Cycling

Helmets: Cracking Open A New Kask

I tread wearily when broaching the subject of cycling helmets as I know what contentious / passionate debates they can provoke. Some hate them and will never wear them; others love them and would never not wear one. I stand somewhere in between; I have one and wear it when it’s appropriate to do so. I accept the argument that if you are run over by a truck whilst cycling, there is little that a bit of plastic and foam is going to do to save you, irrespective of how highly engineered that plastic and foam might be. That’s not why I choose to wear a helmet when I do wear a helmet. I wear a helmet when the conditions would suggest that it is prudent to do so. This is not an exhaustive list but I usually do so when it is raining, when it’s windy, when I am going downhill fast or when I feel the traffic is somewhat intimidating. If I’m on a short journey – usually when I am commuting – I tend to wear the helmet as I don’t want to stop to put it on if I need to. Not doing so also requires you to find somewhere else to put the helmet. Your head, apart from anything else, is a convenient place to store a helmet, even if it’s not needed. And why do I choose to wear a helmet when it’s raining etc…? Because I think that it’s at those times when there is the greatest chance of me skidding off the bike and hitting my head on the floor. In that respect, a helmet might save my life.

I’m glad that’s out of the way. Feel free to add your thoughts below in the ‘comments’ section although it is almost guaranteed that someone will disagree passionately with you. You have been warned…

Earlier today, my new cycling helmet arrived. It’s a Kask Valegro, ‘developed in cooperation with Team INEOS‘ apparently. That doth cut no mustard with me as, ever since Team Sky was bought out by arch Brexitier Sir Jim Ratcliffe, I am no fan. Anyway, it doesn’t matter to me who cooperated in its development; I bought a Kask as I have been a happy customer for 8 years. Admittedly that has only meant one purchase – a Kask Mojito back in 2013 – but I’m a happy customer nevertheless. It’s been a good helmet and, more to do with wear and tear that any intrinsic fault, I have just replaced it with the Kask Valegro. At this point, to fill in the details, you need to watch this video:

The Internet loves those videos. Who needs Kim Kardashian shaking her arse at the camera when you can have me fiddling with my helmet? Moving on…

I thought it fitting to reflect on the travels of the old Kask Mojito before it gets thrown into jaws of destiny at the rear of the dustbin wagon. Apart from Reggie (the bike…), few other pieces of equipment have travelled with me quite so far. Indeed bearing in mind that Reggie has now been retired for some four years, the Mojito might even have edged the old Ridgeback into second place as it also went with me to Spain and Portugal in 2019 and around the UK in 2020 on a bike Called Wanda in addition to numerous forays around the UK with Dale, my (now sold) Cannondale.

Here is the Mojito is some of those ‘equipment’ pictures from 2013, 2015 and 2020:

Here it is with Reggie…

…with Dale (in Ireland)…

…and more recently with Wanda:

One last thing. Note the position of the helmet. I’ve always thought that one of the best safety features of a helmet is its ability to make the bike a bit wider. By attaching it to the side of one of the rear panniers – the right one if cycling in the UK or Ireland, the left one if cycling on the continent – drivers are obliged to stay just a few centimetres further away that they might like. And that’s fine with me…

The helmet never had a name (that would be stupid!) but he / she / it has been a faithful friend. Time to hang up your coat. Or just hang. Rest in peace (in the back of the refuse truck…)

The Kask Valegro is currently (February 2021) available from Merlin Cycles for £130, reduced from an RRP of £169. Here’s the link. And here’s the technical stuff (from the Merlin Cycles website):

Categories: Cycling, Video

1 reply »

  1. I don’t like wearing a helmet. If it’s chilly I wear a woolly hat ; it’s mainly because I do most of my riding these days along river or canal tracks . So there are no cars and the ground is softer than tarmac .

What do you think?