Review – KASK Vertigo 2.0 Road Cycling Helmet

Competitive racing has propelled KASK helmets into the limelight in Australia. The newest trends and styles from pro-cycling are filtering faster and more effectively to Australian cyclists, thanks to television and, of course, the internet. A perfectly uniformed professional cycling team in the latest gear and with the latest bikes can be the best advertising. Helmets though are an exception when Australian certification requirements stall the process. When the KASK Proton helmet was launched with Team Sky at the 2014 Tour de France, for example, it was late 2015 before it finally arrived in Australia.

It was new helmet time for me and KASK was at the top of my list. While the KASK helmets look great and a number of friends had Mojitos and Protons, I have to admit that the pro-cycling sponsorship did leave its mark on me. The top of the line Proton retails for around $400 in Australia and while it looks fantastic, you need deep pockets. High performance competitive cycling is not on my agenda so I could easily justify looking further down the range.

The KASK range of road cycling helmets begins with the Rapido which retails for ca. $110. The entry model road helmet for KASK is priced  bit beyond other brands, such as Giro and Bell, who begin their entry level pricing for road cycling helmets at $80. KASK see themselves as the Mercedes Benz of helmets.

Kask range rapido mojito vertigo proton

Following the Rapido is the very popular Mojito which boasts a large selection of colours. You will certainly find a Mojito helmet style which will perfectly match your bike and cycling kit. Retailing for $210, it is priced relatively closely to the subject of this review, the Vertigo 2.0 which retails for $250.

Next in line is the Infinity, an aerodynamic helmet best suited to time trial and triathlon. These retail for ca. $350 while the Proton helmet headlines the range at $400.

 

Vertigo, Upgrades and the Aussie Special

The Vertigo helmet made its first appearance on the heads of Team Sky pro-cyclists in 2010 and in 2015 was relaunched as Vertigo 2.0. Does this make it “New and Improved?” Not quite; the changes over the predecessor are very subtle. The nylon straps lose a plastic buckle and are now sewn. The (fake) leather chin strap has a minor modification to connect with the nylon straps. Blue gel-pads which were positioned to the rear (and developed a reputation for coming lose) have also been replaced. And finally, the new version received a minor graphic design update. It would be fair to say that it is a revision rather than an update as the polystyrene foam and outer shell construction are identical.

vertigo-helmet-differences

A peculiarity that I noticed while determining the differences between the original and the new model helmet is that the outer shell on the Australian helmets are slightly different than on the international helmets. Just a minor detail which may reflect on the different testing methods undertaken in Australia in order to conform to the AS/NZS 2063:2008 standards.

ASNZS2063 helmet

I opted for the Vertigo 2.0 in the neutral white colour scheme for compatibility with different coloured cycling kit. KASK only offer two sizes, a Medium (48 -58cm) and Large (59 – 62cm), which made it difficult for me. I am a Medium but I like to wear a cycling cap underneath sometimes which shifts me into a Large. I took a gamble and opted for the Large.

kask Australian Standards

Helmet Fastening System

 

Vertigo Unleashed

The Vertigo 2.0 helmet is well presented in a lime green box and it comes with a carry bag which is a nice touch for a premium helmet. The most striking detail was the leather chin strap printed with the words “Made in Italy”. It is actually leatherette, which is a fake leather, and is an-allergic, anti-bacterial, and washable. It gets two big ticks, one for being Made in Italy and the second for the design of such a nice feature.

Kask helmet replacement pads

kask made in italy

On my head, the helmet was loose until I tightened it with the dial adjustment at the rear. A feature of this helmet is that the rear part of the harness is first pulled down where it sits in the cradle of your neck and then the helmet is tightened. This up’n’down adjustment provides an even better fit and gives you the feeling that your head is neatly enclosed, rather than the helmet sitting simply on top. I can easily say that it is the most comfortable bicycle helmet I have ever worn. It did give me the feeling that I was wearing a Mexican sombrero which contrasts with my old lightweight but uncomfortable Limar helmet.

Kask vertigo helmet harness

Helmet Visor

As an alternative to the dial, you can also tighten the harness by squeezing the fastening mechanism together with two fingers. The leatherette chin strap should be adjusted to ensure a good fit but, as it is a tougher material, it is harder to adjust it into the right position than a regular strap. I found myself readjusting in small steps during the first few weeks.

