review

Lazer Wasp Air aero helmet

9
£249.99

VERDICT:

9
10
Very comfortable time trial helmet, perfect for long distances against the clock or those that don't suit a full fairing
Weight: 
410g

The Wasp Air is Lazer's new 'stubby' time trial and triathlon helmet which is designed to reduce the aerodynamic penalty of moving your head around compared to a long tailed helmet, like Lazer's standard Wasp for instance. It's certainly comfortable but does the versatility help justify that eye watering price?

Since the Kask Bambino came out a few years ago the popularity of 'all-rounder' time trial helmets has increased. We haven't all got the ability to achieve the perfect aero position so they provide a decent compromise for those who can't get a long tail to fit flat on their back.

The idea is that in a longer event a rider dips and moves their head more. If you are wearing a full-length faired helmet that gives quite a penalty as the tail sits up into the wind like a sail.

What Lazer say they have done with the Air is to achieve aero results pretty close to the fully faired Wasp without the massive penalties for a non-perfect position. They also claim that the Air is more aero than a lot of other full-faired helmets thanks to the two ridges known as Trip Wires that run from side to side. These create a turbulent layer so the air flows over the rider's back without swirling in behind the lack of tail.

These are hard claims to test without a wind tunnel, and even then the results would only be relevant to me and my position.

In real world use it doesn't feel as if it's giving much away to my Giro Selector or Bell Javelin in terms of speed and from a frontal profile point of view it's much smaller than the other two. This counts for a lot as your frontal area is one of the key elements to concentrate on when racing against the clock.

The narrowness of the helmet allows for a decent shrug with the only issue being without a tail section pressed against your back it's hard to know whether you're holding it in the perfect position. There is some technology from Lazer coming to aid with this though.

The majority of time trial helmets, especially those with visors, are notoriously difficult to get on. The original Wasp required a special skill to get your head in without severing your ears. The Wasp Air is different though.

The original Wasp (2014) model had the Autofit system that sits quite high up on the head but the Air and the 2015 Wasps have the Advanced Turnfit System (ATS). The ATS sits much lower cradling the back of your skull and is much easier to adjust when you're wearing the helmet so you can back it right off, slip the helmet on and tighten in one easy move.

The Air is comfortable, which in the course of a long time trial is a big bonus. Everything is going to hurt so the last thing you want is a heavy uncomfortable lid. In fact it's so user friendly that I grab it for training on the time trial bike, not something I'd normally do.

As far as protection goes it has CE, CPSC certification as well as passing the more stringent AS/NZ (Aus/New Zealand) testing.

In the box you get a helmet bag and a choice of three lenses for varying light conditions, which are easy to fit to the helmet in seconds. You'll probably notice that there is little in the way of venting on the Air so should you need to get some breeze in the lenses pull forward to allow the wind in, travel over the top of your head and exit via the rear ports.

Overall I think the Air is probably the best all rounder time trial helmet on the market and I'd certainly sacrifice a few watts for the amount of comfort it gives.

It's warm at full effort and I can only imagine that'll get worse in the summer but no more so than any other time trial helmet on the market. The venting over the lens does do a decent job though.

As far as the price goes it's too expensive but then in my opinion all aero helmets are. Against the competition though it's about right. The latest Bambino for instance is £299.99 plus extra for different lenses, the Wasp Air doesn't suffer from the steaming up issues I've had with the Kask either.

Giro have the Selector with its changeable tail pieces for around £250 though you can normally pick up last year's exact same colour for half that and while the Javelin is cheaper it doesn't offer the same comfort or flexibility.

There is talk that the tails of the Wasp and Wasp Air will be interchangeable so it could become a decent aero package for not a lot of outlay.

In conclusion I'd say the Wasp Air is the helmet to go for if you're a long distance triathlete or time triallist regardless of your position on the bike. For those without ideal flat back shapes the Air gives you a great compromise between aeroness and fit while being cheaper than the Kask.

Verdict

Very comfortable time trial helmet, perfect for long distances against the clock or those that don't suit a full fairing

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Lazer Wasp Air

Size tested: Medium - Large

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 Wasp Air is designed for time triallists or triathletes that tend to move their head around a lot. The stubby tail doesn't penalize you so much for dropping your head.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

*2 piece in -mold construction

*Advanced Turnfit system makes adjustment easy

*Three lenses included

*Helmet bag

*S or M/L

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It may not be the fastest out there but it's more useable in real world conditions for the majority of riders.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The comfort and fit is superb.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The high price that effects all aero items.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Against the competition the Wasp Air has a lot going for it as a package. The fit is great and its comfortable which makes a huge difference over the course of a long race. The inclusion of three lenses as well helps the hit of the big price. It's the helmet I'd buy if I was going to have just one to cover all weather conditions and course types. If the manufacturer's claims are correct you won't be sacrificing much either.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Kinesis T2  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

 

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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