The Factory Team helmet is used by KTM's race teams but comes in at a fraction of the price of the usual pro-level lid – does it have the technical features to match them?
Worn by KTM’s Continental Professional teams, the Factory Team helmet attempts to hit pro level on a remarkable budget. At £59.99 it’s coming in well below the top-line lids of its competitors, but doesn’t quite match other helmets for features: for example, it has a slightly less refined fit adjustment system and no MIPS protection.
The thing that really differentiates it from the competition is its size. It has eschewed the growing popularity of overbuilt helmets such asthe Giro Cinder MIPS or the POC Octal, instead opting for a smaller, arguably sleeker-looking design.
Moving from a large-looking helmet to a small one is a odd transition to make, and not necessarily a comfortable one. However, despite its diminutive size the KTM doesn’t offer any less head coverage, but it will be a matter of personal preference as to whether you get on with the design. Once I got used to it, I found its sleek nature quite comfortable on the bike.
The real win here for KTM, though, is that it’s lightweight. At 226g it undercuts both the Rudy Project Racemaster and the hugely popular Giro Synthe. It is unobtrusive, but mostly because it doesn’t feel like it’s there. It is comfortable, too, and manages to avoid the perched feeling that some smaller helmets struggle with.
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So, it’s lightweight and cheap but it perhaps isn’t quite as feature packed as other top-end lids, and the cheaper price is probably down to the lack of MIPS. The adjustment dial also isn’t as sophisticated as the ROC-LOC 5 system offered by Giro, but even if it doesn’t have the same level of micro-adjustment it works well with no hotspots.
The dial is part of KTM’s so-called 3D fit system, where you pull down the back in increments then tighten the dial. It’s not reinventing the wheel but it’s not uncomfortable.
In general, the helmet could have benefited from a bit more padding, though having said that I never felt discomfort while wearing it out on the road.
The KTM Factory Team is well ventilated, with the shell’s 17 holes for airflow certainly keeping me cool on the long climbs of Gran Canaria.
The KTM helmet is a neat little offering if you like a smaller helmet. Despite having a pro-style name, it lacks the features that other pro-level lids have, but it does come in at a much lower price.