With that we get a couple of lids to list from LAS and Lazer.
As the last time we lined these guys up, we started with the LAS we’ll start this round with the Oxygen (O2) from Lazer.
So hot many cycling companies boast 90 years in the game, but Lazer started in 1919 so you could say they have some experience at this whole helmet thing. In fact they mess with head protection from guys with far more to worry about than most “cyclists”…
Another company with a firm tilt toward protection as job one, the Lazer O2 is actually one of the more affordable helmets in Lazer’s line up, starting at a web searched (and decidedly un Pez Like) $99.00 at Glory Cycles…
The styling is pretty on Q with others in their lineup. A fairly no nonsense beak…
And you’ll note that at 99.00 the internal stress cage is non carbon.
Of note is Lazer getting better channeling across the range and the O2 gets a reasonable bit, along with simple sensible padding that doesn’t block the channels…
Taking a look at the side…
And at the back…
Should tip you off to a nice feature with the Lazer line of helmets including the O2. They’re pretty low drag and have very little wind noise compared to some helmets. The ventilation is firmly in the “good” category despite what looks like a lack of rear venting, but that could simply be down to the O2 (and in fact Lazer in general) top feature, “Rollsys.”
Lazer have a retention system that is pretty strange to look at considering it’s operated by a little crank at the top back of the helmet…
People have asked what that crank is for while on the road and it really means shedding the helmet to let em know what’s going on.
The helmets retention system runs the whole way round the inside of the helmet.
Note the first pic and you’ll see the retention system full open… (green marks)
Now give a few turns to the knob on the top (operated easily with raw and or full finger gloves btw) and you’ll see that the retention system is far more of a “suspension” system…
When a head is inside this lid, the retention system snug’s up and takes the shape of your head, rather than doing what virtually all other helmets do which is to smish the back of your head forward and have you hope that your forehead is the dame shape as your helmet.
Standard retention systems also leave no air gap at the front and partially around the sides.
It’s the Rollsys keeping your head suspended slightly away from the shell that helps ventilation around the side of their helmets (even better airflow on the Genesis and woody inducing Helium).
The helmet rolls in at a pretty light for cost point 307 grams (tested and trimmed strap) and frankly is a steal at this number. Ventilation overall is a bit less than their top of the line but adequate for Phoenix in the upper 90′s (so most normal places year round).
For a Bit more info you can see the whole range at LAZERHELMETS.COM
Now on to the Victory from LAS
The Bergamo Italy casco creators have been turning out protection for a little more than 30 years and are in both the Bike and Horse game (alike in many, many ways). The lids themselves are 100% Italian from design to manufacturing and the latest in the line is the Victory.
A little less busy than a few other LAS models, the Victory still has an aggressive appearance. Large vent openings and that kinda menacing look that LAS have on most of their lids.
Side view shows more of the same…
It’s inside most helmets that you can tell what’s what for quality, but you get a little peak at the combination bug screen / sweat wicking liner that’s pre installed (on the inside) from the outside
Peel that away though and you get to see an improved bit of channeling that’s been a bit lacking in some previous LAS models.
And you’ll also not that there are actually two liners that come with your Victory.
The preinstalled black bug screen version as well as their red “Silverdry” version that incorporates the same metal used in killing werewolves, so no problem then beating up on some of the germs that can try and find a home in a sweaty helmet liner. (Seriously, it’s a pretty keen antibacterial).
One thing we noted though is that while the inside is designed for a bit better air flow in the Victory, the Silverdry liner that should be the better ventilator of the two liners is just far too “much”… So much that it stuffs a proverbial banana in the tail pipe…
note the rear’s blocked up
So I decided to “upgrade”.
A pen, a pair of scissors and 5 minutes later and virtually 85% of the material cut out…
And I quickly had a helmet with deeper channels that run the full length of the helmet instead of crossing / blocking the channels every half inch. The adjusted version ventilates probably 100% better than its stock form and because the fabric is pretty sturdy, the cut edges have stayed nicely. (The stock cut outs are not specially edge treated as is, so cutting isn’t really harming it much).
The new slim version liner also covers all the head contact points and yes, the ventilation at the back is what one would describe as not completely blocked.
Speaking of the back of the lid, the retention system is LAS “Catseyes” Roller gig.
An easy to find wheel that adjusts with your fingers, though a little less so with full finger gloves. It’s the standard “push the back of your head forward” type system used on almost everything. But this has probably the nicest vertical adjustment around, making for a huge range that lets you place the strap across the part of your head that you would like versus several systems that ignore or don’t do enough to offer up a proper fit.
Frankly all helmets should offer this much “up-down” adjustment at the back, because heads are pretty strangely shaped… Much like some companies helmets are more square or more oval all round (latitude wise…), making for fitting issues, Heads are also differently shaped round the back from top to bottom (longitude wise…).
The Victory is great here compared to lots of other helmets.
On the road?
Pretty much as it looks, the LAS Victory is a solid helmet. Not super light, but large, fairly thick impact zones. It’s a bit more substantial looking than some other lighter lids. LAS are tuned in to safety (not that other manufacturers are not) and want a solid chunk of squash stopping / impact absorbing.
The vent channels are better than past LAS helmets and that’s a good thing as here in Arizona, ventilation is exceptionally important.
The two liners work like they should. The full screened liner took me up to spring just fine and in to early summer (90) is fine with the modified Silverdry liner. I can’t, for the life of me, figure our why LAS keep using so much material in the “high air flow” liner. That was the case with the Squalo too and I cut away 80% of that liner as well. But both worked well after some really simple adjusting and most folks not choosing to live in a convection oven should be pretty happy.
I also wish for channeling along the sides of the lid to match the top and that would let me ride into the deep summer here no problem. Actually I could use the Victory all year here, but there are a couple better ventilators out there that I prefer.
TRIALTIR USA are the North American Distributors and you can search a vendor at their site.
Also note that LAS are fantastic at Team provision and do some of the coolest looking special orders available, going quite a ways past most companies. And you don’t need to be a huge team… The guys at Texas Roadhouse Cycling
are working the pack over with the beasty black, but you can contact Trialtir for lots of options…
John Puffer, Kevin Attkisson push the pace, (photo: Craig Dooley)
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