TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — German helmet maker Cratoni is taking a second stab in the U.S. The company recently announced plans to re-enter the already crowded lid market in North America, teaming up with SKS USA, which will be its exclusive distributor.
At the recent Taipei show, Cratoni export manager Oliver Lennarz-Kellner had the brand’s 2013/2014 lineup on display. Only eight models will be immediately available for U.S. consumers since the company will have to ensure they meet strict U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission helmet testing before putting them on retail shelves. Likely the U.S. versions will be heavier since European standards are much more lax, Lennarz-Kellner said.
The range begins at $69 for the one-size-fits-all C-Blaze and goes all the way up to the $189 C-Breeze in road and mountain bike versions. The Bullet is a lightweight road helmet that will sell for $159 and weigh less than 200 grams.
Lennarz-Kellner says the company still gets one or two emails a week from U.S. consumers asking for replacement liner pads for helmets the company sold in the 1990s, which is encouraging.
“We’re optimistic about the U.S.,” he said. “We believe in our product. In every category of helmet we’re one of the lightest with fantastic ventilation.”
Cratoni has been around for 27 years and is well known in Europe. It’s among the top five helmet brands in market share in its home market, Lennarz-Kellner said.
Cratoni helmets are sold in more than 70 countries. The eight-helmet line should be in stock in the U.S. by July.