First Impressions: Lazer Vento Helmet
If you’ve been keeping tabs on early season pro cycling, you’ll have seen the Lazer Vento adorn the heads of many a podium contender. The Lazer Vento has fast become a favourite of some of the peloton’s fastest riders, particularly those draped in yellow and black. Yes, Wout, that’s you.
Straight out of the box, it’s obvious the crazy Belgians at Lazer Helmets have created something pretty unique when it comes to helmet technology. KenetiCore is their most recent development and it’s been woven through their latest range, offering a helmet for literally everybody. It’s not just technology that gets attached to a helmet, it’s an integral part of it (unlike many of its competitors). Lazer essentially carved cross-crossed channels on the inside of the helmet shell, leaving protruding ‘crumple zones’. The theory is not unlike that of motor-vehicle crumple zones; they’re there to flex and crumple, absorbing both blunt and rotational forces. Not only does this construction create these zones, but it also lightens the helmet, using the existing structure to provide the safety rather than add an extra something to achieve it. The channels help air move from the front vents, over the head and out the exhaust ports toward the rear and, judging by the two main vents up front, airflow isn’t going to be an issue, particularly as they’re coupled with smaller ‘side’ vents which double as eyewear holsters.
The ScrollSys tensioning system takes the rear tension adjuster and integrates it into the back of the helmet shell rather than having it hang below as part of the harness. In this case, the adjuster moves away from the mundane ‘dial’ type and replaces it with a unique rubber rolling strip, not too dissimilar to a miniature treadmill. It’s well integrated and to the uninitiated appears to be just part of the helmet. Scroll down to tighten, and up to loosen. Tu meke.
Being follicley challenged, any issues with protrusions or hot-spots are highlighted pretty obviously as indents or red spots on my head. Fortunately, the Vento fits like a glove, so far, in part due to the way the harness molds to the back of my head. Put simply, the shape suits my head perfectly. Ample coverage makes it feel like you’re actually ‘wearing’ the helmet rather than it just sitting on top of your head, a trait I’ve struck with other road helmets in the past.
Lazer claims some impressive aero gains with this new shape, and judging on looks alone I’d tend to agree but, in the real world, this will be hard to quantify short of us finding a wind tunnel to use! Interestingly, they’ve designed the aerodynamics and venting to be optimal at a 15-degree head angle. The overarching aim was to end up with a helmet that is cool enough for a full 200km+ day, and aero enough to punch from the pelo for the finish line sprint, as many of their sponsored riders do.
It appears Lazer have achieved what they set out to do with this new helmet, but we’ll spend some more time and kilometres in it before making a final call on whether it lives up to the hype or not.
Review: Lester Perry
Photography: Jeremy Hooper