Lazer Blade: Belgian Head Since 1919
1919… Nobody else is selling a road helmet of this quality for a dollar less than the number of years they’ve been in business… Of course that’s kinda unfair given Bell would need to sell at $60, Giro at $29, Limar at $28, and guys like POC at $9.
One thing’s for sure… None of these guys have anything to be ashamed of. In fact these companies all have VERY good quality kit. I’m just making the point that Lazer have been making protective gear for nearly a century.
Lazer started out making leather goods for the crazy motorcycle guys and, as this is a Belgian company, cycling was a logical concentration as well. Over the past several years, Lazer have expanded and refined the cycling line with a broad range from top kit TT helmets and road race rigs like the Z1 and the latest update to the line is the newly refined Blade.
On first pass, you might be hard pressed to tell this latest lid from line topping models of the past. The front end design is fairly similar to a few models…
While the outside looks familiar, it’s the inside that tells the story for Lazer for most of their helmets, and the Blade is no different.
22 vents are standard but, like all helmets, the holes really don’t mean much if they’re not linked together inside by flow through channeling.
Hole shapes and position are important too, but the cost of a helmet is frequently more notably linked to the detail of the internal ventilation system. The internal shape is a big indicator of the mold complexity and difficulty of producing a helmet (making it vent well, but also keeping it light and, of course, safe).
Lazer’s more expensive Z1 does feature a more technical interior (and better overall ventilation), but the Blade’s functionality for flow through venting is still very good. There are both front to rear and cross channeling built into the interior.
The rear is also designed to help “pull” air out of what amounts to exhaust vents at the back.
Perhaps the thing that Lazer is most notable for is their changing the way that almost all companies are now designing their retention systems.
Lazer’s ARS (Advanced Rollsys) retention system is easy to spot as there’s a thumb wheel to turn at the top back…
Here’s a good explanation…
The bottom line is that the retention system wraps around your head instead of doing what most retention systems do in simply pushing your head forward into the shell of the helmet (and expecting the shape of your head to match).
This is the same retention system as their top dollar lids and it has been an industry changer as most other brands are attaching the front of the retention systems (see some testing here) much further forward to help cradle your cranium.
The straps are fairly straight forward buckle closures…
I really like the strap adjustment on the Blade as the small temple pieces & divider system that hold the straps are easy to manipulate (to move the buckle closer to your neck or forward toward your chin).
Safety here isn’t something I’m prepared to “test”… I don’t have impact sensing equipment in a lab (…or a lab for that matter). And because my head is already performing in a questionably efficient manor, there’s no sense me smacking it against anything and then judging my ability to think as any sort of measurement of Lazer’s ability to prevent injury… I simply trust Lazer’s track record and their concentration on safety over the past several decades.
From the time I first talked helmets with Lazer, they’ve always put an emphasis on safety ahead of all other features. I recall a conversation about 10 years ago with an engineer at Lazer where I was probing the one (and arguably least important) feature that everyone seem to value above nearly all else …weight.
I said: “This (the Genesis) could be exceptionally light with just a few tweaks”.
His reply, “the weight is very close now to the lightest, it’s not enough grams difference for you to feel. But what concerns us most is that when you fall down, your head is protected so that there is less chance that your brain needs just a few tweaks…”
In any case, the certification for both Euro and US standards is handled for the Blade.
The ventilation for the Blade is good. I’ve used other helmets within 10-50 dollars of the blade that don’t vent as well. While it doesn’t match the range topping Z1 or second from top Helium (see the PEZ Review here), I can tell you that I’m not sure Lazer need two models between the price point of the Blade and the Helium. I’m fine with this helmet into the 90 degree range.
Of course there are a couple of other features built into Lazer’s higher dollar helmets, but while using the Blade, it never occurred to me that I’m using a helmet that costs less than half of the helmets I normally use.
The weight is pretty good at 332 grams (that’s 8 less than advertised).
And then there’s the retention system that just works. I like having my whole head cradled and the helmet sitting centered on my head rather than everything simply shoved forward. And I like that everyone else I know who rides a Lazer also likes the retention despite our disagreements on prior helmet shape issues revolving around oval/versus round…
About the only gripe I have is that Rollsys doesn’t work with backward turned cycling caps very well for some people. But someone had to tell me that, as I haven’t used a back turned cap in a decade.
Lazer have even made their slick skin “Aeroshell” for the blade. It is ready now in clear and will be available in a High Viz Yellow shortly (they’re $20).
I like my shell as I was able to take a dremel and punch a couple of holes that make it vent perfectly for those chilly Phoenix winter mornings where you still want a little air to help clear the sweat
What we have here is a helmet with $150 features that looks like a $250 model and is sold for $95 bucks…
Anyone that applies any kind of budget to their kit should give the updated Blade a try.
You can catch the whole range OF Lazer lids at www.LazerSport.com
• Check prices on Lazer Blade helmets here.
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