Chakra Plus Sonic Helmet - White/Black

More Views

Chakra Plus Sonic Helmet - White/Black
$79.00 $49.99

* Required Fields

Kali Chakra Plus Cycle Helmet

Kali Protectives have created the perfect combination of an ultra lightweight polycarbonate shell with an EPS liner bonded together with patented COMPOSITE FUSION™ technology..all at a reasonable price point.

Utilising the same technology used to manufacture Kali motorcycle and downhill helmets, Chakra Helmets are arguably the safest cycling helmets on the road & trail.

Video:

to view a brief video overview on Chakra and Chakra Plus helmets, click on the media tab above...it's independent and quite worthwhile! 

Reviews:

find independent and expert reviews just below the video in the media tab above.

Features: 

  • Ultra lightweight Polycarbonate Shell
  • Low density EPS foam for impact absorption
  • Integrated Airflow System
  • Expanded rear coverage design
  • Breakaway visor
  • Ezi Dial Fitting
  • Australian Standards
  • Net Liner
  • Suitable for trail, commutting & everyday riding

 

Whats the difference between the Chakra and Chakra Plus?
The Chakra Plus includes a bug net liner, enhanced graphics and the hard shell outer layer continues around the helmet edges, increasing its robustness.

Kali

Kali Protectives is designed for riders who demand exceptional performance and uncompromising comfort. Kali Protectives came from a significant breakthrough in helmet safety technology, enabling them to use a thinner shell creating a lighter and stronger helmet. No safety technology exists that can completely prevent injury, but they can significantly reduce the chance of trauma. Their goal is to deliver the absolute best available protection to riders.

The Bicycle Store is an authorised dealer of Kali bike helmets.

CHAKRA PLUS BIKE HELMET SIZE GUIDE

SIZES: S-M 52-58CM

            M-L 58-62CM

To get your size measure your head about 25mm above your eyebrows and ears. Use a cloth measuring tape or else use a piece of string, then measure with ruler or tape measure.

See picture above.

Q. What if I get the size wrong?

A. No problems, simply return the helmet (unused in original packaging) and we shall ship you the correct size at no extra cost!

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Chakra Plus Sonic Helmet - White/Black

How do you rate this product? *

 
1 1 star
2 2 star
3 3 star
4 4 star
5 5 star
Rating

This video from American CycleSport gives an excellent independant overview of the Chakra & Chakra Plus bicycle helmet. 

Note their comment about a bug net being mandatory in Australia is incorrect - not sure where they got that from!

You can find expert and independant print reviews below the video.


 

Read Reviews on the Chakra Bicycle Helmets by Bicycle Network Australia, Bike Radar and mtnbikeriders.com 

Kali Chakra Plus Mountain Bike Helmet in Review

 by Christopher Jones for Bicycle Network Australia

  • Published: 10 January 2013

Excuse me, but aren’t helmets like this meant to cost much more? On price alone, the Kali Chakra Plus Mountain Bike Helmet is very attractive, and this is where Kali have made their mark in the industry. Beyond price, however, it’s still a very attractive helmet. When I first heard the name Kali and saw their prices, I wondered whether it was a Taiwanese brand who had taken knowledge gained from producing helmets for other brands and were releasing their own product. But no, Kali are in fact a Californian based brand (made in China) with helmets at different price points – the Chakra and the Chakra Plus are created specifically to hit the ‘reasonable price point’ of $50.

The Chakra Plus looks and feels like a more expensive helmet (i.e. you don’t have to look like a noob if you are on a tight budget), the design is edgy, there are plenty of air vents and there’s enough thoughtful details so that you look and feel good.

The Details

Both Chakra helmets feature what Kali call Composite Fusion which simply means that rather than a separate polycarbonate (outer) shell being placed and glued or taped onto the EPS polystyrene foam, the EPS foam part is moulded into the outer shell which gives it a stronger bond and makes it an integrated unit. Additionally, lower density EPS polystyrene foam is used which Kali argue is better in the event of impact.

The Chakra Plus version of the helmet has additional polycarbonate trimmings moulded in at the base of the helmet, which are a nice aesthetic addition and protect the foam when the helmet is placed on a table or on the ground. The Plus version helmet also has the ‘fit adjust’ system which I feel should be standard on any decent helmet.

The overall quality is good, however it doesn’t have the same attention to detail that you would expect from a $200+ helmet. The air-vents in the polycarbonate shell are ‘hand cut’, so close-up you can spot the tiny irregularities. In the composite fusion moulding of the EPS polystyrene onto the shell, the polystyrene sometimes slightly overlaps and the hot-glue which fixes some of the plastic straps fasteners is quite generous, even though it is mostly out of sight. None of these tiny details, however, are of any concern in the overall performance, safety or aesthetics.

The front visor is a much lighter shade of white (with a hint of pink) and fastens very securely. While I found the two white tones were a visual and unusual combination, there are also a black, blue and lime green helmet version to choose from. In comparing the S-M and M-L helmet I noted that the visor better fitted the M-L; though the sun visor didn’t perfectly align to the air vents on the S-M size helmet, it was pretty much a non-issue.

The Fit
For the review I measured my head size and found myself between the Chakra Plus’ Small-Medium (52-58cm) and Medium – Large (58-62cm) sizes, so I opted for large as there is nothing worse than riding for hours with a helmet that is too small. The large size turned out to be too large however, so the distributor, Velogear, kindly send the Small-Medium size which strangely had plenty of room, so much so that in using the ‘fit adjust’ dial, I tightened it almost to the end of the range until the fit was snug.

The fit adjust dial has a mechanism that, once it reaches a limit (tightest or loosest fit), the dial simply turns and clicks, so you avoid over-tightening/loosening and destroying the mechanism.

The big plus point of the Chakra Plus in terms of fit is that the padding is well placed. On other helmets I often find myself removing or adjusting the padding on the front and side as these areas are typically too tight for me. The generous padding of the Chakra Plus is comfortable and the hard EPS foam sits away from my head. The padding is attached with Velcro and it can be removed and washed; the fit adjust works well in combination with the soft internal padding. The main soft padding is a broad one piece construction with integrated bug net and stretches from the forehead to the crown of the head.

My biggest criticism of the Chakra Plus is of the two tri-glide mechanisms, the plastic clasps on the left and right just below the ears that take in the fastening straps and feed it to the buckle. They are crap (am I allowed to say that?). The quality of the the helmet is let down by these as they open too easily (and therefore prone to accidentally opening) and when closed, the straps can still feed through (strap creep), which affects the fit as I will explain shortly.

The Ride
The Chakra Plus Helmet is delightfully comfortable to wear, the sun visor is well placed and even after long and hot rides it felt good. The S-M sized helmet is 288 grams while the M-L is marginally heavier 292 grams. I found that while riding there was plenty of support on the left and right however, the helmet had a tendency to slip forward, meaning I was repeatedly moving it back. To fix this it’s simply a matter of readjusting the side straps. The strap needs to be firm and comfortable at the buckle underneath the chin; adjusting the straps with the ‘tri-glides’ clasps enables you to angle the helmet so that it is tilted further back.

