Mid-range price tag, top-end performance
One of the things that makes us happiest is finding a mid-range bit of kit to vastly out-perform the expectations generated by its price point.
When you ride in a £200 helmet, you expect it to be pretty great, but when you ride in a £60 helmet you don’t necessarily expect to find yourself wanting to wear that helmet all the time, leaving those top-end lids sat in the cupboard. But that’s exactly what happened when we tested the Lazer Blade.
Lazer’s top-end road helmet is the Z1 – another brilliant piece of kit, by the way – but if you want one it’ll set you back a penny under £200, certainly not the sort of cash most people have lying around to spend on a helmet. It’s far from the most expensive helmet Lazer have ever made, though, as they once provided a couple of lids to Tom Boonen and Paolo Bettini that had 1.18 carat diamonds embedded into them. Oh and they had gold nameplates as well, just in case they weren’t expensive enough.
When you ride in a £60 helmet, you don't expect to want to ride in it every time you go out. But that happened with the Blade
The Z1 is light, slick and looks like a top-end helmet. You know, the sort of thing you just can’t find at a bargain price. Except, you can. The Blade is rather like the Z1: it’s still light (except slightly heavier, obviously) but it takes the styling of its bigger brother to create a look that, at a glance, means you’d struggle to tell the difference between the two.
Up top, the Advanced Rollsys retention system is still one of the most interesting options on the market, and is perfectly placed so it doesn't matter whether you’re left or right handed, all you need to do is remember to turn it the right way (or the correct way, because sometimes you’ll need to turn it to the left, of course). There are also five degrees of up/down adjustment so you can ensure the cradle interacts with the back of your head as comfortably as possible.
Ventilation is handled by 22 vents placed all over the shell to keep your head cool, but Lazer have tried to maximise ventilation while keeping the helmet as close to the head as possible. That reduces bulk, keeping weight down, but also means the helmet looks better too and feels less cumbersome on your head.
It’s also worth noting Lazer have released an MIPS-equipped version of the Blade for 2016, which will cost £79.99, and both versions of the helmet are compatible with Lazer’s aeroshell which would make it one of the best budget aero road helmets on the market as well.