With its sleek design and 19 vents, the Lazer Genesis is a great helmet, especially considering the price. The optional aeroshell (£14.99) means this can handle the fastest races and coldest training rides equally well.
This latest Genesis is the company's second-tier helmet, sitting below the Z1. It was Lazer's top end lid until the Z1 came along, so I was expecting a great fit.
Let's start with that then. I've never worn a Lazer before – I'm a Kask man – so popping the Genesis on felt rather strange. The helmet sits quite low on my head and I was impressed by the extra cover over the temple region. The weird feel came from the Rollsys retention system: there's no cradle and ratchet like you'd find on other lids, it's a wire-based system that secures around the top of the head, leaving the back of the head free of plastic. It'll suit people who tie their hair back for riding as there's nothing to get in the way of ponytails – not that I have one.
Aside from ponytail compatibility, the Lazer does very well in other areas. One of these is versatility. In warm conditions, the 19 vents channel air over the head very well. This is also the case during intense efforts. I put the Lazer to good use in the South Cyclocross Championships and found that I didn't get the usual sweat in my eyes. Part of this is due to the über-thin padding. I was initially concerned that it would create pressure points, but even after a long Sunday ride I was perfectly comfortable.
The lack of bulky retention system also means the arms of your sunglasses are free to sit against your head, giving much better grip. My Kask Rapido's system doesn't sit well with either Oakley Radar or Jawbreakers.
I used the Genesis with a detachable aeroshell in a high-vis yellow, available aftermarket for £14.99. It's primarily designed to reduce drag during races, but also serves as a very useful attachment in British weather. I've used it on a good number of rainy and cold commutes, where I'd normally wear a cap. Getting a hot head hasn't been an issue in our glorious British winter, though it could be a problem in milder weather.
The straps that fasten under the chin are soft and comfortable, but I did have an issue with the rubber band that holds the excess strap against the rest of the strap sliding down. It meant I had to constantly readjust the band, or I was left with the excess dangling from my chin. Not exactly a deal-breaker, but not a good look either.
My only other gripe is that the vents don't give you anywhere to put your sunnies, but it's a small price to pay for what is a very good helmet.
The Genesis isn't the lightest at 275g, but it certainly doesn't feel heavy – and weight isn't something I prioritise when the item is meant to save my skull.
Having used the Genesis for a very muddy cyclo-cross race, I gave it a good blast with the hose and then a clean with the sponge. The helmet has come up looking brand new, the black colour helping no doubt. The internal pads are removable and I washed them by hand. One of the benefits of their thin build is that they dry in no time. I was pleased to find that when I left the cafe after a coffee stop, my lid was already dry and free from that horrible cold, sweaty feeling.
At £119, it sits just above Kask's excellent Mojito in price. I've always had an issue with Kasks getting rather sweaty, holding onto that sweat and then releasing it into my eyes on the last lap of a 'cross race; I've had no such issues with the Lazer. It's also more versatile: while the Kask is better for fitting your sunglasses in, it doesn't feature the option of an aero cover; yes, you have to buy the accessories, but £15 for the aeroshell is a good investment.
Overall, the Lazer Genesis is comfortable and versatile, with the brilliant Rollsys retention system. The lack of rear cradle is great for those with long hair, and the aero cover fits securely and adds diversity to an already great helmet.
Fits well, looks great and performs perfectly in a variety of situations
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lazer Genesis helmet
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"The Genesis* is the Lazer all time classic performance helmet and winner of the 2011 Eurobike Award. The Rollsys® Retention System with Adjustable Head Basket is integrated for an easy to adjust and perfect fit.
The Rigidity Brace System offers superior resistance against multiple impact crashes and 19 vents ensure the helmet interior stays cool and comfortable. The Genesis helmet also has an optional insect net and winter pad set available and is compatible with the Lazer Aeroshell."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rollsys® retention system
280 g (M)
CE - CPSC - AS
M / L
The Rollsys system is very well made and keeps out of the way of sunglasses arms.
It's airy and comfortable. The minimal padding is very comfy. Only let down by the fact you can't store sunnies in the vents.
Dealt with the aeroshell being taken on and off a few times, no signs of wear, and everything cleaned up nicely, even after super-muddy CX races.
It's not the lightest option but it doesn't feel heavy on the head.
The thin padding and wire retention system are very comfy for many hours. The padding's ability to clear sweat away from my eyes was a big bonus.
Not cheap but a good price. The Kask Mojito is slightly cheaper but doesn't boast the same features, while the eKoi Corsa Lite is about the same price but has a flimsier shell.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I found that I could use the helmet in all conditions for many different types of riding. It was comfy on longer rides and kept my head cool when racing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The padding dries so fast that it felt like a fresh lid after the cafe stop.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The band holding the excess strap material wasn't tight enough to keep it in place.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's not the lightest, but comfort is excellent courtesy of the retention system, and I like its compatibility with my sunnies – I just wish there was space in the vents for them.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.