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The Lazer Sphere MIPS is a very comfortable helmet with a reassuringly solid feel to it. The safety features are impressive, the weight is perfectly reasonable and it plays well with glasses – but while cooling is decent, those big vents can't completely negate the effects of the MIPS layer.
I got off to a bit of a bad start with the Lazer. Out of the box it insisted on sitting jauntily on the back of my head; the expected dial at the back was absent, and I had to peer quite closely to figure out what the inset adjuster on top actually did. I also thought there was no way to pull the cradle down round the back of your skull – it turns out you just have to pull it so hard it feels like it will snap. Helpfully, Lazer puts a bright red sticker on the ratchet system telling you it adjusts, then completely covers the sticker and the ratchet with the MIPS layer…
I also discovered there's plenty of adjustment in the three-way strap buckles, so I could shift where the chinstrap sits forward – by several inches – until it was actually under my chin. Eventually, I had the helmet levelled out nicely.
The thumbwheel-type adjuster on top tightens a Boa-like plastic cord that blends into the front part of the cradle, pulling it and the entire rear section together. The result is a really good, secure clamp on your head with zero pressure spots. Hilariously, Lazer calls this ARS. That's the Advanced Rollsys System, if you were wondering.
Faffing done, I put it on and went for a ride. When I got back, I realised I hadn't given the thing a single thought for the entire duration. That's a win. Except when it comes to writing a review. What was I talking about again?
It's very comfortable, and – unlike quite a few lids – never wants to creep up at the front and down at the back. That perched-up-high feeling disappears fast, and the high design surely helped me forget the Sphere by completely avoiding any clashes with my riding glasses.
I've worn it for hours since, and never felt the need to readjust the dial, the straps or its position on my head. It just gets on with the job, almost invisibly. There's enough room in the shell for a cap too, should you need one – the sizing is good.
The only issue I've sensed, as the weather has warmed from sub-zero to mild (10-14°C) and wet, is that it's just a little warmer than some helmets. In these temperatures it's absolutely fine, and I think it would have to get seriously scorching to actually become a problem, but there are breezier and cooler helmets if that's an issue for you.
Looking at the sheer size of the 18 vents (and the decent internal channelling to encourage flow), I have to assume this slight extra insulation is the MIPS layer. Personally I'm happy to take the extra degree or two in exchange for the rotational-impact protection of MIPS.
Lazer says this also has a polycarbonate 'roll cage' within the energy-absorbing foam, which is there to stop the foam falling apart at the first impact and failing to work under subsequent ones (in the same crash). Having cracked open helmets before, this makes sense to me and goes – along with its steady, sturdy feel – towards the Sphere's reassuring nature.
If this makes it sound heavy, it's not. It's absolutely no lightweight, but 280g is perfectly acceptable and never a problem for comfort.
There are few real negatives. It's disappointing the inner foam is only skinned over at the rear and remains unprotected under the front rim, while I honestly can't tell where the 'eyewear docking' slots are – presumably some of the vents.
At 280g (both claimed and on our scales), the Sphere is just a little on the portly side, though for a MIPS-equipped helmet at this price it's not bad at all.
The £119.99 price makes it cheaper than several of its recent competitors, with the Met Rivale MIPS coming in at £140 and the Scott Centric Plus asking more still at £149.99. On the other hand, both are lighter at 236g and 222g respectively.
On the OTHER other hand, the Giro Syntax MIPS is also within £20 of this at £99.99, but weighs more at 296g. The Lazer is right in the ballpark.
Despite a terrible first impression, I ended up really liking this helmet, because I simply don't notice it when I'm riding – yet the safety features promise benefits I hopefully will notice if I crash. It's not the lightest, coolest or sexiest helmet you can buy, but it's a very comfortable, stable and reassuring one indeed.
Very comfortable and stable helmet with impressive safety features
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lazer Sphere MIPS 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?
Lazer says: "The Sphere helmet is your buddy on the road. Available in four sizes and created with our Advanced Rollsys fit system we aim to bring you ultimate comfort in a perfectly-fitting helmet."
The Sphere (which thankfully is not a sphere) is indeed very comfortable with a great fit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Lazer Advanced Rollsys® System (ARS) - Enables you to easily adjust the fit of your helmet by using the thumbwheel on the top of the helmet. Not only is ARS ponytail-friendly, but it prevents any hotspots or pressure points by adjusting teh basket around the entire circumference of the head.
-Adjustable Head Basket - The Adjustable Head Basket allows the back section of the retention system to be adjusted up or down, changing the verticle size of the helmet depending upon the rider's preference.
-Well Ventilated -Eighteen vents and internal channeling pull air into the helmet and across your head. Increased airflow keeps your head cool and comfortable during long rides in high temperatures.
-Bottom Shell - Polycarbonate bottomshell finishing looks great and helps protect the helmet foam from cosmetic damage.
-Lazer Aeroshell Compatible - The Sphere is compatible with the Lazer Aeroshell accessory. Snap on the Aeroshell for improved aerodynamics and protection from the elements.
-Eyewear Docking - Eyewear can be easily and securely docked in specifically shaped slots in the helmet.
-Polycarbonate Roll-Cage - The helmet foam is sandwiched around an additional polycarbonate layer during construction. In the same way as the roll cage of a rally car, this layer keeps the foam together after a crash providing additional protection in the event of additional impacts.
-The Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) helps reduce the risk of rotational brain injury by isolating your head from the rotation of the helmet shell in the event of an impact.
Feels solid and well made. Peer close and the seams are a little bit graceless, but there's nothing to offend.
Secure, comfortable and reassuring, if not as cool as some (probably MIPS-less) options for summer.
It's a little heavier than some MIPS-equipped lids, but on a par for those around the same price.
Once the fit is dialled it's excellent.
Impressive comfort, substantial-feeling build, and reassuring safely features add value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I can't comment on what it's like to crash in, but as a lid you'll be happy to wear, it's great.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, solid feel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The £119.99 price makes it cheaper that several of its recent competitors, with the Met Rivale MIPS coming in at £140 and the Scott Centric Plus asking more still at £149.99, but both are lighter at 236g and 222g respectively.
The Giro Syntax MIPS is also within £20 of this at £99.99, but weighs more at 296g. The Lazer is right in the ballpark.
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 overall score
Once the odd standard fit is dialled in, there's nothing much to dislike. It's slightly heavier and warmer than some helmets at this price, but few with the same level of protection. It's comfortable, reassuring and secure, and very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,