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The Kask Elemento claims to feature a revolutionary design that enables a low weight and more airflow without hindering aerodynamics. Much of the helmet is familiar from the legendary Kask Protone, and it is indeed more airy and lighter, but even so it's still a hard sell at this incredibly high price.
The Protone has been a staple in the pro peloton since its release in 2018; that's a long time for any pro-level kit to stay at the very top. The Protone was, and still is, one of my favourite cycle helmets, and five years on it still features in our best aero helmets buyer's guide. The Elemento, then, has some big shoes to fill.
Despite being brand new, the Elemento already looks familiar, and to me gives off serious Protone-at-the-back, Valegro-at-the-front (Kask's most ventilated lid) vibes.
That isn't, however, where it sits in the range; rather, it fits between the Protone Icon and the aero Utopia Y, claiming to reach "new standards in terms of aerodynamics, ventilation, and performance'.
Out the box and I have to say it's a smart-looking helmet. The upper rear portion is naked carbon, which Kask claims isn't just for aesthetics (more on that in a minute). Inside, the pads are no longer all foam that's susceptible to absorbing sweat and then smelling, but rather some are a 3D printed polymer akin to that which you'd find on the latest saddles.
It's light, too: 270g on the road.cc scales, in fact. That's certainly competitive but not the lightest of the light. The Protone Icon that we reviewed last year, for example, weighs 50g less at 220g, and the Trek Velocis Mips Road Bike Helmet is 235g.
One of the main motivations for Kask to go to all this time and effort of creating the 'Fluid Carbon 12 composite technopolymer' – the exposed carbon mentioned above – is ventilation. Kask says this technology not only allows the helmet to absorb more energy from an impact than traditional materials but has also enabled an increase in the size of the internal channels, which improves ventilation, while simultaneously reducing the size of the ventilation holes for improved aerodynamics.
The helmet does indeed have impressive cooling abilities, slotting in between what you'd typically expect from an aero helmet and a "climbing" helmet. I've been using the lid throughout the UK summer and also for slower (but equally intense) mountain bike rides and have welcomed the additional airflow over my head compared with my Specialized S-Works Evade 3 helmet.
The fit of the Elemento is very reminiscent of other Kask models, including the Protone. It's wider than the Evade in a similar size, which should mean that it fits more heads. It's available in three sizes: S (50-56cm), M (52-58cm), and L (59-62cm).
At the rear is the Octofit+ dial. It's designed to achieve a precise fit and works just as it should, providing adequate adjustment singlehandedly. The helmet also features vertical adjustment of this dial, so it can sit comfortably with ponytails and longer hair, and the cradle also features an ergonomic neck support to fit securely against the nape.
Gone is the leather strap of the Protone (it did always give the worst helmet strap tan lines!) and in its place is a much lighter, minimalistic affair. The clip has also been on a diet and this did take a few goes to get used to as it doesn't always want to pull together straight. This is far from a problem when putting on the helmet with two hands, but out on a ride while trying to remove a wasp it did prove tricky with just the one hand in a panic. A minor niggle, but then should you put up with minor niggles when a helmet costs this much?
And that brings us on to that small matter… At £335 the Elemento is the most expensive helmet I've ever tested, and comes very close to topping the entire road.cc list. That title belongs to the Hexr, by the way...
Notable competitors such as the S-Works Evade 3 (£275), brand new Abus Gamechanger 2.0 (£239.99, review coming soon) and the Trek Velocis Mips (£229.99) mentioned earlier are hardly cheap, and yet they seriously undercut Kask's latest lid.
I'd get laughed out of the cycling media if I recommended that everyone needed to shell out this much on a helmet, but it is very good and, albeit marginally, better than the famous Protone, which is no mean feat. As good and comfortable as the Kask is, though, the sensible money is on the cheaper alternatives; as far as I can tell it offers no meaningful performance benefit over much cheaper Mips-equipped helmets, which makes the price rather hard to stomach.
Before you completely right it off as a waste of money, though, you might want to consider my pounds per mile metric. Let me explain... Before making a large purchase I like to ask myself how often I would ride in/with whatever component or item of clothing I'm hankering over, and for most of us helmets will rack up some serious mileage. If, then, you asked me whether to spend my hard earned cash on a new oversized pulley wheel system for my TT bike (~£600) or some super fancy rain jacket (~£400), then a £335 helmet suddenly becomes a no-brainer. (And should protect said brain for future equally important decisions.)
Great helmet, but the price tag is a serious hurdle
In the original version of this review the Elemento's weight was mistakenly listed as 170g when it should have been 270g, the review was edited on 26/08/23 to correct this error.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Kask Elemento helmet
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Kask says that this is a multi-disciplinary "pure performance helmet that leaves no room for compromise, offering cyclists the absolute best in terms of aerodynamics, ventilation, and safety". I agree that the ventilation is excellent, it's impressively light and it is indeed good for mountain bike, gravel and road riding. However, you need some seriously deep pockets.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fluid Carbon 12
OCTOFIT+ Retention System
High Visibility Stickers
I respect the technology and research that has gone into the helmet, but the Elemento's main competitors (flagship helmets) are around two-thirds of the price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well: it's light, quiet, well ventilated and comfortable, everything a good quality helmet should be.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's comfortable to wear, the relatively low weight helps with that.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I think that the price represents a very real and very sad likelihood that helmet prices are about to sky rocket.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Not well! As mentioned in the review, most of the Elemento's main competitors (flagship helmets) cost around £100 or ~30% less. Although very good, the Elemento has failed to convince me that it's worth the extra money.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? If I won the lottery.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's an excellent helmet; the Protone was always going to take some beating and this just about does it. Unfortunately, I'm not convinced the minor improvements justify the £90 price hike.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...