Made in Italy since 1974, LAS helmets have been chosen by many a pro team over the years including the green guys at liquigas and the Raleigh ladies Team.
As we see the new ranges and pro-team choices of helmet for the coming season, high ventilation is increasingly present. There are obvious benefits which come from having more effective air flow but we’re quite a fan of the look that comes with it. The LAS Squalo features a bold design which makes you look like you mean business. We’re looking at the Femme Fatale version in white, silver and pink which offers a subtle style without being overly girly. The Squalo design is available in a range of colours and the structure of the helmet remains the same for men and women.
As well as including race performing features the Squalo design just looks high performance. And let’s face it, of course the number one function of a helmet is to protect your head, we all know that, however with all of the helmets on the mainstream market meeting safety regulations it’s other things that set them apart and make us buy one over another. And looks are right up there with ventilation and comfort.
Obviously, we need to know that a helmet will protect our heads in the event of a crash so first up, let’s talk about safety. As a professional cyclist you have a very high chance of crashing. Every year. All races these days report at least one crash per stage and sometimes several. Bearing in mind that there are around 500 top level continental pros and around the same amount of races, it’s a stupidly high probability (someone’s worked this out I’m sure…) that at some point you are going to hit the deck. LAS have always asked for feedback from the pros and often ask for helmets back, that have been mashed up so they can check stuff works and stuff that doesn’t.
LAS helmets are all rigorously tested before going on the market, and all helmets undergo and meet certification testing appropriate to the country they are intended and the Squalo is no exception, meeting the CE EN1078 standard.
Key to the performance of any helmet is ensuring that it fits correctly. If the retention of the helmet isn’t right, you may risk the helmet moving in the event of a crash and compromising the protection offered. The straps on the Squalo are easily adjusted and keeps it well in place when riding. The removable padded lining is great, comfy and washable but the only draw back is that if you keep the retention tight, you will end up with a branded LAS logo on your forehead! The logo is embossed on the material meaning it imprints itself onto you, leaving a lovely red mark on your face. Don’t worry, it does quickly fade but not before you’ve got a few laughs.
29 vents mean that you get a continuous circulation of air which keeps your head cooler and can keep the overall weight of the helmet down. Aside from the small matter of the imprint on the helmet the padded insert is a great feature. If features some cover under the central vents to avoid bugs flying in, etc but all of the side and rear vents are uncovered, keeping you cool in the heat. The central vents are covered with a perforated material meaning you still retain excellent air flow throughout. The coolmax material also absorbs sweat well and you can then take it out and wash it. The same goes for the straps which are made of soft nylon and suitable for bunging in the washing machine.
The plastic retention dial at the back adjusts the fit around the head both horizontally and vertically for a much better fit. Unlike some designs this isn’t overly fiddly to use.