by Marc Basiliere
January 31, 2014
New UK distributor, too
While there wasn’t much in the way of new Kali product on hand at Winter Bike PressCamp this week in California, the innovative helmeteers were celebrating the shipment of two new road helmets and a new UK distributor, while showing an interesting urban-oriented prototype.
Previewed last summer, the Phenom is Kali’s first major attempt to make the Maraka‘s Supervents and Composite Fusion construction to a more moderate price point. As seen in the flagship, Supervents are reinforcing rings that help to disperse impacts across a greater area of the helmet than the typical thin shell can alone. Also shared with much of the Kali range is the Composite Fusion 3 construction, which combines medium and low-density foam across an interface that looks like a bunch of tiny cones, again dispersing impact better than a single density or planar interface. In order to provide an improved fit and one last bit of cushion, visco-elastic foam sections are built into key rider-facing areas of the helmet.
Having taken rider feedback to heart, the Phenom has a much-improved dial retention system and does away with the Maraka’s mid-shell strap anchors, making for a better fit with less eyewear interference. The Phenom comes to the UK in two sizes and four colours. Now distributed by NRG4, the helmet should ship in March at an RRP of £150/$150.
At an even more aggressive price point, the Loka does without Supervents but maintains the Composite Fusion construction. A small area of visco-elastic foam even remains at the centre of the forehead to provide a semi-custom fit where riders are most likely to find interference. The simpler-to-build road lid is handsome and meets all of the usual safety standards. Three colours, two sizes, £90/$100.
Saving the best for last? This prototype, tentatively named the Commuter, is Kali’s vision of an urban or e-bike helmet. Plenty of rear coverage, a streamlined shape, and a flip-down eye shield make it the most unique helmet we’ve seen in some time. Pricing (or, in fact, production) isn’t set, but it could be just the ticket for urban cycling. What say you all?