In theory, this would be perfect…except for the strap creep, the movement of the straps in the tri-glide clasps. During long rides on technical mountain bike trails, repeated vibrations meant that the helmet started to tilt forward again. While it was never dangerous, I prefer a broader field of vision. To be fair, just like a bike seat, a helmet is very personal and if you have a different head shape, then this helmet may sit or fit more naturally on you without the movement that I experienced. When John Hawkins reviewed the Kali Amara Helmet with Integrated Camera Mount he said “this helmet is without doubt the most comfortable I’ve used“. The Amara however has a different fastening mechanism and a different tri-glide mechanism, so in my view the tri-glide clasps of the Chakra are a problem that should be improved.

Crashing the Kali
At the risk of disappointing my readers, I had no intention of putting this helmet to the real test and crashing on my head. While I did crash on one ride, during a technical fast section, I ended up thrown over the handlebars and, luckily, had a soft landing on the side of the trail. I naturally tucked my head and rolled. I’m getting too good at crashes.

Even in the event of an accident, the Kali Chakra Plus, just like any helmet legally sold in Australia, complies with the current Australian and New Zealand helmet safety standard AS/NZS 2623:2008. It means that the helmets have been tested and approved (at significant cost) with 2 helmets set aside for ongoing quality control and safety testing from every batch of 400 helmets. I did however spot that the sticker named the Amara helmet rather than the Chakra and my enquiry regarding this went all the way to the top.

A representative of Kali who works with worldwide distributors and also with the development team responded, “…this is a factory printing mistake.  I can tell with certainty because they have used the correct factory reference number for the model (S167 – which is Chakra), but then they have printed the wrong model name: Amara“.  The safety standards stickers are being reprinted and Kali have apologised to Aussie and New Zealand customers, for anyone who currently owns a Chakra model helmet, they will provide the corrected sticker on request.

The Verdict
When I have purchased helmets in the past, I have tried on every helmet in the store. Some brands just don’t suit me, though the Kali did. An otherwise excellent helmet was let down by the two plastic ‘tri-glide’ clasps, which meant I couldn’t get the perfect fit. If Kali would swap or improve this one part of the helmet, then it would be an absolute steal with rival helmets at over twice the price. With a different shaped head you may not have this problem at all, in which case it is excellent value for money at $49.95.

Kali Helmets are available in Australia from Velogear and can be purchased directly under extremely customer friendly conditions – 100% Satisfaction, which means that the helmet can be posted back and exchanged for a new size or a refund can be provided if you’re not happy.

 

Kali Protectives Chakra Plus Helmet Review | $59.95

BikeRadar verdict

4 out of 5 stars

"Blinding value for money given the high spec of this trail helmet"

"This Chakra model follows the growing trend for mountain bike helmets to have a blend of venting, deep coverage fit with lightweight construction – the full in-mould design Kali calls Composite Fusion (where the EPS core is bonded directly to the plastic microshell to create a stronger, safer more durable helmet). This is the same technology as you’d find on helmets costing three times as much.

We spotted this ‘new for 2012’ helmet at the Eurobike show. We were looking to see what improvements had been made to Kali’s top of the range Avita, but instead were drawn to the Chakra model by its chunky good looks. When we learned the price, we thought we’d misheard by a hundred quid…

We’ve spent time looking the Chakra over from peak to chin strap and apart from wanting an inner shell-mounted strap guide to stop the rear straps from getting pushed up into the helmet when you put it on, there is nothing lacking. Looking is one thing, riding’s another and with some unusually warm autumn miles plugged in we’re happy to be running such a well-vented helmet. The 22 large scoops pull in the air as well as any of the top of the range helmets from Giro, Specialized, Bell and so on.

At 334g it doesn’t feel heavy and we’ve used it on stripped-for-speed XC blasts as well as traily day rides and felt well protected and suitably dressed in both instances. The peak is the right length (though not adjustable), the chinstrap is easy to tailor to length and the liner pads are removable for washing. Given they all have to pass the same safety tests, truth be told, we often buy helmets on looks first with weight and venting vying for second. The Chakra is cool in both respects."

MTBR bicycling.com/mountainbikecom/bikes-gear/kali-chakra

"Kali Chakra Upstart helmet maker Kali showed off its newest model, the Chakra. It comes in $40 or $50 versions—the more expensive version has a bit more in-mold shell as well as a bug net. It's one of the nicest-looking, best-made $40 helmet we've ever seen."



Kali Chakra Plus Helmet Review-By Cat McKinnon

Report From: mtnbikeriders.com

"Looking for a new helmet seems to be one of those things that we cyclists both love and hate doing. We love looking for new gear, but most of us realize that helmets tend to be pretty expensive for what they are (mostly foam and plastic). We like checking out the new helmet colors and designs, but if we’re on a tight budget, we hate a lot of the concessions we have to make in order to afford a new helmet.

Often times, that means giving up certain features or a certain style because it’s out of our price range. And the lack of much competition in the Trail/AM-type helmet market, especially in the United States, means that the “Big Two” (Bell and Giro, which somewhat non-coincidentally, are both owned by the same parent company) get most of the helmet business. Sure, Fox makes a couple Trail/AM helmets now, and Pro-Tec has been making some great skate-lid type noggin-savers for years. And many European helmet manufacturers like Uvex, Catlike and POC are now making helmets that conform to our national helmet standards (which are generally more strict than many EU standards). But those Euro imports are still relatively rare and usually pricey, and it only takes a quick look around the local trails to see that 8 or 9 out of 10 riders are probably rocking either a Bell or Giro. They make great helmets, to be sure, but also seem to sort of have a monopoly on the helmet market (in my opinion, anyway).

Well, a new contender has entered the trail lid fold, offering many of the features of helmets such as the venerable Giro Hex or Bell Sequence, but at a MUCH more reasonable price!

Kali Protectives is a fairly new company. They’ve only been in business for a few years and mostly focused on protective padding and full-face helmets, but the founders have pretty strong pedigrees: one has worked for several cycling companies (which isn’t surprising in itself), but he also worked with the friggin’ US GOVERNMENT on stealth technology!!! The guys at Kali REALLY know their stuff!!

Recently Kali has moved into the trail helmet sector with some very nice offerings, and this year they’ve released one of the most bang-for-your-buck line of helmets I’ve ever seen! In fact, it’s so new that it’s just barely started shipping. I had to work with their customer service department (thanks Allison!) to get one shipped to my local Kali dealer for purchase, but by the time you read this they should be trickling into more dealers (I just saw the Chakra’s listed on JensonUSA a few days ago, in fact).

Kali’s two newest helmet models are the Chakra and Chakra Plus, which sell for $40 and $50, respectively. I purchased the Chakra Plus, as I felt the extra $10 was worth the “upgrades” over the basic Chakra (bug net, “enhanced” fit system, and a bit more in-molded protection). I got the white version (which has some subdued black graphics), although the Chakra Plus is also available in black, neon blue and neon green (the neon colors seriously look straight out of “Saved By The Bell”!!)

