The Lazer helmet brand is really picking up some steam here in the UK and with the Lazer Helium now perching atop the heads of the Madison-Genesis team, we decided to get one of the new Helium models in for review.
Lazer are a fairly well known brand in Europe but perhaps not so well known here in the UK. They’ve been going since 1919 and have produced cycling helmets in Belgium for that entire time, laying claim to their being the oldest cycling helmet manufacturer in the world. They sponsor a couple of ProTour teams including Lotto-Belisol, who use the Helium and Tardiz.
Lazer offer a cover for the Helium model for use in cold weather, or in sprint trains if you are Andre Greipel, though the Helium model is equally at home with the climbers – which is why I was giving it a whirl during my time in France – as it weighs in at just 260g, which puts it well towards the lighter end of the spectrum. This light weight is achieved by way of the differing foam densities that Lazer use in the construction of the main body of the helmet. The shell is fairly well vented on top with 16 forward facing openings and 19 in total.
The closure system on this helmet is slightly different to most. Instead of a strap with a dial at the rear to tune the fit, the Lazer has a ‘wire’ running the full circumference of the shell with a dial on the top to alter the size. This system, called the Rollsys by Lazer, gives you a really secure fit and it seems to be able to accommodate a few different head shapes rather than the usual one or the other. The adjustment dial also houses a rather nifty little rear light although in typical tester fashion it didn’t take me long to lose mine. Another feature (often missing on many helmets) is adjustable side straps so you can change the position of the yoke to make sure they don’t interfere with your ears.
The inside front of the helmet is also a departure from the norm. Whereas most helmet brands place foam strips to act as both padding and as an absorbent layer for sweat coming down the forehead, Lazer use a thin strip of a gel-like material instead. Lazer say this system allows for much better airflow through the front of the helmet.
I must admit when I first saw that thin little strip of padding I panicked a little inside. I thought it would be a recipe for sweat in the eyes and pressure headaches, but like all these things, it’s best to just suck it and see. In the end it would be fair to say I was really impressed and once wearing the helmet any concerns about the thin strap at the front vanished. There were no pressure spots to be concerned about and, whilst riding, I pretty much forgot it was there. There are times however, when I think the ability of that strip to keep sweat out of the eyes had been overwhelmed.
On a few occasions whilst it was very hot over the summer months, I did find that once the speed dropped, there was a tendency for sweat to collect and drip down into my eyes; but these were the exceptions rather than the norm. The venting proved to be effective on warm days and I didn’t overheat whilst riding the Etape. The helmet lining can all be easily removed and washed so keeping the helmet in a good state should be fairly easy. There’s also an option fly screen to go inside in case you get a lot of trouble with this.
I’ve not had any big offs whilst I’ve had the helmet these past few months but it has received its fair share of knocks whilst out on my mountain bike. The shell has held up well, displaying no signs of damage or wear and all the straps have held together really well. One minor note to end on, however, is that you can’t easily stash glasses in the vents at the top; none of my Oakleys or Salices fit.
Overall I’m really impressed by the Helium helmet. My initial misgivings have all been proved wrong and I would happily recommend it as a nice lightweight lid – and a great hot weather lid.