The Lazer Bullet is a well-executed lid that is designed to be super-fast but also provide an all-in-one solution for hot weather and climbing with Lazer's patented Airslide system. It works in the most part, but I still think there could be some more refinement to make the Bullet the best road helmet money can buy.
The Bullet was created in answer to professional cycling team Lotto Soudal's request for an all-out aero road helmet to give their sprinters, such as Andre Greipel, every advantage in a bunch sprint.
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Lazer's previous range-topping road helmet, the Z1 (still part of the range and by no means discontinued, according to Lazer), has a detachable plastic shell to make it more aero but otherwise is very vented. With the Bullet's Airslide system at the front you essentially have a two-in-one: if you want more ventilation just knock it open, and then push it down for a full-aero guise.
Lazer says the Bullet gained 7 watts over the Z1 at 45kph in the wind tunnel, and it claims it's up to 10 watts faster in a sprint – pretty significant figures. Lazer says it solves the problem of having to choose between cooling and aerodynamics, and for sprinters who often have to last well over 100 miles before gunning it for the line, it's important their bonce is kept as cool as possible before putting in that max effort.
Claimed weight of the Bullet is 315g, although our scales measured the size small as 318g so ever so slightly heavier than claimed. It's available in four different sizes for optimum fit, and for an extra £20 you can also get it with the Mips crash protection system inside. My test version is a size small and the regular version without Mips. It comes with a standard drawstring carry pouch, but you can get a neat hard to keep it safe on your travels for an additional £19.99.
The helmet has a narrow shape and a small frontal area, sloping down at the front so it sits flush across the forehead. In my opinion it's very aesthetically pleasing; I really like the design throughout.
The addition of the Airslide system means Lazer has had to do away with the barrel adjustment found on top of helmets such as the Z1. The Bullet has a dial on the back like more conventional road helmets. It's nice and firm with a chrome overlay and easy to access should you need to make slight adjustments while you ride.
One thing I did find with the internal cradle was that it sits quite low around the back of my ears, making pairing it with sunglasses a bit difficult. I got there in the end, but if I wanted to remove my shades and put them back on mid-ride I found it difficult to get them on comfortably. The size is perfect for me so this wasn't the issue, and I tried adjusting it no end but still had the same problem, so for me I'd like the position of the cradle shifted a little to better accommodate sunglasses.
Lazer says the Airslide system gives the Bullet "sufficient ventilation to tackle climbs on hot days". After taking on an Austrian mountain pass in it and feeling the heat quite prominently towards the end, I'd say it's not absolutely ideal for climbing, but it's not bad.
The open front vent is supposed to create an airflow that sends air through the helmet and out the vents in the back, and on a descent you can definitely feel the wind through it compared to having the vent down. I'd still go for a lighter helmet for a day in the mountains, but cooling was definitely better with the vent lifted compared with other aero road helmets I've tried.
Also, I did find the Airslide slightly difficult to move while I was riding, though I can quite understand that if it was any looser it might result in the vent slipping down mid-ride. So perhaps it's just inevitable it's going to be a bit stiff.
As with the Wasp TT helmet, you can also attach Lazer's Lifebeam sensor to get a heartrate reading, and also its Inclination sensor to advise you on optimal aero head position. Both are good options to have, but the former can be bought with most GPS computers nowadays and the latter is more applicable to time trials where you want a fixed head position over a longer duration.
Price-wise the Bullet is at the steep end, with the much-lauded Evade from Specialized coming in at £25 less and the similarly shaped Abus Gamechanger £20 less at £179.99. The Bullet has had a great deal of aero research gone into it, though, and the Airslide system is unique and patented, helping to justify the extra. If you're not prone to overheating then the Bullet might work out at better value as your one and only racing helmet, without needing to buy a separate one for hillier rides.
> Should you buy an aero helmet?
Overall, while I can't say that the Bullet's Airslide system is versatile enough to replace the need for a light, vented helmet for hot weather and climbing, it's a very good attempt at marrying aerodynamics and cooling with a ton of research invested into its design. For me there were a couple of niggles with the design but these were minor; otherwise it's a decent option for competitive cyclists who want an aero advantage and are willing to pay for it.
An innovative helmet with aero credentials and very good ventilation but a big ticket price
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Make and model: Lazer Bullet Helmet
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 is an aero road helmet aimed at those looking for marginal gains in a bunch sprint. It's got a sliding cooling vent to get you to said sprint without overheating, before knocking it down and going full gas.
Lazer says it's "fast like a bullet, the perfect combination of aerodynamics and ventilation, whenever you need it!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
'Airslide' sliding vent system for optional extra cooling
Narrow shape with small frontal area
Compatible with LIFEBEAM sensor to measure heart rate and inclination sensor to monitor head position
MIPS version available
Rate the product for quality of construction:
The sliding vent is quite stiff, the buckle is tough, and I found pairing it with sunglasses a bit of a pain, but otherwise the shell is well optimised for aerodynamics and it cradled my head well.
Rate the product for performance:
Venting worked better than I was expecting; it's got a nice snug fit and it's fast.
Rate the product for durability:
Solidly built, not a scratch so far, and it's been on two plane journeys.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Not as applicable with an aero helmet, but it is on the heavier side even in this category.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
No comfort issues on long days in the saddle.
Rate the product for value:
It's on the pricey side, but has the patented Airslide system, promised speed gains and option to attach accessories to help justify the price tag.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's meant to ventilate and be aero all in one: and the Bullet does both of those very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It looks good, it's innovative and it's surprisingly comfortable over a long day.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The buckle is a bit stiff, as is the vent to open and close.
Did you enjoy using the product? Mostly, yes.
Would you consider buying the product? At £200 and not quite vented enough to ride mountain passes, probably not – but with unlimited budget, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd recommend it to a pure road racer.
Use this box to explain your score
The Bullet looks good and the wind tunnel data suggests there are few faster road helmets you could put on your head, but there are just a couple of niggles: the sliding vent is a bit tricky to operate on the fly, and I found the cradle needs shuffling to accommodate shades.
Age: 27 Height: 179cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: Road bike (currently Specialized Tarmac) My best bike is: Ridley Chronus TT bike
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, triathlon races
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