The helmet itself comes in the standard open-front box featuring Kali’s logo (which I personally think is one of the coolest in the industry), containing the helmet, an instruction pamphlet, and a big Kali Protectives sticker. Upon unboxing, what immediately struck me is how well the helmet is made: what Kali calls “CompositeFusion” construction (similar to Giro’s “In-Mold”, where the plastic and foam is molded as one piece instead of being glued together after the fact), and a large, easy-to-adjust knob on the back to tighten things up with positive clicks. The fit adjustment reminds me more of the BOA system, with a big knob, rather than the small dial that Giro and Bell typically use. Another nice touch is the clamping mechanism at the chin strap: most helmets have little clamps under the ears, but Kali goes one further and provides this same clamp under the chin (instead of just the strap loop at the clip), so when you get your straps adjusted just right, they’re not going anywhere.

Other features include fully removable padding held in by Velcro, and a very capable visor. I should mention that this visor is not adjustable, but Kali seems to have done their homework: the visor is just big enough to keep glare out of your eyes most of the time, but it won’t mess with your peripheral vision either. It seems to be just about in the perfect spot, and I’m not going to knock off points for it being non-adjustable at this price point. The visor is held on by Velcro in the front, and two molded plastic pins on each side, and it’s easily removable if you don’t want it. Another nice touch, which is almost NEVER seen in a helmet of this price, is a “bee net” (integrated into the large main pad); a mesh under the vents to keep stabby insects out of your helmet. I’ve never had a bee fly into my helmet or sting my head, but obviously someone somewhere has, otherwise nobody would’ve thought of it. I don’t know if it’ll keep a bee from stinging me, but I can certainly appreciate that it still might keep bugs like mosquitoes from having a meal on my melon (and possibly infecting me with some sort of weird barnyard-related flu).

After getting the straps and fit system dialed in, I went on a 4-hour trail ride to break in the Chakra Plus. First off, this helmet is super-comfortable! It didn’t shift around on my head yet wasn’t constricting, it wasn’t noticeably heavy, and after about ten minutes of riding, I’d forgotten I was even wearing a new helmet. It was really easy to adjust tension with one hand via the big dial in the back. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think this helmet runs large…my head measures right at 57.5cm and the medium is supposed to cover 52-58cm. I have to crank it down about as tight as it will go to fit my head, so I’d definitely recommend trying different sizes before you buy!

Sorry for the terrible angle. I had to take the photo myself. And yes, those of us with long hair have to rock the annoying low ponytail with the Chakra Plus, but that’s just how trail helmets are.

The strap clip under the chin kinda threw me at first: I’m used to helmets with straps that loosen up a little after a few days, but the Chakra Plus doesn’t do that. However, once I realized that I needed to set my straps up EXACTLY as tight as I wanted them, it wasn’t an issue. At first it was kind of annoying, but then I realized that helmet straps really shouldn’t be loose anyway and I’ve come to think of this as a plus in the design…After all, how many of us “set and forget” our helmets and never readjust them, even after months of use? They might not be providing the protection we think they are, because they’ve loosened up over time, and this is a dead-simple way to keep your helmet from becoming dangerously loose.

As for heat, the helmet is pretty cool for the most part. Trail-type helmets tend to not cool as well as XC or road helmets, which is a trade-off for better skull coverage, but this one does an excellent job. During an aggressive ride on a hot day (90 degrees at 6:45pm), my head felt “kinda warm”, but not uncomfortably hot. At this price range, I think Kali pretty much nailed it (keep in mind that I have the white version of this helmet, and that the black or blue colors will probably be hotter). The Chakra Plus also has 25 vents and I don’t think there’s really too many other ways they could make this helmet shed heat any better than it already does. Even when I pushed myself as hard as I could, the pads did a fantastic job of keeping sweat out of my eyes.

All padding is removable for easy cleaning (which I’m assuming should be done by hand). And my ability to center a photo sucks.The weight* is a reasonable 336g (about 12 ounces). Not the lightest trail helmet, but still on the lower end of the weight spectrum for this type of lid, and pretty respectable. In fact, there are some very popular helmets in the $100+ price range that weigh 400g or more, so Kali did a good job keeping the weight off. But we all know that no product is perfect, and there are a couple minor issues to touch on:

First, the “owner’s manual”…it sucks. Granted, most cyclists who’ve ever owned a helmet will know how to adjust a new one. But for first-time helmet buyers, this manual is terrible. One of the instructions says that the helmet must fit and be adjusted properly to “provide adequate protection”, but nowhere are there any instructions on how to actually fit or adjust the helmet. Even the cheapest Wal-Mart helmets usually have pictographs showing how to adjust a helmet properly, and I think it’s wise to include instructions like that with any protective gear. Kali is trying to break into the “affordable” market with a fantastic product, and I think it’s especially important that they include much better instructions in this case.

Second, while the padding is excellent, part of it almost completely covers two fairly large vents directly on top of the helmet. It’s not a major deal, and as I said before, the helmet vents very well for this type of design (and in fact, I didn’t even notice it until after I’d taken a few rides). But considering that heat is mostly going to exit up and out, it might be a better design if the padding didn’t cover these important vents. An alternative might be to extend the bug net fabric into this area, to allow for better ventilation while maintaining the integrity of the main pad. This one certainly isn’t a deal breaker, and I’m not even sure it would make much of a difference. Still, it’s something I noticed, so in the interest of full disclosure I figured I should mention it.

Lastly, the rear adjustment knob seems a bit larger than it really needs to be. I know this isn’t a race helmet, but the knob on mine is about the diameter of a US quarter, and just seems…intrusive? It works well, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be a little smaller. I didn’t have any issues with it loosening up, but I could see how it might potentially be able to loosen if it were to rub against clothing or a ponytail in certain situations. Nitpicking, I know, but it still annoys me a little.

However, these relatively minor complaints certainly wouldn’t keep me from buying another one or recommending it to others.

Ultimately, after putting the helmet through a couple weeks’ worth of rides, from trails to commuting on pavement, I’m even happier with the Chakra Plus than when I first put it on! It’s comfortable, doesn’t get too hot and is easy to adjust on the fly, even with full-finger gloves on. At a price that’s barely more than Bell and Giro’s entry-level helmets, it exceeded my expectations in features and quality, and it can easily compete with helmets in the $100 range!

Overall, I think Kali has hit the nail on the head with the price/feature set on this helmet, and I think it’ll be a huge seller once it hits the market in full force. I fully expect to see a lot more riders wearing Kali helmets come next spring!"

en (the neon colors seriously look straight out of “Saved By The Bell”!!)

The helmet itself comes in the standard open-front box featuring Kali’s logo (which I personally think is one of the coolest in the industry), containing the helmet, an instruction pamphlet, and a big Kali Protectives sticker. Upon unboxing, what immediately struck me is how well the helmet is made: what Kali calls “CompositeFusion” construction (similar to Giro’s “In-Mold”, where the plastic and foam is molded as one piece instead of being glued together after the fact), and a large, easy-to-adjust knob on the back to tighten things up with positive clicks. The fit adjustment reminds me more of the BOA system, with a big knob, rather than the small dial that Giro and Bell typically use. Another nice touch is the clamping mechanism at the chin strap: most helmets have little clamps under the ears, but Kali goes one further and provides this same clamp under the chin (instead of just the strap loop at the clip), so when you get your straps adjusted just right, they’re not going anywhere.

