Kali Protectives to release road bike helmets

The US helmet company co-founded by a military composites engineer aims to make headway in the road market.
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Last year Kali Protectives of California converted its Maraka XC helmet into a road version and it became one of the company's success stories, one helmet quickly accounting for 4 percent of company sales. This year the company has unveiled two road specific helmets, the Phenom and the Loka. The helmets were revealed last week to cycling media at PressCamp in Deer Valley, Utah.

Kali Protectives was co-founded by California Brad Waldron. He worked for Specialized for 12 years and prior to that was a composite engineer for Northrop Grumman (he worked on the F-18 fighter jet and the B-2 Stealth bomber).

Kali's high-end helmets feature composite struts as well as impact-absorbing technologies such as cone-shaped 'crumple zones'.

The Phenom has a dual-density liner features a harder density of expanded polystyrene in-molded into the polycarbonate shell and a softer EPS next to your noggin. Kali claims this improves energy absorption in any impact.

The two foams are joined via cones which helps spread the load even further, said Waldron. The reinforcement rings around the larger vents are called SuperVents by Kali and allow the structure have narrower foam sections by spreading impact forces across a larger area. The Phenom has five SuperVents.


Kali's BumperFit interior co-molds a layer of soft memory-foam at contact points within the helmet for comfort. The Phenom weighs about 260g and is likely to cost £120 when available in three months or so.

The Loka is likely to cost £80 and does not SuperVent reinforcements or the composite struts of the Phenom. All Kali helmets feature the cone-shapes and dual-density EPS.

As well as road helmets, Kali is introducing a full-face in-molded DH helmet, the Shiva. This weighs 887g (production version will be 100g heavier) and has a composite shell and a thin, dual-density EPS liner. Lightness comes at a cost: the Shiva will retail for £400.

Knock off a zero for the Viva half-shell skate-style 'potty' lid. This has a tough, lightweight ABS shell and a triple-density liner. It has a lower profile than other skate helmets on the market and, said Waldron, is therefore more likely to be worn by the target market, kids. He demonstrated the Viva's exterior toughness by hitting it with the 'Kali stick'. 

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