Catlike Kompact’O Follow-Up Review


Not only have my cycling gloves failed, but my helmet has also failed, and in the same relatively short period of time.  My helmet’s retention system’s adjustment wheel will not adjust anything, the screws that hold it in place have rusted, and the helmet’s matte black finish has developed spider-weblike accretions that originally looked to me like some kind of fungus.  I tried to clean them off with water and a cloth, with not much success.  I resorted to scraping the stuff off, and that sort of worked.  But instead of a fungus, I now think, the result of the matte finish layer reacting to the extremes of heat, humidity, rain, and so forth to which I routinely subject it.  I think the finish layer is ‘drawing up’ and away from the helmet’s shell, and where it draws up or folds upward and away from the shell, it creases, and those creased ridges look white.  I bought the helmet back in late June, I think, so it seems a bit new for this kind of failure.  My initial review of the helmet can be found here.


Last week, I contacted Bike Tires Direct, the Portland, Oregon, based online retailer from which I bought the helmet, and they sent me a replacement that arrived by last Friday along with a prepaid mailer to send the defective helmet back to them.  I went by the UPS store yesterday to get that done, and cussword if it wasn’t a U.S. Postal Service mailer they sent me.  The helmet arrived UPS, thus my understandable confusion.  I’ll get that mailed back today.


I’m not totally sure how I feel about wearing an all-white or mostly all-white helmet, but it does increase visibility and my son thinks it’s cool-looking.  Fit’s about the same as the black helmet, but I think the shiny finish will be less likely to come to grief in the space of three months in normal riding conditions.  I could be wrong, though.  Winter’s coming.