at a wind-tunnel to optimize thermo-cooling performance. The Italian company worked with Team Sky to offer the best comfort and ventilation in hot conditions. The helmet made its debut with the team at last year’s Tour de France.
The cooling effect of so many vents is readily apparent: Air is channeled onto the front, sides, and top of the head. Aiding the cooling effect is the fact that the padding inside the helmet runs in narrow strips, rather than larger pads as in other helmets. Thus, less helmet sits in contact with your head. On the other hand, there is less padding available to soak up sweat, particularly at the front of the helmet. It also gives the feeling that the helmet is perched over the head rather than wrapping around it.
The wispy retention system accommodates a large range of head sizes. (Size medium is built for 52-58-centimeter diameter heads.) Likewise, the rear portion of the retention system moves vertically over a wide range, allowing you to position the rear of the harness around the external occipital protuberances (the knobs on the back of the skull.) The single dial in the rear allows for easy adjustment. Unfortunately, we experienced some up/down movement in the system while riding, particularly when craning the neck. It wasn’t a huge problem, but we’d prefer a more “locked-in” feeling.
The aforementioned thin padding inside is said to be wicking, antistatic, bacteriostatic, heat regulating, and moisture transferring using Resistex Carbon. That’s a lot of claims, and we can’t necessarily confirm all of them. What we can say is that the pads seemed to work well at reducing that staticky feeling. The faux-leather chin strap is stiffer than many but still allows for a comfortable fit.
As with other Kask models we’ve reviewed, like the Protone, the interaction between the rear of the retention system and the arms of certain sunglasses can be problematic. While it isn’t a deal-breaker, it may take a bit of fiddling to adjust the retention system up or down to prevent it from pushing your glasses forward.
As with any helmet, our advice is to try it before you buy it. Helmet comfort is not as personal as saddle choice, but there are several reasons why you want to be certain a helmet fits your head, your needs, and your style.