Other features include fully removable padding held in by Velcro, and a very capable visor. I should mention that this visor is not adjustable, but Kali seems to have done their homework: the visor is just big enough to keep glare out of your eyes most of the time, but it won’t mess with your peripheral vision either. It seems to be just about in the perfect spot, and I’m not going to knock off points for it being non-adjustable at this price point. The visor is held on by Velcro in the front, and two molded plastic pins on each side, and it’s easily removable if you don’t want it. Another nice touch, which is almost NEVER seen in a helmet of this price, is a “bee net” (integrated into the large main pad); a mesh under the vents to keep stabby insects out of your helmet. I’ve never had a bee fly into my helmet or sting my head, but obviously someone somewhere has, otherwise nobody would’ve thought of it. I don’t know if it’ll keep a bee from stinging me, but I can certainly appreciate that it still might keep bugs like mosquitoes from having a meal on my melon (and possibly infecting me with some sort of weird barnyard-related flu).

After getting the straps and fit system dialed in, I went on a 4-hour trail ride to break in the Chakra Plus. First off, this helmet is super-comfortable! It didn’t shift around on my head yet wasn’t constricting, it wasn’t noticeably heavy, and after about ten minutes of riding, I’d forgotten I was even wearing a new helmet. It was really easy to adjust tension with one hand via the big dial in the back. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think this helmet runs large…my head measures right at 57.5cm and the medium is supposed to cover 52-58cm. I have to crank it down about as tight as it will go to fit my head, so I’d definitely recommend trying different sizes before you buy!

chakra8

Sorry for the terrible angle. I had to take the photo myself. And yes, those of us with long hair have to rock the annoying low ponytail with the Chakra Plus, but that’s just how trail helmets are.

The strap clip under the chin kinda threw me at first: I’m used to helmets with straps that loosen up a little after a few days, but the Chakra Plus doesn’t do that. However, once I realized that I needed to set my straps up EXACTLY as tight as I wanted them, it wasn’t an issue. At first it was kind of annoying, but then I realized that helmet straps really shouldn’t be loose anyway and I’ve come to think of this as a plus in the design…After all, how many of us “set and forget” our helmets and never readjust them, even after months of use? They might not be providing the protection we think they are, because they’ve loosened up over time, and this is a dead-simple way to keep your helmet from becoming dangerously loose.

As for heat, the helmet is pretty cool for the most part. Trail-type helmets tend to not cool as well as XC or road helmets, which is a trade-off for better skull coverage, but this one does an excellent job. During an aggressive ride on a hot day (90 degrees at 6:45pm), my head felt “kinda warm”, but not uncomfortably hot. At this price range, I think Kali pretty much nailed it (keep in mind that I have the white version of this helmet, and that the black or blue colors will probably be hotter). The Chakra Plus also has 25 vents and I don’t think there’s really too many other ways they could make this helmet shed heat any better than it already does. Even when I pushed myself as hard as I could, the pads did a fantastic job of keeping sweat out of my eyes.

All padding is removable for easy cleaning (which I’m assuming should be done by hand). And my ability to center a photo sucks.The weight* is a reasonable 336g (about 12 ounces). Not the lightest trail helmet, but still on the lower end of the weight spectrum for this type of lid, and pretty respectable. In fact, there are some very popular helmets in the $100+ price range that weigh 400g or more, so Kali did a good job keeping the weight off. But we all know that no product is perfect, and there are a couple minor issues to touch on:

First, the “owner’s manual”…it sucks. Granted, most cyclists who’ve ever owned a helmet will know how to adjust a new one. But for first-time helmet buyers, this manual is terrible. One of the instructions says that the helmet must fit and be adjusted properly to “provide adequate protection”, but nowhere are there any instructions on how to actually fit or adjust the helmet. Even the cheapest Wal-Mart helmets usually have pictographs showing how to adjust a helmet properly, and I think it’s wise to include instructions like that with any protective gear. Kali is trying to break into the “affordable” market with a fantastic product, and I think it’s especially important that they include much better instructions in this case.

Second, while the padding is excellent, part of it almost completely covers two fairly large vents directly on top of the helmet. It’s not a major deal, and as I said before, the helmet vents very well for this type of design (and in fact, I didn’t even notice it until after I’d taken a few rides). But considering that heat is mostly going to exit up and out, it might be a better design if the padding didn’t cover these important vents. An alternative might be to extend the bug net fabric into this area, to allow for better ventilation while maintaining the integrity of the main pad. This one certainly isn’t a deal breaker, and I’m not even sure it would make much of a difference. Still, it’s something I noticed, so in the interest of full disclosure I figured I should mention it.

Lastly, the rear adjustment knob seems a bit larger than it really needs to be. I know this isn’t a race helmet, but the knob on mine is about the diameter of a US quarter, and just seems…intrusive? It works well, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be a little smaller. I didn’t have any issues with it loosening up, but I could see how it might potentially be able to loosen if it were to rub against clothing or a ponytail in certain situations. Nitpicking, I know, but it still annoys me a little.

However, these relatively minor complaints certainly wouldn’t keep me from buying another one or recommending it to others.

Ultimately, after putting the helmet through a couple weeks’ worth of rides, from trails to commuting on pavement, I’m even happier with the Chakra Plus than when I first put it on! It’s comfortable, doesn’t get too hot and is easy to adjust on the fly, even with full-finger gloves on. At a price that’s barely more than Bell and Giro’s entry-level helmets, it exceeded my expectations in features and quality, and it can easily compete with helmets in the $100 range!

Overall, I think Kali has hit the nail on the head with the price/feature set on this helmet, and I think it’ll be a huge seller once it hits the market in full force. I fully expect to see a lot more riders wearing Kali helmets come next spring!"

bike helmet

What is behind Kali's COMPOSITE FUSION™ technology? 

by Brad Waldron  Engineer and Founder of Kali Cycle Helmets

"So many times when looking at a company’s claim I ask myself “Is this real or is this just salesman speak?”. I certainly can’t make up your mind for you, but I can tell you about our patented technology and why we are excited about it.

A helmet has two essential elements that help protect you: a shell and energy absorbing foam. These two components are built to dissipate the energies of an impact to your head. The shell is the hard outer surface of a helmet and has 3 functions. First, it prevents sharp object penetration. Second, it protects the energy absorbing foam from abrasion. Lastly, it spreads out the force of an impact over a greater area.

As the second component of the puzzle, the energy absorbing foam is the inner muscle of a helmet and the more active component of the two. It does the bulk of the work, cushioning and redirecting the G-forces of any impact that tries to work its way towards your head.

Standard helmet technology constructs the shell (made from various composite materials) and the energy absorbing foam composite (Expanded PolyStyrene or EPS) as two separate pieces. Simply shooting small beads into a mold makes the EPS foam. The beads are then steamed, expanded and bound into the “generic” shape of the exterior shell. This “shaped” EPS form is then pulled from the mold and allowed to dry, and then inserted into the shell by hand (being spot glued or taped into place inside).

This means that during an impact to the head, there will actually be a microsecond of ‘air’ as the energy is transferred between one protective material (the shell) and the next (the EPS foam). The result of this separate-but-glued-construction is a less efficient transfer of energy when a helmet is impacted.

Another unfortunate consequence of standard helmet construction is that over time the glue joints may wear down, which leaves users with EPS foam that is loose inside the shell. In addition to being uncomfortable, it can also be potentially dangerous, as the EPS foam may not stay in its intended position during an impact."

