The Lazer O2 helmet is light, good looking, and equipped with a top-mounted adjustment dial that is easy to use and delivers a secure and comfortable fit.
This, the clever Rollsys retention system, is my favourite feature as I've worn the O2 through the long winter days when a skull cap or peaked cap is a welcome wind and rain protector. You can quickly loosen off the inner padded head cradle to slot over the cap, then tighten it up for a comfortable fit.
The Rollsys mechanism is operated not from the back, but from a cylindrical thumbwheel on the top of your head. It makes for a really easy and safe adjustment, even one-handed and while riding.
There's an adjustable yoke at the back that Lazer says makes the O2 particularly suitable for people with a ponytail – great news as I enter my mid-life crisis (okay, old-life...). In the meantime the top-mounted cylinder dial loosens and tightens two thin wires attached to the helmet's inner cradle, snuggling the cushioned X-static pads around the forehead and temple. Because there's even, all-around-the-head tightness it means you get none of those uncomfortable pressure points or hotspots that other helmets can cause.
Matching or surpassing safety standards is a given, and the O2 includes Lazer's Integrated Rigidity Brace System for better resistance against multiple impacts. I can't guarantee it works, but I once dived head-first over my handlebar while wearing a Lazer Helium and survived serious damage. The helmet, sadly, did not.
As the better weather arrives it'll be time to leave the cap at home and test the O2's ventilation. There are 24 vents to channel air over the head and keep the temperature down. So far I can only report no overheating problems.
There are useful optional extras you can order for the O2 – an aeroshell, an insect net (to protect my future ponytail), winter padding, and a little rear LED light that fits inside the Rollsys thumbwheel.
So far, so practical. Aesthetically the O2 is a nice looking, unflashy helmet that comes in a variety of colours (though not the classy and understated Matte Titanium I was testing, unfortunately). There are two reflective bands at the rear, and wide, comfortable and easily adjustable nylon straps.
The Rollsys system and the inner head basket or cradle makes for a comfortable fit. Just occasionally, though, usually when riding in the drops, the helmet can slip down over the forehead and needs a quick readjustment and tightening. Maybe it won't happen when that ponytail grows...
In terms of value it's got some serious competition, especially when you look at weight: LAS's Victory is 230g for the same price, and even Lazer's own Z1 is just 238g for another £30. But it's a good looking lid, easily adjustable, and if those 24 vents do their stuff once the warmer weather comes to stay, it'll keep you cool too.
The O2 is a very good mid-range helmet suitable for most cycling conditions. Comfortable and easy to adjust
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lazer O2 helmet
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?
"Ready when you are, whether it's a commute, sportive or you're attaching an Aeroshell and sprinting for the win, the O2 helmet is ready for it
Compact profile, light weight, well vented, and a great fit, all the features of a helmet twice its price with added reflective panels for rear visibility
Added reflective material has been fitted around the helmet to increase visibility
Rollsys is Lazer's very own award winning fit system: simply control the size and the comfort by turning the wheel on the top of the helmet
The Rollsys system permits an accurate and progressive peripheral sizing adjustment
The fit of the helmet will be symmetrically tightened up without any pressure points on the head, with a simple one-handed adjustment
By taking away the retention system at the back the Rollsys system is also the perfect solution for people with a ponytail
A small light can also be purchased separately to add you your Rollsys to increase your visibility
Aeroshells can also be bought separately"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Rigidity Brace System is an in-moulded reinforcement structure to improve impact resistance
24 cooling vents
Weight for the uni-size 280 g
Size: Small 52-56 cm, Medium - Large 55-61 cm, X-Large 61-64 cm
It's a bit weighty for a £100 lid; even its claimed 280g isn't that light, but our helmet came up at 314g (M/L).
£100 isn't cheap, but you can pay a lot more... For what you're getting, it's not a bad price, though it is a bit on the heavy side.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's claimed to be very comfortable and certainly is, with the retention system giving a snug and easily adjustable fit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It feels solid and reassuringly safe but not in a bulky way. For winter riding I really liked how it could be loosened to fit over a cap and tightened with one finger, even when riding.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The design sits the helmet a little low on the forehead which, particularly when riding in the drops, can bring the front edge into your eyeline. Riding over bumps can also slip the front forward and down if the retention system isn't tight enough.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes – it looks good and feels comfortable.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Overall I thought the O2 was very good with its unique retention fitting system and the comfort that offered. It's not the lightest but not a heavweight. I've not overheated, but the vents haven't really been tested by any warm weather yet. Lazer promises added safety, which is comforting. It's reasonably priced but you have to fork out for extras like the rear light. My only niggle is the low fit on the forehead and occasional slippage downwards when you hit a bump.
About the tester
I usually ride: Eastway ST1.0 My best bike is: Cannondale Synapse
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives