Lazer Genesis Lifebeam
The Lazer Genesis Lifebeam helmet may very well be the beginning of a new era in helmets. This model has in built technology, a small sensor which reads your heart rate just the same as if you were wearing a heart rate strap. The technology has apparently been applied from the Israeli airforce, whereby pilots would have in-built sensors in their helmet to assess the heart rate and stress levels. Incredibly clever and despite it being bulky at first sight, once it is on you won’t notice it. You will however notice the huge red square imprint it levels on your forehead once you take the helmet off. Unfortunate placing of the sensor means it is square in the middle of your forehead and as much as it tries to be integrated into the padding, it leaves a mark after a long ride. I would normally be in the upper range of a medium but I had to move to a large with this model, so consider which helmet size is best for you with this one. I would recommend going up a size or having a military style haircut to complement the technology.
As mentioned this new technology does create a bulkier helmet, and sitting at just below 400g for a large, if you are obsessed with saving every gram possible, obviously this isn’t the helmet for you. It is nice though not to have to put a heart rate strap on, and really the whole process is done without giving it a second thought. Just remember to turn it on…! We started our ride and wondered why nothing was showing up… That old chestnut about turning it off and on, or taking the lens cap your camera before shooting… simple, but important. As with anything electrical it also needs to be charged, so if you purchase this helmet remember to charge it before ripping it out of the packaging and going for your ride.
I really like the ARV technology of Lazer helmets. It is very simple to reach, adjust and best of all it can be done with one hand, while you are still on the bike.
Most importantly the data to come from the helmet is detailed and accurate. I used this helmet climbing Falls Creek and the info coming through the Garmin was seamless. It can also be linked to other devices so is not dependent on you riding a Garmen, or Polar etc…
Unlike the Lazer Genesis Lifebeam, the Lazer Z1 is at the opposite end of the weight spectrum. It is exceptionally light weighing in at about 280g, which was very noticeable when I switched between helmets halfway through our ride up Falls Creek. I found this edition much more comfortable then the Genesis, and would recommend it for any rides longer then 60-90mins.
It still has the same ARV technology, which I used to dramatically tighten the fit. As mentioned above, sizing is important so before deciding on either of these two, I would go into the LBS and check out the fit and which option is best for me. I have no doubt in time that the LifeBeam technology will find a way to be lighter and more integrated into Lazer’s range.
The Z1 also has a shell which can be used on two fronts. It can be used as installation to keep your head warm in cooler conditions. The shell also creates a more aero profile to the helmet, covering the open vents and seamlessly clipping on at the rear to save those precious watts. The covering comes in many colors; I used the clear shell which is hardly detectable out on the road and gives the look of a normal helmet with the performance benefits on an aero helmet. This is great for those riders who are too self conscious about wearing an aero helmet, and the inevitable looks it will generate. It is also much more comfortable than your traditional aero helmet, which is purely focused on performance not so much comfort.
Lazer are really driving technology through their innovation in these two models. Hats off to Lazer.