  • Details

    Kali Chakra Plus Cycle Helmet

    Kali Protectives have created the perfect combination of an ultra lightweight polycarbonate shell with an EPS liner bonded together with patented COMPOSITE FUSION™ technology..all at a reasonable price point.

    Utilising the same technology used to manufacture Kali motorcycle and downhill helmets, Chakra Helmets are arguably the safest cycling helmets on the road & trail.

    Video:

    to view a brief video overview on Chakra and Chakra Plus helmets, click on the media tab above...it's independent and quite worthwhile! 

    Reviews:

    find independent and expert reviews just below the video in the media tab above.

    Features: 

    • Ultra lightweight Polycarbonate Shell
    • Low density EPS foam for impact absorption
    • Integrated Airflow System
    • Expanded rear coverage design
    • Breakaway visor
    • Ezi Dial Fitting
    • Australian Standards
    • Net Liner
    • Suitable for trail, commutting & everyday riding

     

    Whats the difference between the Chakra and Chakra Plus?
    The Chakra Plus includes a bug net liner, enhanced graphics and the hard shell outer layer continues around the helmet edges, increasing its robustness.

  • Size Guide

    CHAKRA PLUS BIKE HELMET SIZE GUIDE

    SIZES: S-M 52-58CM

                M-L 58-62CM

    To get your size measure your head about 25mm above your eyebrows and ears. Use a cloth measuring tape or else use a piece of string, then measure with ruler or tape measure.

    See picture above.

    Q. What if I get the size wrong?

    A. No problems, simply return the helmet (unused in original packaging) and we shall ship you the correct size at no extra cost!

  • Reviews

    Write Your Own Review

    You're reviewing: Chakra Plus Sonic Helmet - White/Black

    How do you rate this product? *

     
    1 1 star
    2 2 star
    3 3 star
    4 4 star
    5 5 star
    Rating
  • Media

    This video from American CycleSport gives an excellent independant overview of the Chakra & Chakra Plus bicycle helmet. 

    Note their comment about a bug net being mandatory in Australia is incorrect - not sure where they got that from!

    You can find expert and independant print reviews below the video.


     

    Read Reviews on the Chakra Bicycle Helmets by Bicycle Network Australia, Bike Radar and mtnbikeriders.com 

    Kali Chakra Plus Mountain Bike Helmet in Review

     by Christopher Jones for Bicycle Network Australia

    • Published: 10 January 2013

    Excuse me, but aren’t helmets like this meant to cost much more? On price alone, the Kali Chakra Plus Mountain Bike Helmet is very attractive, and this is where Kali have made their mark in the industry. Beyond price, however, it’s still a very attractive helmet. When I first heard the name Kali and saw their prices, I wondered whether it was a Taiwanese brand who had taken knowledge gained from producing helmets for other brands and were releasing their own product. But no, Kali are in fact a Californian based brand (made in China) with helmets at different price points – the Chakra and the Chakra Plus are created specifically to hit the ‘reasonable price point’ of $50.

    The Chakra Plus looks and feels like a more expensive helmet (i.e. you don’t have to look like a noob if you are on a tight budget), the design is edgy, there are plenty of air vents and there’s enough thoughtful details so that you look and feel good.

    The Details

    Both Chakra helmets feature what Kali call Composite Fusion which simply means that rather than a separate polycarbonate (outer) shell being placed and glued or taped onto the EPS polystyrene foam, the EPS foam part is moulded into the outer shell which gives it a stronger bond and makes it an integrated unit. Additionally, lower density EPS polystyrene foam is used which Kali argue is better in the event of impact.

    The Chakra Plus version of the helmet has additional polycarbonate trimmings moulded in at the base of the helmet, which are a nice aesthetic addition and protect the foam when the helmet is placed on a table or on the ground. The Plus version helmet also has the ‘fit adjust’ system which I feel should be standard on any decent helmet.

    The overall quality is good, however it doesn’t have the same attention to detail that you would expect from a $200+ helmet. The air-vents in the polycarbonate shell are ‘hand cut’, so close-up you can spot the tiny irregularities. In the composite fusion moulding of the EPS polystyrene onto the shell, the polystyrene sometimes slightly overlaps and the hot-glue which fixes some of the plastic straps fasteners is quite generous, even though it is mostly out of sight. None of these tiny details, however, are of any concern in the overall performance, safety or aesthetics.

    The front visor is a much lighter shade of white (with a hint of pink) and fastens very securely. While I found the two white tones were a visual and unusual combination, there are also a black, blue and lime green helmet version to choose from. In comparing the S-M and M-L helmet I noted that the visor better fitted the M-L; though the sun visor didn’t perfectly align to the air vents on the S-M size helmet, it was pretty much a non-issue.

    The Fit
    For the review I measured my head size and found myself between the Chakra Plus’ Small-Medium (52-58cm) and Medium – Large (58-62cm) sizes, so I opted for large as there is nothing worse than riding for hours with a helmet that is too small. The large size turned out to be too large however, so the distributor, Velogear, kindly send the Small-Medium size which strangely had plenty of room, so much so that in using the ‘fit adjust’ dial, I tightened it almost to the end of the range until the fit was snug.

    The fit adjust dial has a mechanism that, once it reaches a limit (tightest or loosest fit), the dial simply turns and clicks, so you avoid over-tightening/loosening and destroying the mechanism.

    The big plus point of the Chakra Plus in terms of fit is that the padding is well placed. On other helmets I often find myself removing or adjusting the padding on the front and side as these areas are typically too tight for me. The generous padding of the Chakra Plus is comfortable and the hard EPS foam sits away from my head. The padding is attached with Velcro and it can be removed and washed; the fit adjust works well in combination with the soft internal padding. The main soft padding is a broad one piece construction with integrated bug net and stretches from the forehead to the crown of the head.

    My biggest criticism of the Chakra Plus is of the two tri-glide mechanisms, the plastic clasps on the left and right just below the ears that take in the fastening straps and feed it to the buckle. They are crap (am I allowed to say that?). The quality of the the helmet is let down by these as they open too easily (and therefore prone to accidentally opening) and when closed, the straps can still feed through (strap creep), which affects the fit as I will explain shortly.

    The Ride
    The Chakra Plus Helmet is delightfully comfortable to wear, the sun visor is well placed and even after long and hot rides it felt good. The S-M sized helmet is 288 grams while the M-L is marginally heavier 292 grams. I found that while riding there was plenty of support on the left and right however, the helmet had a tendency to slip forward, meaning I was repeatedly moving it back. To fix this it’s simply a matter of readjusting the side straps. The strap needs to be firm and comfortable at the buckle underneath the chin; adjusting the straps with the ‘tri-glides’ clasps enables you to angle the helmet so that it is tilted further back.

    In theory, this would be perfect…except for the strap creep, the movement of the straps in the tri-glide clasps. During long rides on technical mountain bike trails, repeated vibrations meant that the helmet started to tilt forward again. While it was never dangerous, I prefer a broader field of vision. To be fair, just like a bike seat, a helmet is very personal and if you have a different head shape, then this helmet may sit or fit more naturally on you without the movement that I experienced. When John Hawkins reviewed the Kali Amara Helmet with Integrated Camera Mount he said “this helmet is without doubt the most comfortable I’ve used“. The Amara however has a different fastening mechanism and a different tri-glide mechanism, so in my view the tri-glide clasps of the Chakra are a problem that should be improved.

