Helmet maker Cratoni showed off some nice looking full feature helmets for kids just before the tradeshows began this past month with their new Maxster and Maxster Pro. Then they followed that up a few weeks later with the C-Pro, an all new vented aero road helmet for us adults. In the recent trend of the semi-aero helmet the C-Pro cuts down the number of side and top vents to limit drag, but keeps generous forward facing vents that they say gives enough ventilation to make it serve well at the slower speeds on a mountain bike as much as on the road. At Eurobike we got a close look at these two different helmet lines, plus a new C-94 concept helmet project that would serve the urban rider with integrated smart lighting, crash sensors, and more connectivity…
The new C-Pro redefines the top of both Cratoni’s road and XC lineup. Like many other bike and accessory companies, they’ve seen the incremental gains that can be made with tweaking designs with an aero focus, and even a vented aero helmet like this has been shown to shave time off in a race.
With 7 big front facing vents connected by deep channels under the closed top of the shell to 8 exhaust ports at the back, the C-Pro is said to offer through ventilation on par with Cratoni’s fully vented helmets. And by keeping the top closed, not only is the helmet more slippery in the wind, but they were able to open the foam on the top of the helmet a bit to deepen the internal channels without decreasing its protection.
That also let Cratoni extend coverage a bit further down the back of the head, offering even more protection than you often get in an aero helmet, without really adding much weight. What results is a 210g helmet with a height adjustable retention system and a slippery shell.
The C-Pro even includes a few small reflective details for improved visibility and Cratoni’s easy to use one-handed chain strap. The C-Pro also has an accessory that will let you clip an action cam directly to the upper vent, and it comes with an additional set of pads with bug stopping mesh. The C-Pro will sell for 230€ and comes in orange, white, lime green, black, and black with blue.
The C-94 helmet is still just a concept, so don’t expect it to hit the shelves too soon, but we’ve started to see more and more of these smart connected helmets, so it is nice to see some being developed by actual helmet makers instead of just Kickstarter campaigns.
Cartoni’s concept would be geared towards the urban rider and bike commuter and combines ideas like integrated turn signals and a brake light with connectivity like hands-free mobile phone use and even helmet-to-helmet walkie-talkie functionality.
Synched by Bluetooth with a smart phone app and a handlebar remote control the C-94 could collect ride data and even snapshots on your ride and upload them to the cloud in real-time. With built-in sensors it could also detect a crash and signal for help if needed. Of course it has to look cool too, so Cratoni has designed in an angular futurist aesthetic and built-in an integrated wind screen.
Maxster & Maxster Pro
We already saw a preview of the Maxsters, but now having help them in our hands we have a better sense of how improved they are over regular kids helmets. At first glance in person, the shiny 45€ Maxsters for the littler kids doesn’t look so much different from most small children’s helmets out there, but the vents really do seem bigger and the helmet is nicely light. The retention mechanism is good and simple, integrating a little red LED blinkie light, and it really does seem to offer more occipital coverage out back.
The 50€ matte finished Maxster Pro on the other hand has the feel of a much higher quality helmet. Even though it is essentially the same shape, the different finish and addition of the visor really makes this stand out, looking much more like a quality trail helmet than anything else out there for kids. I can imagine a lot of young shredders would feel a lot cooler sporting one of these new lids.