Great Head Seasonal: Winter Wonder Lid
It seems like every winter I get to laugh at the other guys that write at PEZ because they have tails of commuting and training horror that are simply beyond my thin blooded comprehension. But the temperature in Arizona never fails to smack you in the face like a baseball bat come December, and riding in the 30’s and 40’s is pretty standard.
While we don’t usually have the other special treats (snow, ice, freezing rain) that come along with old man winter, it’s still cold enough to test several pieces of winter wear and tops on the list some days is something that will still vent sweat, but maybe take the direct wind off your noodle. Good timing for the Lazer Cannibal.
Starting back in 1919, Lazer have been making helmets for a long time and for several sports that require a bit more concern for crash survival than Bicycle riding…
Their safety record is extremely good, and while their standard race quality products are light and well vented, they are also have a very solid, “not to worry” feel about them. The Cannibal is very much in that solid company.
It has a kind of cool / different look to the front with a little different vent shape than normal. There are 17 vents here, and they are all strung together fairly well with good deep channels linking the holes together and a good enough “exit strategy” that the Bush administration might wanna stop in Belgium before finalizing the new cabinet…
The retention system is simple and effective. Squeeze together in the back till snug, and pull up on the tabs to loosen. There are also extra pads to adjust fit as needed.
The interesting part of the ventilation is where there is none. Not one hole on the side of the Cannibal. But with the colored panels separated by black foam, it’s actually less noticeable than you’ll see here, mainly because now you’re looking for it…
The winter fun starts when you insert the wind reducer. They call it their winter cap, and it’s a handy little deal that turns out to be pretty functional. Holding it in place is a small elastomer ring that stretches from the brow around and inside, along with a snap fit for the narrow trailing “wings” that sweep back on top.
It does allow for a slight bit of intake from the front, but not so much that you feel it chilling your bean. It allows for wind movement to evaporate perspiration and that’s about all it needs to do in cold weather. The hot air and moisture is swept up through the top and back through the rear vents.
On the Road
The helmet fits and works the same way pretty much all helmets do. Adjust the chin strap as on lots of other models and snap it closed and you’re rolling. The insert takes a couple of seconds to apply, and you might feel a little nervous about stretching the elastomer ring far enough the first time, but go ahead… It will make it. Fasten it to the inside / middle portion of the winter cap first and lower it through the vent hole, then stretch it around the front into place.
Like I said, 17 vents and about 300 grams. Not heavy, not super light, but with the styling and the winter Cap, it feels like you would expect. Probably the best part about it though is that it looks like something I wouldn’t mind taking a tumble in. Not that I don’t love a couple of my super light, vents out the wazoo helmets, but I wonder where the “not enough material to protect the front of your head” barrier is on some…
This helmet is really at home on long slogging cold base miles. The winter capped venting pulls the moisture from your hat or thin skull cap well (you don’t need anything heavy duty…), and you’ll notice no cold spots. The logical question is would this be better than one of today’s super light, super vented helmets and a windtex cap, and the answer is yes.
If you’re maintaining good speed between intervals, the Cannibal is still a good cold weather friend. If you’re doing focused heavy intervals in the cold, you might opt for that tex-cap while removing the insert though, as sweat can build a bit in between intervals when you are riding slowly between reps to recuperate.
The helmet itself is good without the winter cap up to probably 80 degrees if riding quickly. Past that and you’ll miss the side vents. I have no idea how low some of you nut bags ride in the north, but this lid is fine at 30 with just a thin skull cap that covers the ears. Given the fact that I might be the biggest cold sissy on the planet, I am sure a few of you tundra trek types will find it far better than any of the standard lids you might use in other times of the year…
The retail isn’t too bad at @ $105.00, and anything that makes the cold more er, not, is usually a nice investment. The helmet you see here is over the Atlantic right now on it’s way to the Czech Republic, where it will get a good and proper freezing. It was a logical Christmas gift for a guy who had far more body hair than head hair, and needed to push his insulation ratio back toward the top.
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