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Kabuto Aero R1 Helmet: To buy or not to buy?

Kabuto is a well-known brand from Japan. For decades, they have been making cycling helmets as well as motorcycle helmets. This time, I have gotten my hands on the new Kabuto Aero R1 helmet.

 

What’s in the box

Like most helmet brands, purchase of the helmet comes along with a box. Inside you get the spare replacement padding for the helmet, a manual and also the visor. What’s sadly missing here though, it’s a helmet bag; which can be useful for traveling.

 

Fresh out of the box

 

The Helmet

I’m using a size S/M, tipping at a featherlight 206g! The helmet’s buckle is the common clip in and quick release system. The clip looks a bit thinner than usual though, so I really hope it will last through time.

 

 

I would prefer the magnet system that the variant of the Sworks Evade had, but this will still work. The padding is good, I don’t really feel it there when I put it on, and it doesn’t leave any marks or abrasion on my head. It does not cause any irritation too.

 

 

At the back, the retention dial system has a well-sized dial for you to make all the adjustment you need. Not too small till you need to scramble for it, and not too big till it looks really ugly.

 

Dial

They have developed a new adjuster here, called the ‘XF-7 Adjuster’. Basically, you tune the internal net system higher or lower to get a better fit.

You can make the adjustments by using your fingers to press, like the picture below.

XF-7 (Currently in the middle position)

 

Last but not least, the visor, ‘AR-3’. To be honest, I don’t think I will use it at all. I believe this was aimed at triathletes more, where using a full TT helmet might not be realistic in hotter races. The visor is easily attached to the helmet via magnets.

Kabuto recently made some updates and made a newer lighter ‘ARS-3’ visor that comes in 3 different colours. They have different light transmittance rate depending on the colour you use. More information on this can be found here.

 

Fit

This helmet fits perfectly with my head size. My head is ‘very Asian’ – meaning, it’s very close to as round as a circle can be. Depending on where you get your genes from, some of us have a more ‘oval’ head.

 

Front view

 

 

 

 

 

Sideview

 

Some brands have a normal fit and an Asian fit, which does help dial in the fit for many different people. No unusual pressure on temples or any part of my head.

Moving on to the strap, it’s again very adjustable. Made from instant deodorizing material MOFF®, you can set your own length to strap it under your ears. Some brands don’t have this.

After setting the length there, you can also set the strap length under your chin. In this department though, I find it of no use for the extra length leftover. As you can see from my fit on the helmet, the excess strap is unsightly when not secured.

 

READ more:  Review: THE BIB by RedWhite
Excess Strap

 

For anyone who is wearing an S/M, I don’t think the extra strap length is practical at all. For a bigger size, L? Perhaps. No worries though. You can still securely neatly with some improvisations.

Moving on to the visor, it’s very secure when you put it on. The magnet would snap the visor to the helmet instantly.

 

The round magnet sockets at the front

 

I did some shaking with the helmet with the visor on, to mimic really bad roads. It holds up and sticks to the helmet like glue.

Locked in place

The visor will fog up if its cold and there is no sun. Kabuto also indicated a warning not to use the visor in the dark or or night. So, what if you want to start your ride before dawn and still use visor without the hassle of bringing it along? You can do place it upside down!

Can be placed this way too

It can be a big nightmare, especially in a race, when the visor drops out and you scramble for it. Looks like that won’t be a problem with this helmet. 

 

Performance

First things first. Ventilation. Usually, an aero helmet would not be good in this department. However, I was impressed by the cooling factor of this helmet.

 

Plenty of vents

 

Significantly better than the Evade, and in my opinion marginally better than the Met Manta. For example, with the Evade, I would quickly burn up under the sun waiting for the 10-minute traffic light in hot, humid Singapore. With the R1, it performs better.

Secret Wind Tunnel KDK

Being an aero helmet, testing aerodynamics is very difficult. It does look the part though. But not to worry. I went to my top secret wind tunnel facility that had a top-notch fan. Being very secret, the test lab was only labeled ‘KDK’.

Many tests were done, and so far, it puts this helmet up there with the best. Will update you more on the results after rigorous testing. I’ve used the helmet on some long rides and it does the job very well.

Committed Wind Tunnel Testing

You can check out more on this helmet and its option on this website.

The Kabuto Aero R-1 retails for about $300 and have about 7 colour option.

You can get it at many of our local bike stores – Cycleworx, JR Cycles, Rodalink to name a few. 

 

Irsyad Marican

Author: Irsyad Marican

Sports has always been close to his heart but racing bicycles is the extra special one. It’s been 3 years since his first race and there’s more in his tank. He enjoys time-trialling and loves bicycles that speaks to him.

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