Ekoi Stradale Helmet
Ekoi Stradale; old school styling meets high-tech safety materials
While most helmets designed for racing concentrate on weight and aerodynamics the Ekoi Stradale puts safety first. With riders going ever faster, Ekoi’s designers realised there was a need for greater levels of protection. So they turned to Koroyd and their innovative impact protection inserts.
Ekoi said that the new Stradale fulfilled their desire to “to better protect riders’ lives”. Part of this desire came about when they spoke to riders like Simon Clarke. For Clarke the safety aspect of helmets should take precedence over any performance enhancements.
UCI concussion protocol
With race speeds constantly increasing the UCI has brought in a concussion protocol to deal with fallen riders. The problem with many forms of cycle-sport is that once a rider falls, the race continues. Unlike football or rugby where a match can be stopped to allow a player to be examined, cyclists have to chase back on. In the past this has led to riders continuing to race despite having concussion. So the need for effective head protection is vital.
The Ekoi Stradale
Ekoi decided that to offer cyclists the level of protection needed for the level of risk that they faced, they would call on Koroyd. You may have seen Koroyd’s tubular honeycomb crumple protection before; Ekoi used it in their Aerodinamica helmet.
Koroyd’s plastic heat-welded tubes form a structure that has a 30% higher absorption capacity than conventional EPS. These tubes crumple under an impact, absorbing the forces from the crash. It also has less of a ‘spring-back’ than other materials. This is where some of the impact’s energy is transferred back to your head. Reducing this effect is obviously desirable in a crash.
The Ekoi Stradale uses five Koroyd inserts, running front to back. This results in a design that harks back to the early ‘hair-net’ helmets. These helmets provided only scanty protection in the case of a crash. They were used at a time when most riders wore no head protection at all. The only protection they offered was against road-rash, but there would be no impact mitigation. In comparison the Stradale goes a long way to protect your head in a crash.
According to Ekoi the Stradale’s design also allows for greater airflow, keeping you cool on hot days. This is down to the open layout and the large rear exhausts. The Koroyd inserts apparently also play a part here. The hollow tubes increase and accelerate air moving through the helmet, adding to the cooling effect.
Closure is via Ekoi’s magnetic buckle, which I’ve found very simple and effective to use in the past. The Stradale comes in three sizes and has an adjustable ATOP buckle at the rear. This helps fine tune your fit along with the adjustable side-straps.
Who’s wearing the Stradale in 2024?
The Ekoi Stradale first appeared on the heads of Team Lotto-Soudal at the Tour de France in 2022. In 2024 the Stradale will be used by Arkéa-Samsic, Israël Premier Tech, Cofidis and Lotto-Dstny. You can also buy your own from the Ekoi website, like many of their products limited customisation is available. We’ll get one in for review and tell you what we think. We recently took a look at Ekoi’s AR14 helmet here.