Belgian helmet brand Lazer has a bunch of new models and updates for 2015 and here are the highlights.
The Blade is a completely new helmet from a mould based on that of Lazer’s top-end Z1 but, at £59.99, it’s a whole lot cheaper.
It’s an in-mould helmet (where the expanded polystyrene interior is blown in while the exterior shell is in the manufacturing mould, rather than the two parts being stuck together afterwards) that uses Lazer’s Advanced Rollsys System (ARS) fit system.
ARS has a thumb wheel on top of the helmet to adjust the tension on soft plastic cables which are attached to a harness that surrounds the full circumference of your head. The idea is that the helmet tightens symmetrically without any pressure points whatever your head shape, and it is super-easy to fine-tune the fit with one finger while you’re riding along. You get height adjustment for the harness at the back of your head too.
The Blade uses the same strap dividers as the Z1. Getting the straps to sit flat against your head is simple.
Like the Z1, the Blade comes with a bridge on top. Why? Lazer have to put a hole in the top of the helmet for the ARS wheel. That means that in order to keep the strength high they have to put a lot of material around that hole, or put this bridge in – so it adds strength while keeping the weight down.
Speaking of weight, Lazer say the Blade is 250g in a size medium, which is very reasonable. The Blade will be available in several different colour options including matt black and matt black with flash orange.
We think it’s a great looking helmet, especially for the price. Lazer will do well with this one.
The Magma (£65) is essentially the Blade with an added peak (or ‘visor’, if you prefer). It’s designed for off-road use although we imagine many commuters and other all-weather cyclists will be attracted by the peak for keeping rain and spray out.
The Motion is another new model for 2015, the entry-level road helmet that’s priced at £35. Again, it’s an in-mould design but this time using Lazer’s Advanced Turnfit System (ATS).
ATS is different from ARS in that it’s operated by a dial at the back, a lot like many helmets from other brands. That dial still controls cables, though, which adjust the fit of what Lazer call a ‘basket’ that extends around the full circumference on your head. This year ATS has height adjustment at the back rather than just floating freely as it did before.
The Motion has a claimed weight of 290g (medium). There are several colour options of which the flash yellow is the most eye-catching.
The Wasp (£299.99) is Lazer’s high-level time trial/triathlon helmet which they claim is the fastest commercially available TT lid. It goes from an AutoFit System (with a wheel situated high up) to Advanced Turnfit System (ATS, see above) for 2015 so that it’s quicker and easier to adjust in the heat of a race.
Lazer are also adding a new Wasp Air (£250) to the range with a reduced-length tail. The tail on a long-tailed helmet reduces your drag when you’re in a good aero position, but it can act as a brake when you move your head. That’s not so much of an issue with a short tailed helmet, hence the Wasp Air.
Lazer reckon that the Wasp Air is nearly as fast as the Wasp when you have your head in the correct aero position, without the same level of penalty when you move your head. You’ll be able to retro fit the shorter tail to an existing Wasp helmet, by the way.
So, how do you know when your head is in the correct position? Well, that’s the next step. The new Wasp Air IS includes an inclination sensor (which is what the ‘IS’ stands for).
Before your event you can set the ideal angle you want to keep the helmet at and then, during the race, you’ll get a signal (noise vibration) if you move away from that position. Think of it as a bit like setting a heart rate zone on a bike computer and getting a beep when you drift outside your chosen intensity.
Lazer will be showing a prototype of the WASP Air IS at Eurobike with a mid-season launch likely to follow in 2015.
The Z1 comes with a removable Aeroshell in the box that you can use for improved aerodynamics or for keeping the rain and cold out in the winter.
The Z1 Fast (£249.99) essentially comes with that Aeroshell fixed in place. Why? Because the UCI don’t allow you to add anything removable to a helmet so Lazer have to offer a version with the Aeroshell permanently added.
Speaking of the Z1, Lazer are hoping to add a version with LEDs on the removable mudcap (which covers the ARS mechanism) some time next year.
One urban helmet that’s worth a mention is the in-moulded Armor (£49.99) which has been updated with ATS (see above) for 2015, as have all the other Lazer helmets in this style.
The reason the Armor is so notable is that it’s so light at just 275g (size medium) – much lighter than most similar helmets.
Lazer are expanding their range of women’s helmet’s vastly for 2015 with the addition of the MOi line up which comprises eight models.
In fact, helmets are unisex – the existing Lazer helmets aren’t men’s helmets, they’re designed for both men and women – so Lazer have taken current designs and altered the finishes to make them more woman-friendly. They’ve also added the MOi diamond symbol, chosen because Lazer is based in Antwerp which is a diamond centre.
The new finishes aren’t all pink. Far from it, there are some cool looking designs including this croco finish which is available across most of the range (no reptiles were harmed in the making of this helmet). The helmet bags are all Moi-specific too.
Lazer like to point out that their helmets are ponytail friendly because of the position of their fit mechanisms.
The range extends from the £49.99 Kiss right up to the £199.99 Cosmo, which is essentially the MOi version of the Z1.
Lazer figure that head protection includes eyewear so they do a whole range of glasses too, although we’ve never covered them on road.cc before.
The most innovative model is the Magneto (£89.99-£119.99) where you can remove the standard arms and fit stubby arms that contain magnets. These clip to ‘Magclip’ magnets that are attached to your helmet straps and, when you want to take them off and store them, to a ‘Magdoc’ that lives on the back of the helmet.
The Magneto uses high-quality lenses (you can buy as a three interchangeable lens option) made from shatterproof polycarbonate with 100% UVA and UVB protection, and they’re vented to avoid fogging. The Grilamid frames come in various colours.
The Magclip and Magdoc features come as standard on Z1 helmets and you can retrofit them to other helmets.
What’s the advantage over standard eyewear?
“Recognising that traditional sunglass temples cause trouble for some wearers both in terms of fit, contact with the helmet’s retention system and added pressure to the side of the head at the contact points, Lazer has eliminated these temple pieces and replaced them with a clever magnetic attachment system,” say Lazer.
“The helmet strap features two clips with a small piece of rubber–coated metal at the centre. This allows for an attachment with magnets that are imbedded in two short tabs that connect to the sunglass lense.
“The result is a secure fit of the lens on the face but with the ability for adjustment both up and down and forewords and backwards.
“With Magneto in use there is no possibility for interference of the Rollsys retention system and the side of the head is left unobstructed to keep cool. The absence of normal sunglass temples also results in very little pressure on the user’s head which eliminates headaches and fatigue during a long day in the saddle.”
The Magnetoes feels odd to start with, but you soon get used to them, and they stay in place just as well as normal eyewear.
A new Magneto 2 will be available soon with a full frame although we’ve not seen that one yet, and there are more new non-magnetic models coming too, adding to the existing range. The cheapest performance (as opposed to fashion) design is the Xenon at £30. It comes with flex temples so you can adjust the fit and Ultragrip nosepiece and temple tips so they don’t slip when you get sweaty.
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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.