Lazer's Century helmet is a well-designed and comfortable lid that's available with MIPS for an extra £20. The Twist Cap certainly works, although the implementation isn't quite perfect, and the integrated light is a useful bit of extra visibility after dark.
- Pros: Comfortable, good head coverage, MIPS option
- Cons: Twist Cap didn't quite fit snug, LED not very bright
'By integrating all knowledge and user requirements into one concept, the Century offers a new benchmark that requires no priorities for either protection, comfort, aerodynamics or visibility', Lazer says about this helmet. 'The Century offers it all!' it continues, suggesting the rest of the range might now be obsolete. Okay, I'm being facetious. But the Century is designed to appeal to a wide range of riders and be both a ventilated lid and an aero one. That's thanks to the Twist Cap.
Simply put, this is a plastic plate on the front of the lid. Turned one way it closes the front vents for more aero-ness...
...and turned the other it opens them for better ventilation: 11% more in fact, stat fans.
Or you can just take it off completely for maximum air flow.
It's attached with two magnets which don't seem the most powerful, but I've not lost the plate so they're doing their job thus far. And you can certainly tell the difference in the amount of air that's coming through the helmet. Whether closing off the vents has a meaningful effect on your drag I couldn't really say. It's probably only going to be a couple of watts at normal riding speeds if it does; the difference between a full aero lid and a standard helmet is seldom far into double figures even at peloton speeds.
The Twist Cap didn't quite fit snug. I thought it was because it was a bit big, and tried sanding the ends to shave a millimetre off them, but that didn't help. It's more that it doesn't sit flush against the helmet when it's in place. It was a bit annoying, but not a deal breaker.
The Century is a pretty comfy helmet. It certainly covers more of your head than many road helmets, and the cradle pulls down a long way to give it a secure feel on the head. I found that the front of the helmet sat a little bit low on my forehead and was in my field of vision more than I'm used to, but overall it was nice to wear. It's CE/CPSC/AS certified (see here for a run-down of standards) and you can get it with a rotational-injury-mitigating MIPS liner for an extra £20. I didn't run headlong into any walls during testing so I don't have any direct experience of its protective qualities but it's well certified, available with MIPS and offers good head coverage, so I'd say that overall it's better than average.
There's a bit of extra visibility built in, in the shape of an LED unit that fits into a recess inside the Century and shines through a clear window in the rear vent.
It's certainly not going to blind you, and it's a bit of a pain to pick it out to recharge it, but it adds a bit of visibility high up after dark so it's a useful thing to have and the battery lasts a decent long time. If that's not enough visibility for you, you can have the helmet in fluorescent yellow, as well as five standard colours.
Overall, the Century is a good helmet in the middle of Lazer's range. The Twist Cap is probably going to appeal more as a way to regulate the airflow than as an aero feature, and it does that pretty well. The fit is good, the £20 MIPS upgrade probably money well spent over this standard version. The styling is relatively neutral and I didn't feel self-conscious wearing it on the commute or on fast rides. The added LED is a bonus and you'll probably find a colour to match your kit. It didn't do enough to make itself my helmet of choice (that's a Lazer too, a Z1) but it's certainly one to try.
Good quality mid-market lid with some neat features
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lazer Century + LED
Size tested: Medium
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 Century helmet is the result of 100 years of expertise. By integrating all knowledge and user requirements into one concept, the Century offers a new benchmark that requires no priorities for either protection, comfort, aerodynamics or visibility. The Century offers it all! One of its most visible new technologies is the unique Twist Cap, which offers a twist-of-the-hand action to change the Century from a full-ventilated helmet into an aero helmet. Changing the twist cap can save you Watts, or up to 11% more ventilation. Where the frontal part of the Century clearly shows his relation with the Bullet Aero helmet, the striking design and integration of the (rechargeable) rear LED light sets a new example in helmet design. Additionally the Century has internal vent channels that actively guide the airflow through the helmet and add-up to your comfort. To cap it off it features a distinctive bottom-shell that offers the cherry-on-the-cake in terms of helmets design. Search no more. The Century is here to keep you safe, fast, ventilated, visible and fast in style!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lazer lists these features:
Stylish with a twist
Choose between aerodynamic performance or up to 11% more ventilation with Twistcap.
Light it up Stylish visibility with integrated rechargeable LED light.
Stylish visibility with integrated rechargeable LED light.
Advanced Turnfit® system Vertical and horizontal adjustment for a perfect fit.
Vertical and horizontal adjustment for a perfect fit.
Internal ventilation channels Keep your head cool and comfortable for longer. Works in combination with the Lazer Vento eyewear.
Keep your head cool and comfortable for longer. Works in combination with the Lazer Vento eyewear.
Distinctive bottomshell finishing.
Generally very good, some slight issues with the fit of the Twist Cap.
Comfortable, adjustable airflow, integrated LED good after dark.
I'd be worried I'd eventually lose the Twist Cap, but I haven't yet.
315g isn't especially light, but it doesn't feel heavy on the head.
Felt a bit low on the front of my head but that's more of a personal fit thing. Comfortable to wear.
About as much helmet as you'd expect for the money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's good: comfortable, and the Twist Cap seems to work.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable, good head coverage, MIPS option available.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Twist Cap didn't quite fit snug, LED not very bright, felt low at the front.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's middle of the market for helmets and there's plenty of competition. The Century certainly has a place and it's not bad value.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, the fit wasn't quite right for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, one to try.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Good overall. The Twist Cap works, and the LED is useful after dark. It's well built and comfortable, but it's not cheap, and the MIPS (which I'd probably go for) bumps the price up a bit further.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.