Choosing a helmet has much to do with personal preference, and each brand has its own gadgets and characteristics to make it unique.
After spying the Lazer Helium at Eurobike, I was keen to put it through its paces and see how it fared against other helmets I’ve tried.
Having done so, I can report two notable features.
Firstly, its shape, one that gives the Helium a rounded silhouette, seemed to fit closer to my head than any other helmet I have tried.
Secondly, the retention system appeared to require less pressure than its rivals to retain a snug fit, which proved a big plus on longer rides, and is an indication, perhaps, of an ability to easily accommodate all head shapes and sizes. By spreading pressure evenly across the bonce, it feels as if little is applied.
Ultra-thin, ribbon-like straps replace the double-layer tethers found on most helmets. The straps offered a smoother feel than most, and as a consequence were not aggravating. Adjustment was easy, courtesy of locking buckles under the ears, a quick release under the chin, and a rubber strap to retain excess material. Unique to Lazer is a second rubber strap on the ribbon strap by the right ear. This is marked with a phone icon and can be used for threading an earpiece.
As a further aid to weight saving, the Helium uses two different densities of foam. With this in mind, and the obvious connotation of its moniker, I was a little surprised by the Helium’s weight: it tipped our scales at 336 grams. That said, the Helium’s heft wasn’t too disappointing; as mentioned above, once on, you forget you’re wearing it, even on longer rides, such is the quality of the fit.
We’ll assume that Lazer’s priorities were safety, comfort/fit, and performance, in that order, and that a sacrifice of the first two priorities would have been required to meet the last. The shell includes an integrated roll cage and carbon fibre reinforcement.
Lazer’s Rollysys roller sits atop the helmet, a departure from its typical placement at the rear, and one I enjoyed. It offered quick and easy adjustment of the retention system; a boon in the current changeable conditions where I’ve gone from wearing a warm hat beneath the Helium, to a cap, to nothing at all. Newer versions of the Rollsys include a red light.
Internally, the Helium uses X-Static pads. These are wicking, anti-microbial, and machine washable, although rinsing them in water and air drying should suffice. At the brow, Lazer have deployed a squidgy material they call an Airpad: one with channels that correspond with the Rollsys retention belt to promote airflow. We liked the Airpad, which remained constantly cool – a bit like a soft ice pack!
Ventilation was good. The Helium offered plenty of openings and channels to shuttle cool, refreshing air turbulence through, over, and out of the back of the helmet. The vents look small from the outside, but when you turn the helmet over, you can see the holes are large and the channels ample.
Final thoughts. I was impressed by the Helium: by its appearance, and by its fit. Gadgets like the Rollsys, and characteristics such as the ability of the retention system to spread pressure across the skull, haven’t hindered the comfort or aesthetics one bit.
My one issue concerns the Airpad, which, while cooling the brow, does nothing to absorb sweat, which on occasion caused it to run down the side of my face.
The Lazer Helium is available in 11 colour schemes, including the rainbow bands of world champion, and costs £179.99.