The aerodynamic Lazer Bullet 2.0 is a slippier alternative to the Z1. It looks good and has some innovative features, but it's heavier than the competition and just as pricey.
- Pros: Innovative design concepts with great potential, looks good
- Cons: Too heavy, needs some refinement
Aero helmets are designed to smooth airflow, reducing the amount of turbulent air that causes drag; in simple terms, the less drag, the faster you'll go. Often, helmets are made more aero by simply filling in the vents – as famously demonstrated by Mark Cavendish in the 2011 World Champs, cling-filming his Specialized Prevail. This, however, reduces all the ventilation in the helmet, causing real problems on hot days. Lazer claims to have solved this 'age old dilemma' with the Bullet 2.0, and I was keen to test this out.
To give a brief overview, the Bullet has a low profile, fitting tight to the top of your head. It has some permanent venting on the sides and rear, and there are two interchangeable front panels. These can be swapped out for vented or filled-in counterparts. The front of the two panels also acts as an 'Air Slide', allowing you to get some airflow even if you have the filled-in aero shell panels fitted. It's an innovative design, but I do wonder how those panels will cope with being changed regularly over time. They are only a press fit, with small plastic clips holding them in place. I guess if you change your helmet every couple of years you won't have any problems.
The most noticeable update to the Bullet since Jack tested the original back in 2017 is the magnetic Zeiss visor. It really is a thing of beauty; after all, Zeiss has been known to provide optics for NASA. However, it is somewhat let down by its integration into the helmet. The visor has three magnets; the outer two are used to secure the visor when in use and work well. The third/central magnet is used to store the visor on the back of the helmet when you don't need it. Only one pea-sized magnet, holding a visor that catches the wind easily, is a recipe for disaster. I lost the visor on my first test ride!
The fit is okay, but I did have similar problems to Jack. The internal cradle didn't fit quite right and I struggled to find a natural position for the helmet on my forehead. I often found it irritatingly clanging against the top of my glasses.
Otherwise, the padding was good, it didn't lock in the heat and was comfortable. The straps and clip also do the job, though there are better, cleaner systems out there. The same goes for the retention system.
The biggest gripe I have with the Bullet is the weight. It is indisputably a very heavy helmet. Weighing in at 355g, it is around 100g heavier than the competition. I'm not a weight weenie hill climber, and 100g won't prove a significant performance loss, but I just found it uncomfortable on my head. It was noticeably there, all the time... when I turned around, took a drink or even just put it on. Having the direct comparison of my Specialized Evade II made it all the more apparent, although if it was your only helmet it's probably something you'd get used to.
Ventilation was good with the vented panels fitted. I was surprised about how cool I was, given the helmet was matt black. However, I do question whether the interchangeable panels are necessary. With no aerodynamic test data provided by Lazer comparing the options, I can only assume the vented panels are slower, otherwise Lazer wouldn't provide the aero alternatives. But I would argue that you can have an aero helmet that is well ventilated. POC has done some very interesting research with its Ventral Spin, and likewise, Specialized, Giro and Abus have all provided aero offerings with integrated ventilation.
I ended up compromising, with one vented panel and the other solid. Realistically, you'll always need some ventilation in a helmet, even on cooler days, and I don't think the Bullet 2.0 solves "the age-old dilemma of ventilation versus aerodynamics".
On a more positive note, the helmet has a really nice integrated tail-light. It works well in conjunction with the two reflective panels on the rear. It is a simple push to turn it on, which inadvertently happened a lot while travelling (something to be wary of), and I certainly did find myself using it. It's a neat, convenient safety feature for a black helmet.
Comparing the Bullet to my Specialized Evade II, which I've raced and trained in all season, and putting the aerodynamics aside (you'd need a wind tunnel to definitively test this), the Evade is simply lighter, better fitting and cooler. At only £10 more, in my opinion it's definitely worth the extra cash.
There are upsides to the Bullet: it looked great with my black skin suit, and the padding is good, plus it incorporates a lot of innovative features such as the LifeBEAM compatibility (integrated heart rate and inclination sensor), the interchangeable panels and the rear light, but it needs some refinement before I could recommend it.
Good looking, innovate helmet with great potential but in need of some refinement
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lazer Bullet 2.0 Helmet
Size tested: 55-59cm
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 Bullet helmet provides an answer to the age-old dilemma of ventilation versus aerodynamics
-With its narrow shape and closed shell it is a seriously aerodynamic helmet but a quick adjustment to the Airslide system turns it into a helmet with sufficient ventilation to tackle climbs on hot days
-With four available sizes, the Bullet helmet will provide you with a snug fit and a helmet that is well fitting. This in turn creates a narrow shape with a small frontal area, creating the drop like shape of the helmet
-In combination with the closed shell, this creates the aerodynamic performance to make the Bullet into a sprint helmet
-When ventilation is required, the Airslide system can be utilized to open up the front of the helmet and create an airflow throughout with exhaust vents at the rear
-When ventilation is of lesser importance, the entire Airslide system can be exchanged for a fully closed cap, creating an even more aerodynamic version of the helmet
-On top of this performance the Bullet helmet also allows a quick and easy installation of the LifeBEAM technology to measure your heart rate, or the Inclination Sensor to monitor your head position on the bike
-Fast like a bullet, it's the perfect combination of aerodynamics and ventilation, whenever you need it!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It has two interchangeable panels on the front and top. They can be swapped out for either closed shells or their ventilated counterparts. Fitted to the retention system at the rear is a small red light.
It's a really well constructed helmet. It feels more like a motorcycle helmet, to be honest.
It performed well, but I did have issues with the fit. That aside, when each panel was fitted it fulfilled the desired purpose well – either well ventilated or aero.
As I said above, this is a really solid helmet. It can take a few knocks and the matt black finish doesn't scratch easily. However, the interchangeable panels fit into place with some small plastic clips which doesn't feel like a longterm solution if you are changing the panels frequently, though so far all is fine.
Way too heavy for my liking, around 100g more than the competition.
The weight was an issue here, along with the retention system. This meant the helmet didn't find a natural position on my head.
There is stiff competition with a lot of top quality helmets out there.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The weight was an issue, and I don't think it solves "the age-old dilemma of ventilation versus aerodynamics".
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The integrated tail-light, and the overall look of the helmet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The weight and poorly integrated visor.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a top end price, similar to that of the Specialized Evade and Abus AirBreaker.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a helmet with a top end price but without the performance to match. It does have great potential, but really needs some refinement.
About the tester
I usually ride: Felt F1 My best bike is:
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: road racing, time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides