Belgian helmet brand Lazer is launching a new top-of-the-range model for 2014, the Z1, that will be their lightest ever.
The Z1 features what Lazer call their ARS retention system – ARS being ‘Advanced Rollsys’, an update to their existing Rollsys system. You adjust the fit by pushing a thumbwheel that sits on top of the helmet, towards the back.
This connects to a one-piece flexible nylon band inside the helmet that wraps right around the circumference of your head, so the pressure is distributed evenly.
You get the choice of five different height adjustments for the position of the harness on the back of your head.
Another new feature is what Lazer refer to as the T-Pro design. This is short for ‘temple protection’. Essentially, the outer shell of the helmet scoops down on the sides of your forehead to provide extra coverage in that area.
Lazer say that the Z1 weighs a highly reasonable 220g (size medium). That’ll be the same worldwide. Some helmet brands make what’s ostensibly the same model of helmet in different versions for different markets, depending on the safety standards of each territory. Lazer don’t do that; the weight and level of safety on offer is the same throughout the world.
For what it’s worth, the Z1 has 31 vents (why do people care about the number of vents? It’s how effective they are that counts). If you don’t want the ventilation in cooler weather, or you want to improve the aerodynamics, you’ll be able to install an Aeroshell cover which you can buy aftermarket. This is simply a slim plastic wrap that snaps into place over the top of the helmet to stop the air getting in.
How much? We knew you’d ask that. Unfortunately, no price has yet been set but we can tell you that the Z1 should be available from early next year – maybe February.
Here’s Lazer’s existing top-level helmet, the Helium, with the aforementioned Aeroshell in place. The Aeroshell is included in the £179 price. It’s surprisingly flexible – you can roll it up and stick it in a jersey pocket if you start to overheat.
Lazer make Aeroshells in various different finishes – go to the website of UK distributor Madison to see what’s on offer. They’re £14.99 each.
We really like this Flemish Lion version for the Genesis helmet.
The Genesis costs £124.99 but you can buy it as a cyclocross bundle with an Aeroshell and a winter liner (pictured) for £134.99. Interesting. It’s always your ears that get it first in the cold, stuck out there in the breeze.
One final thing from Lazer: the new Cappuccino Lock. This is a little combination lock that you fit between the male and female sections of your helmet’s buckle when you stop in order to provide a little bit of security for both your bike and your lid.
Now, before any genius feels the need to point it out, Lazer know this isn’t going to earn a Sold Secure Gold award. Someone could just cut the straps of your helmet and walk off with the bike. But the idea is simply to add a small amount of security when you stop for a coffee or something similar – hence the name – and you’re never far away from your bike, without the need to carry a heavy lock around with you.
Of course, you’d be nuts to use it to lock up a three-grand bike outside overnight. That’s really not the idea here. We don’t have a price on the Cappuccino Lock yet.
Go to www.madison.co.uk for more details on the Lazer range.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.