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Trainer Road

januari 03, 2024


New Kask Helmet Makes You More Aero By Tucking Your Ears Away

The times, they are a changing at the Ineos Grenadiers. The team swapped to a new kit sponsor. The team moved from their navy blue and red to new colors, and the Pinarello Dogma F got a new paint scheme.

And while Kask is still their helmet sponsor for 2024, it looks like their latest helmet might just be the most aero helmet for people who looking make every last marginal gain, including making their ears more aero.

filippo ganna in kask aero helmet side
(Photo: Filippo Ganna via Instagram)

We’re used to seeing TT specialist Filippo Ganna in aero helmets. This one is a little different, however. The sides of the Kask Utopia come down dramatically, covering both the sunglasses arms that Ganna is using, as well as the tops of his ears.

Why would an aero helmet like this want to have any covering over the ears? We look to time trial helmets for the answer. Most of them – including their own Kask Bambino helmet – cover the ears almost fully. Those helmets, however, also use an integrated visor to smooth airflow.

This ear-tuck design isn’t new territory for headwear in general. First came oversized fitted caps, beanies worn by construction workers, and that cat wearing a melon on its head; now comes Filippo Ganna and the Ineos Grenadiers.

Who’s more aero? Who wore it better? Who can make the most serious face between Gee Atherton and Filippo Ganna? We’re in a stalemate. (Photo: Simon Niemborak/Pinkbike, Filippo Ganna via Instagram)

The aero strategy seems to take a play from the automotive world. We’ve seen something similar with the Honda Insight. That car uses a cover on the top of the rear wheels in a bid to smooth airflow, a strategy that also is employed here.

Like wheels and tires, ears aren’t exactly an aerodynamic shape. The wider the tire, the less aero the system is. Could Kask have found that pushing the top of a rider’s ears back improves aerodynamics too, thus leveling the playing field for those who want their ears as aero as possible?

filippo ganna in kask aero helmet
Clearly, aero optimization via ear tucking isn’t on the priority list for everyone. (Photo: Filippo Ganna via Instagram)

Elsewhere, this Kask aero helmet looks to be an update over their existing helmet, the Kask Utopia. That includes the four front-end vents: two slits along the side and two rectangular vents at the front. There is a trio of vents out back, again similar to the existing Utopia and Utopia Y helmets. The two additional vents atop the Utopia Y don’t seem to carry over, however.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see this potential new helmet adopt some of the features of their carbon fiber Elemento helmet. That would include carbon fiber plates and 3D printed padding we first saw on saddles.

filippo ganna in new kask aero helmet
Now that’s tucked. (Photo: Filippo Ganna via Instagram)

You’ll want to keep your eyes on the Ineos Grenadiers squad this season for more of this new design.

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