Lazer introduced their KinetiCore designs in the spring of 2022 as a lighter-weight alternative to MIPS and other rotational impact safety technologies. Now, it makes its way to their top-tier Z1 road bike helmet to give it a claimed weight of just 220g in size medium.
That’s not the only impressive claim. They also say it has best-in-class ventilation and it’s aerodynamic. So, safe, fast, cool, and light… let’s see how they do it:
The inside of the shell has a waffle-like grid in the foam, creating crumple zones that can smoosh and smash from various angles. Lazer says this mimics the reduction in rotational impact forces that other systems provide but has the added benefit of being lighter and allowing more airflow. In fact, they say it has 3% more ventilation cooling than if you wore no helmet at all.
It has a ponytail-friendly, height-adjustable rear cradle, which is connected to the…
…RollSys adjustment dial on the top of the helmet for easy fitment. Just roll it one way or the other to adjust tightness and it pulls evenly all the way around your head so there are no hotspots or pressure points.
It’s also compatible with their optional Universal Lazer LED taillight, which snaps into the back of the helmet’s shell.
The lightweight straps are now stitched together where they meet under the ears, eliminating a plastic divider (and any adjustment). That, plus recycled (and antimicrobial) strap material help keep make it a bit greener.
Tons of vents move air through all those internal slots and channels, making it a great summer helmet. Add their optional AeroShell cover and it’s a great winter or rainy day helmet, too.
Integrated eyewear docks (without grippers) keep your sunglasses secure when not needed. All in all it’s a very feature-rich premium road and gravel bike helmet with a comparatively decent price at $279. It gets a 5-Star rating from Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab, and is available in six colors (White, Matte Black, Cosmic Blue, Harbor Grey, Metallic Red, Flash Orange) and three sizes (S/M/L).
Actual weights & first impressions
Zach and I both received Z1 KinetiCore helmets to test, both size Medium. Zach’s weighed 233g (shown), mine was 235g. That’s slightly more than the 220g claim, which could be due to them being CPSC models for US distribution. CE-approved models are sometimes slightly lighter.
I wore mine with a winter cycling cap underneath, then took it off mid-ride once I warmed up, and it fit well in both cases thanks to its wide range of adjustability. The RollSys is easy to use, I only had to tighten the chin strap slightly to take up some of the slack. It’s a comfortable helmet and fits like their prior Z1, so if you’re a fan, you’ll probably like this one even better.
The only caveat to that could come from the straps. While I had no issues with the positioning of the straps and ear cradles, Zach had a different expereice. Zach says he typically has to adjust the ear cradles forward on most helmets with adjustable straps, and since the new Z1 is not adjustable, the straps sit too far back on his head. The resulting fit causes the chinstrap to dig into his neck, and the front parts of the ‘V’ strap bow out when he moves his head.
If you typically don’t need to mess with the ear cradle adjustment on your helmets, you probably won’t notice. But for those with a similar fit to Zach, or those who just prefer adjustable ear cradles, this might not be the one.