    Crashing the Kali
    At the risk of disappointing my readers, I had no intention of putting this helmet to the real test and crashing on my head. While I did crash on one ride, during a technical fast section, I ended up thrown over the handlebars and, luckily, had a soft landing on the side of the trail. I naturally tucked my head and rolled. I’m getting too good at crashes.

    Even in the event of an accident, the Kali Chakra Plus, just like any helmet legally sold in Australia, complies with the current Australian and New Zealand helmet safety standard AS/NZS 2623:2008. It means that the helmets have been tested and approved (at significant cost) with 2 helmets set aside for ongoing quality control and safety testing from every batch of 400 helmets. I did however spot that the sticker named the Amara helmet rather than the Chakra and my enquiry regarding this went all the way to the top.

    A representative of Kali who works with worldwide distributors and also with the development team responded, “…this is a factory printing mistake.  I can tell with certainty because they have used the correct factory reference number for the model (S167 – which is Chakra), but then they have printed the wrong model name: Amara“.  The safety standards stickers are being reprinted and Kali have apologised to Aussie and New Zealand customers, for anyone who currently owns a Chakra model helmet, they will provide the corrected sticker on request.

    The Verdict
    When I have purchased helmets in the past, I have tried on every helmet in the store. Some brands just don’t suit me, though the Kali did. An otherwise excellent helmet was let down by the two plastic ‘tri-glide’ clasps, which meant I couldn’t get the perfect fit. If Kali would swap or improve this one part of the helmet, then it would be an absolute steal with rival helmets at over twice the price. With a different shaped head you may not have this problem at all, in which case it is excellent value for money at $49.95.

    Kali Helmets are available in Australia from Velogear and can be purchased directly under extremely customer friendly conditions – 100% Satisfaction, which means that the helmet can be posted back and exchanged for a new size or a refund can be provided if you’re not happy.

     

    Kali Protectives Chakra Plus Helmet Review | $59.95

    BikeRadar verdict

    4 out of 5 stars

    "Blinding value for money given the high spec of this trail helmet"

    "This Chakra model follows the growing trend for mountain bike helmets to have a blend of venting, deep coverage fit with lightweight construction – the full in-mould design Kali calls Composite Fusion (where the EPS core is bonded directly to the plastic microshell to create a stronger, safer more durable helmet). This is the same technology as you’d find on helmets costing three times as much.

    We spotted this ‘new for 2012’ helmet at the Eurobike show. We were looking to see what improvements had been made to Kali’s top of the range Avita, but instead were drawn to the Chakra model by its chunky good looks. When we learned the price, we thought we’d misheard by a hundred quid…

    We’ve spent time looking the Chakra over from peak to chin strap and apart from wanting an inner shell-mounted strap guide to stop the rear straps from getting pushed up into the helmet when you put it on, there is nothing lacking. Looking is one thing, riding’s another and with some unusually warm autumn miles plugged in we’re happy to be running such a well-vented helmet. The 22 large scoops pull in the air as well as any of the top of the range helmets from Giro, Specialized, Bell and so on.

    At 334g it doesn’t feel heavy and we’ve used it on stripped-for-speed XC blasts as well as traily day rides and felt well protected and suitably dressed in both instances. The peak is the right length (though not adjustable), the chinstrap is easy to tailor to length and the liner pads are removable for washing. Given they all have to pass the same safety tests, truth be told, we often buy helmets on looks first with weight and venting vying for second. The Chakra is cool in both respects."

    MTBR bicycling.com/mountainbikecom/bikes-gear/kali-chakra

    "Kali Chakra Upstart helmet maker Kali showed off its newest model, the Chakra. It comes in $40 or $50 versions—the more expensive version has a bit more in-mold shell as well as a bug net. It's one of the nicest-looking, best-made $40 helmet we've ever seen."



    Kali Chakra Plus Helmet Review-By Cat McKinnon

    Report From: mtnbikeriders.com

    "Looking for a new helmet seems to be one of those things that we cyclists both love and hate doing. We love looking for new gear, but most of us realize that helmets tend to be pretty expensive for what they are (mostly foam and plastic). We like checking out the new helmet colors and designs, but if we’re on a tight budget, we hate a lot of the concessions we have to make in order to afford a new helmet.

    Often times, that means giving up certain features or a certain style because it’s out of our price range. And the lack of much competition in the Trail/AM-type helmet market, especially in the United States, means that the “Big Two” (Bell and Giro, which somewhat non-coincidentally, are both owned by the same parent company) get most of the helmet business. Sure, Fox makes a couple Trail/AM helmets now, and Pro-Tec has been making some great skate-lid type noggin-savers for years. And many European helmet manufacturers like Uvex, Catlike and POC are now making helmets that conform to our national helmet standards (which are generally more strict than many EU standards). But those Euro imports are still relatively rare and usually pricey, and it only takes a quick look around the local trails to see that 8 or 9 out of 10 riders are probably rocking either a Bell or Giro. They make great helmets, to be sure, but also seem to sort of have a monopoly on the helmet market (in my opinion, anyway).

    Well, a new contender has entered the trail lid fold, offering many of the features of helmets such as the venerable Giro Hex or Bell Sequence, but at a MUCH more reasonable price!

    Kali Protectives is a fairly new company. They’ve only been in business for a few years and mostly focused on protective padding and full-face helmets, but the founders have pretty strong pedigrees: one has worked for several cycling companies (which isn’t surprising in itself), but he also worked with the friggin’ US GOVERNMENT on stealth technology!!! The guys at Kali REALLY know their stuff!!

    Recently Kali has moved into the trail helmet sector with some very nice offerings, and this year they’ve released one of the most bang-for-your-buck line of helmets I’ve ever seen! In fact, it’s so new that it’s just barely started shipping. I had to work with their customer service department (thanks Allison!) to get one shipped to my local Kali dealer for purchase, but by the time you read this they should be trickling into more dealers (I just saw the Chakra’s listed on JensonUSA a few days ago, in fact).

    Kali’s two newest helmet models are the Chakra and Chakra Plus, which sell for $40 and $50, respectively. I purchased the Chakra Plus, as I felt the extra $10 was worth the “upgrades” over the basic Chakra (bug net, “enhanced” fit system, and a bit more in-molded protection). I got the white version (which has some subdued black graphics), although the Chakra Plus is also available in black, neon blue and neon green (the neon colors seriously look straight out of “Saved By The Bell”!!)

    The helmet itself comes in the standard open-front box featuring Kali’s logo (which I personally think is one of the coolest in the industry), containing the helmet, an instruction pamphlet, and a big Kali Protectives sticker. Upon unboxing, what immediately struck me is how well the helmet is made: what Kali calls “CompositeFusion” construction (similar to Giro’s “In-Mold”, where the plastic and foam is molded as one piece instead of being glued together after the fact), and a large, easy-to-adjust knob on the back to tighten things up with positive clicks. The fit adjustment reminds me more of the BOA system, with a big knob, rather than the small dial that Giro and Bell typically use. Another nice touch is the clamping mechanism at the chin strap: most helmets have little clamps under the ears, but Kali goes one further and provides this same clamp under the chin (instead of just the strap loop at the clip), so when you get your straps adjusted just right, they’re not going anywhere.

