Kali Protectives is a small Norcal based company that prides itself on creating technology that challenges what the big companies are doing. Their popular Maraka road helmet has features like SuperVent, Composite Fusion Plus and Bumper Fit which make it safer and more comfortable for many riders and racers. They are at it again with an all new aero road helmet called the Tava that introduces new versions of Composite Fusion and Bumper Fit technology that are designed to help decrease low G impact and injury from rotational forces.
Bumper Fit 2.0 (blue pieces) created by Armor Gel out of the UK (click to enlarge).
If you are up-to-date on helmet technology, then you are probably aware that there are some new technologies out there designed to decrease the amount of head and brain injuries caused by rotational forces. MIPs is perhaps the most well known and well marketed. MIPs stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection system and this technology was recently purchased by Bell helmets (aka BRG Sports). Other companies who have created technologies to reduce rotational force damage in the helmet world include companies heavily involved in motocross and supercross motorcycle racing like 6-D and Leatt.
But now, Kali shows us their latest improvements and innovations to help reduce concussions and brain injuries to cyclists of all categories.
Bumper Fit 2.0
Bumper Fit is Kali’s system of closed cell memory foam that is designed to harden on impact. Bumper Fit is used on most of Kali’s current model line-up and it does 3 things. It helps reduce low G impact, it reduces rotational forces and it provides a more comfortable fit across a wider range of head shapes.
The new Bumper Fit 2.0 (blue pieces) are made by a company called Armor Gel out of the UK and it was developed by the same professor that developed the system used by Leatt. The blue material has been shown in testing to reduce G forces on a 1.5 meter drop by up to 12%. The lower (1.5m) drop height emulates a 10 MPH crash for a cyclist. Testing has also proven that Bumper Fit 2.0 lowers rotational forces by an average of 25%.
In addition to drop testing, the Tava was also wind tunnel tested extensively in a low speed wind tunnel in Arizona. Testing conditions included a 30mph wind which takes into account an average rider going along at a 20mph average with a wind of 10mph.
You will note that the Tava has a distinctively roundish profile and this helps keep it aerodynamic in a multitude of ever changing wind directions. Wind tunnel testing showed that the Tava not only performs well in a zero degree position, but excels in a crosswind. When compared to four leading competitors, the Tava reduced drag by an average of 50 grams at a 5 degree offset. This translates to a ½ second per kilometer, saving 25 seconds in a 50 km race.