Long Term Review: Kabuto Aero R1 CVTR Helmet

I have been a Kask user for a long time. The Protone fit me well and I picked up the Valegro a while later to have a lightweight option. Late last year, I decided to get a new helmet as the Kasks were aging and I wanted to try something more aero. And I stumbled across the Kabuto Aero R1 CVTR. It has been a year and the Kabuto has become my primary helmet.

The Good

  1. Perfect fit. This is going to differ as head shapes differ. But the Kabuto fits my rounder Asian head type perfectly. Much better than the Protone, which was an already good fit. And definitely better than the Valegro, which did not fit too well.
  2. Aero and ventilated. I do not have a wind tunnel to test this but it is quite clear from the shape and structure that the Kabuto’s bullet form is aero focused. My rough tests indicate a 10-20 watt difference between the Kabuto and Protone. This is not a fair comparison as the Protone is not aero focused. Interestingly, the Kabuto managed to keep my head cool with clever vent placements. Even with less vents, the Kabuto felt cooler than the Protone and Valegro because it encouraged wind to funnel through the helmet.
  3. Customisable. The Kabuto has an additional aero cover that seals off the vents to maximise aerodynamics. I have only used this once at night. It did feel fast but I could not measure the difference specifically. Still having this option is great.
  4. Visor. I love the visor. In fact, I will probably find it hard to go back to non-visor helmets. The field of vision is perfect and there is no additional equipment clipping above the ears. The Kabuto came with a semi-clear visor which I use for night rides. I bought the reflective sun visor which works great in bright sunlight.
(Left) Shell on; (Centre & Right) Shell off
(Left) Shell on; (Centre & Right) Shell off

The bad

  1. Lack of padding. Compared to Kask’s luxurious padding, the Kabuto felt like a harsh empty shell. This is especially pronounced at the area that comes into contact with the forehead. I have since gotten used to it. Another option would be to wear a headband, like the Halo ones that I use for running.
  2. Basic straps. This is again in comparison to Kask’s awesome well-crafted straps. The Kabuto’s ones are pretty standard similar to offerings from Giro and most other brands. A simple plastic strap with adequate adjustability and excess strap management. But nothing compared to Kask’s wonderful leather chin strap.

This is my new daily driver. In fact, I have not touched the Kasks for a year and they are probably going to be binned due to their age. The Kasks remain great options but the Kabuto’s better fit, great balance of aerodynamics and ventilation, and visor integration won me over. I purchased this from Tay Junction.

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