    Other features include fully removable padding held in by Velcro, and a very capable visor. I should mention that this visor is not adjustable, but Kali seems to have done their homework: the visor is just big enough to keep glare out of your eyes most of the time, but it won’t mess with your peripheral vision either. It seems to be just about in the perfect spot, and I’m not going to knock off points for it being non-adjustable at this price point. The visor is held on by Velcro in the front, and two molded plastic pins on each side, and it’s easily removable if you don’t want it. Another nice touch, which is almost NEVER seen in a helmet of this price, is a “bee net” (integrated into the large main pad); a mesh under the vents to keep stabby insects out of your helmet. I’ve never had a bee fly into my helmet or sting my head, but obviously someone somewhere has, otherwise nobody would’ve thought of it. I don’t know if it’ll keep a bee from stinging me, but I can certainly appreciate that it still might keep bugs like mosquitoes from having a meal on my melon (and possibly infecting me with some sort of weird barnyard-related flu).

    After getting the straps and fit system dialed in, I went on a 4-hour trail ride to break in the Chakra Plus. First off, this helmet is super-comfortable! It didn’t shift around on my head yet wasn’t constricting, it wasn’t noticeably heavy, and after about ten minutes of riding, I’d forgotten I was even wearing a new helmet. It was really easy to adjust tension with one hand via the big dial in the back. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think this helmet runs large…my head measures right at 57.5cm and the medium is supposed to cover 52-58cm. I have to crank it down about as tight as it will go to fit my head, so I’d definitely recommend trying different sizes before you buy!

    Sorry for the terrible angle. I had to take the photo myself. And yes, those of us with long hair have to rock the annoying low ponytail with the Chakra Plus, but that’s just how trail helmets are.

    The strap clip under the chin kinda threw me at first: I’m used to helmets with straps that loosen up a little after a few days, but the Chakra Plus doesn’t do that. However, once I realized that I needed to set my straps up EXACTLY as tight as I wanted them, it wasn’t an issue. At first it was kind of annoying, but then I realized that helmet straps really shouldn’t be loose anyway and I’ve come to think of this as a plus in the design…After all, how many of us “set and forget” our helmets and never readjust them, even after months of use? They might not be providing the protection we think they are, because they’ve loosened up over time, and this is a dead-simple way to keep your helmet from becoming dangerously loose.

    As for heat, the helmet is pretty cool for the most part. Trail-type helmets tend to not cool as well as XC or road helmets, which is a trade-off for better skull coverage, but this one does an excellent job. During an aggressive ride on a hot day (90 degrees at 6:45pm), my head felt “kinda warm”, but not uncomfortably hot. At this price range, I think Kali pretty much nailed it (keep in mind that I have the white version of this helmet, and that the black or blue colors will probably be hotter). The Chakra Plus also has 25 vents and I don’t think there’s really too many other ways they could make this helmet shed heat any better than it already does. Even when I pushed myself as hard as I could, the pads did a fantastic job of keeping sweat out of my eyes.

    All padding is removable for easy cleaning (which I’m assuming should be done by hand). And my ability to center a photo sucks.The weight* is a reasonable 336g (about 12 ounces). Not the lightest trail helmet, but still on the lower end of the weight spectrum for this type of lid, and pretty respectable. In fact, there are some very popular helmets in the $100+ price range that weigh 400g or more, so Kali did a good job keeping the weight off. But we all know that no product is perfect, and there are a couple minor issues to touch on:

    First, the “owner’s manual”…it sucks. Granted, most cyclists who’ve ever owned a helmet will know how to adjust a new one. But for first-time helmet buyers, this manual is terrible. One of the instructions says that the helmet must fit and be adjusted properly to “provide adequate protection”, but nowhere are there any instructions on how to actually fit or adjust the helmet. Even the cheapest Wal-Mart helmets usually have pictographs showing how to adjust a helmet properly, and I think it’s wise to include instructions like that with any protective gear. Kali is trying to break into the “affordable” market with a fantastic product, and I think it’s especially important that they include much better instructions in this case.

    Second, while the padding is excellent, part of it almost completely covers two fairly large vents directly on top of the helmet. It’s not a major deal, and as I said before, the helmet vents very well for this type of design (and in fact, I didn’t even notice it until after I’d taken a few rides). But considering that heat is mostly going to exit up and out, it might be a better design if the padding didn’t cover these important vents. An alternative might be to extend the bug net fabric into this area, to allow for better ventilation while maintaining the integrity of the main pad. This one certainly isn’t a deal breaker, and I’m not even sure it would make much of a difference. Still, it’s something I noticed, so in the interest of full disclosure I figured I should mention it.

    Lastly, the rear adjustment knob seems a bit larger than it really needs to be. I know this isn’t a race helmet, but the knob on mine is about the diameter of a US quarter, and just seems…intrusive? It works well, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be a little smaller. I didn’t have any issues with it loosening up, but I could see how it might potentially be able to loosen if it were to rub against clothing or a ponytail in certain situations. Nitpicking, I know, but it still annoys me a little.

    However, these relatively minor complaints certainly wouldn’t keep me from buying another one or recommending it to others.

    Ultimately, after putting the helmet through a couple weeks’ worth of rides, from trails to commuting on pavement, I’m even happier with the Chakra Plus than when I first put it on! It’s comfortable, doesn’t get too hot and is easy to adjust on the fly, even with full-finger gloves on. At a price that’s barely more than Bell and Giro’s entry-level helmets, it exceeded my expectations in features and quality, and it can easily compete with helmets in the $100 range!

    Overall, I think Kali has hit the nail on the head with the price/feature set on this helmet, and I think it’ll be a huge seller once it hits the market in full force. I fully expect to see a lot more riders wearing Kali helmets come next spring!"

    en (the neon colors seriously look straight out of “Saved By The Bell”!!)

    The helmet itself comes in the standard open-front box featuring Kali’s logo (which I personally think is one of the coolest in the industry), containing the helmet, an instruction pamphlet, and a big Kali Protectives sticker. Upon unboxing, what immediately struck me is how well the helmet is made: what Kali calls “CompositeFusion” construction (similar to Giro’s “In-Mold”, where the plastic and foam is molded as one piece instead of being glued together after the fact), and a large, easy-to-adjust knob on the back to tighten things up with positive clicks. The fit adjustment reminds me more of the BOA system, with a big knob, rather than the small dial that Giro and Bell typically use. Another nice touch is the clamping mechanism at the chin strap: most helmets have little clamps under the ears, but Kali goes one further and provides this same clamp under the chin (instead of just the strap loop at the clip), so when you get your straps adjusted just right, they’re not going anywhere.