Another feature of the Vertigo that shouted ‘premium’ was that the polycarbonate outer-shell material, which is usually just on the outside of the helmet, also lined the base. It has a very practical effect of protecting the foam from dents and I assume that it also contributes to the structural integrity of the helmet to help protect the head in a crash.

 

Riding with Vertigo

As a premium road cycling helmet, the 270 gram Vertigo 2.0 is not a light helmet, but it easily makes up for this in comfort. The helmet encloses the head and also means that the peak was in my peripheral vision. In combination with sunglasses and a cycling cap, there was still plenty of space and I found that I could easily angle the cycling cap peak up or down without affecting the fit.

Helmet retention

On one early morning ride as my sunglasses started to fog over, I tried to put the sunnies through the vents and onto the helmet but simply couldn’t get a good position. While ‘sunglass holder’ is not crucial, it is nice when the sunnies fit nicely.

A problem I experienced while riding was that the helmet harness slipped up. In a typical road cycling position, the body is arched forward and the neck and head are angled up. In my case, this meant that the fit became a little lose and the helmet was prone to tilt forward. This movement was a little disappointing and means that from time to time I need to adjust the helmet while riding which is something I would prefer not to do with a helmet of this calibre.

 

Vertigo Video

 

Do you or don’t you?

The KASK Vertigo 2.0 gets some serious competition from its sibling. The KASK Mojito has the same up’n’down fastening system, is about 50 grams lighter (220 grams), and about $40 cheaper. The helmets differ in style, not only the physical form but the colour options make the Vertigo and Mojito distinct from one another so personal choice will play a role. My suggestion is to try them both on in-store and see which one you like better. Opt for the Vertigo 2.0 if it feels great and looks better (and you can stretch your budget).

When you try on the helmets, make the effort to get into your road cycling position and move your head around to ensure that you have a reliable fit.

The KASK Vertigo 2.0 retails for ca. $250 and is available in your local bike shop.

Kask vertigo carry bag    Kask helmet australia



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About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

4 responses to “Review – KASK Vertigo 2.0 Road Cycling Helmet”

  1. Bigfella195 says:

    This is a helmet I would love to own, I have tried one on and it is indeed very comfortable. From my reading about these Kask helmets, I am left with the feeling that the Vertigo is a safer helmet and is built with an internal skeletal structure that helps hold the helmet together in the event of an accident, the cheaper Mojito does not seem to have this same feature from what I can see. The one thing that has prevented me from making this purchase is the fact the the rear adjustable cradle interferes with my sunglasses and pushes them forward, just annoying, I have new sunnies so will need to see if the arms of these are short enough to eliminate this one failing of Kasks awesome helmets.

  2. Matt says:

    I have the previous version of the Vertigo and love it. Miles more comfortable than others I’ve worn including quite expensive models from Specialized and Bell. I’d likely be just as happy with a Mojito, but got a good deal on the colour I wanted… It’s due for replacement in the near future and I’m leaning toward the Protone, though waiting for a rumoured matte navy colourway to become available here… otherwise might go for the Vertigo 2.0 in matte black.

    Anyhow, it also has the sunglasses interference issue, though is fine with my Wayfarers as the arms hook around the back of the ears – there are probably cycling sunglasses that are similar.

    Removing the foam pads on the floating ‘brackets’ on the helmet cradle did improve it a little.

    • Bryan says:

      I just picked up the Protone 2.0 in the matt navy.

      Fit and comfort is really good.

      I am currently using the Giro Synthe which is already falling apart in the rear “frame” after 6 months of use.

  3. Mike says:

    I recently bought the Vertigo 2.0 in matt black. Much better helmet then my previous one, of course about 3x the price but feels worth it. I’m a 57cm head circumference and my previous helmet was Large. Here I tried on both M and L and found the M was just right fit and very comfortable. This is in a large part due to the dual hinged rear strap which reaches further down and pulls up tight under the base of your skull. Dial adjustment for the final fit was easy and it’s padded unlike the Mojito (which my son owns). The leatherette chin strap is soft and comfortable with squeeze buckle fits to the side of the chin not directly under (better) and doesn’t cut in.

    One feature of difference to the Mojito worth pointing out is the 3D cut of the inner foam. It allows the air to flow in over your forehead and around your head. I actually felt some morning like someone is blowing down the back of my neck the ventilation is that good.

    The fit with sunglass arms is little bit of an issue. I find my BBB glasses do fit but only just and only in one position. Take your usual pair along to the trial fitting.

    For me 9/10 great helmet