    Other features include fully removable padding held in by Velcro, and a very capable visor. I should mention that this visor is not adjustable, but Kali seems to have done their homework: the visor is just big enough to keep glare out of your eyes most of the time, but it won’t mess with your peripheral vision either. It seems to be just about in the perfect spot, and I’m not going to knock off points for it being non-adjustable at this price point. The visor is held on by Velcro in the front, and two molded plastic pins on each side, and it’s easily removable if you don’t want it. Another nice touch, which is almost NEVER seen in a helmet of this price, is a “bee net” (integrated into the large main pad); a mesh under the vents to keep stabby insects out of your helmet. I’ve never had a bee fly into my helmet or sting my head, but obviously someone somewhere has, otherwise nobody would’ve thought of it. I don’t know if it’ll keep a bee from stinging me, but I can certainly appreciate that it still might keep bugs like mosquitoes from having a meal on my melon (and possibly infecting me with some sort of weird barnyard-related flu).

    After getting the straps and fit system dialed in, I went on a 4-hour trail ride to break in the Chakra Plus. First off, this helmet is super-comfortable! It didn’t shift around on my head yet wasn’t constricting, it wasn’t noticeably heavy, and after about ten minutes of riding, I’d forgotten I was even wearing a new helmet. It was really easy to adjust tension with one hand via the big dial in the back. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think this helmet runs large…my head measures right at 57.5cm and the medium is supposed to cover 52-58cm. I have to crank it down about as tight as it will go to fit my head, so I’d definitely recommend trying different sizes before you buy!

    chakra8

    Sorry for the terrible angle. I had to take the photo myself. And yes, those of us with long hair have to rock the annoying low ponytail with the Chakra Plus, but that’s just how trail helmets are.

    The strap clip under the chin kinda threw me at first: I’m used to helmets with straps that loosen up a little after a few days, but the Chakra Plus doesn’t do that. However, once I realized that I needed to set my straps up EXACTLY as tight as I wanted them, it wasn’t an issue. At first it was kind of annoying, but then I realized that helmet straps really shouldn’t be loose anyway and I’ve come to think of this as a plus in the design…After all, how many of us “set and forget” our helmets and never readjust them, even after months of use? They might not be providing the protection we think they are, because they’ve loosened up over time, and this is a dead-simple way to keep your helmet from becoming dangerously loose.

    As for heat, the helmet is pretty cool for the most part. Trail-type helmets tend to not cool as well as XC or road helmets, which is a trade-off for better skull coverage, but this one does an excellent job. During an aggressive ride on a hot day (90 degrees at 6:45pm), my head felt “kinda warm”, but not uncomfortably hot. At this price range, I think Kali pretty much nailed it (keep in mind that I have the white version of this helmet, and that the black or blue colors will probably be hotter). The Chakra Plus also has 25 vents and I don’t think there’s really too many other ways they could make this helmet shed heat any better than it already does. Even when I pushed myself as hard as I could, the pads did a fantastic job of keeping sweat out of my eyes.

    All padding is removable for easy cleaning (which I’m assuming should be done by hand). And my ability to center a photo sucks.The weight* is a reasonable 336g (about 12 ounces). Not the lightest trail helmet, but still on the lower end of the weight spectrum for this type of lid, and pretty respectable. In fact, there are some very popular helmets in the $100+ price range that weigh 400g or more, so Kali did a good job keeping the weight off. But we all know that no product is perfect, and there are a couple minor issues to touch on:

    First, the “owner’s manual”…it sucks. Granted, most cyclists who’ve ever owned a helmet will know how to adjust a new one. But for first-time helmet buyers, this manual is terrible. One of the instructions says that the helmet must fit and be adjusted properly to “provide adequate protection”, but nowhere are there any instructions on how to actually fit or adjust the helmet. Even the cheapest Wal-Mart helmets usually have pictographs showing how to adjust a helmet properly, and I think it’s wise to include instructions like that with any protective gear. Kali is trying to break into the “affordable” market with a fantastic product, and I think it’s especially important that they include much better instructions in this case.

    Second, while the padding is excellent, part of it almost completely covers two fairly large vents directly on top of the helmet. It’s not a major deal, and as I said before, the helmet vents very well for this type of design (and in fact, I didn’t even notice it until after I’d taken a few rides). But considering that heat is mostly going to exit up and out, it might be a better design if the padding didn’t cover these important vents. An alternative might be to extend the bug net fabric into this area, to allow for better ventilation while maintaining the integrity of the main pad. This one certainly isn’t a deal breaker, and I’m not even sure it would make much of a difference. Still, it’s something I noticed, so in the interest of full disclosure I figured I should mention it.

    Lastly, the rear adjustment knob seems a bit larger than it really needs to be. I know this isn’t a race helmet, but the knob on mine is about the diameter of a US quarter, and just seems…intrusive? It works well, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be a little smaller. I didn’t have any issues with it loosening up, but I could see how it might potentially be able to loosen if it were to rub against clothing or a ponytail in certain situations. Nitpicking, I know, but it still annoys me a little.

    However, these relatively minor complaints certainly wouldn’t keep me from buying another one or recommending it to others.

    Ultimately, after putting the helmet through a couple weeks’ worth of rides, from trails to commuting on pavement, I’m even happier with the Chakra Plus than when I first put it on! It’s comfortable, doesn’t get too hot and is easy to adjust on the fly, even with full-finger gloves on. At a price that’s barely more than Bell and Giro’s entry-level helmets, it exceeded my expectations in features and quality, and it can easily compete with helmets in the $100 range!

    Overall, I think Kali has hit the nail on the head with the price/feature set on this helmet, and I think it’ll be a huge seller once it hits the market in full force. I fully expect to see a lot more riders wearing Kali helmets come next spring!"

  • TECH TALK

    bike helmet

    What is behind Kali's COMPOSITE FUSION™ technology? 

    by Brad Waldron  Engineer and Founder of Kali Cycle Helmets

    "So many times when looking at a company’s claim I ask myself “Is this real or is this just salesman speak?”. I certainly can’t make up your mind for you, but I can tell you about our patented technology and why we are excited about it.

    A helmet has two essential elements that help protect you: a shell and energy absorbing foam. These two components are built to dissipate the energies of an impact to your head. The shell is the hard outer surface of a helmet and has 3 functions. First, it prevents sharp object penetration. Second, it protects the energy absorbing foam from abrasion. Lastly, it spreads out the force of an impact over a greater area.

    As the second component of the puzzle, the energy absorbing foam is the inner muscle of a helmet and the more active component of the two. It does the bulk of the work, cushioning and redirecting the G-forces of any impact that tries to work its way towards your head.

    Standard helmet technology constructs the shell (made from various composite materials) and the energy absorbing foam composite (Expanded PolyStyrene or EPS) as two separate pieces. Simply shooting small beads into a mold makes the EPS foam. The beads are then steamed, expanded and bound into the “generic” shape of the exterior shell. This “shaped” EPS form is then pulled from the mold and allowed to dry, and then inserted into the shell by hand (being spot glued or taped into place inside).

    This means that during an impact to the head, there will actually be a microsecond of ‘air’ as the energy is transferred between one protective material (the shell) and the next (the EPS foam). The result of this separate-but-glued-construction is a less efficient transfer of energy when a helmet is impacted.

    Another unfortunate consequence of standard helmet construction is that over time the glue joints may wear down, which leaves users with EPS foam that is loose inside the shell. In addition to being uncomfortable, it can also be potentially dangerous, as the EPS foam may not stay in its intended position during an impact."

Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.