Lights, forehead heart rate and inclination sensors - Lazer 2016 helmets

Belgian brand debuts budget road and MTB helmets also

Lazer has perhaps more helmet accessories than any other brand, from its Cappucino ultra-low-security helmet lock to a DIY helmet heart-rate monitor kit to an inclinometer for time-trial lids to help riders stay in the most aero position. What we’re most excited about is perhaps the simplest: LED lights that integrate into helmets.

For 2016, Lazer has some new helmets and some new pricing on things like the LifeBEAM DIY kit we reviewed in December.

Lazer Tonic road helmet

If the $350 / £259 pricetag for the Z1 with LifeBEAM sits outside your budget, then perhaps the $80 / £49 Tonic will strike you as a bit more reasonable.

The (claimed) 230g road lid comes in three sizes and six styles (white, black, yellow, orange, red/black, red/blue).

We like the add-on four-LED dial that doesn’t stand out by day but offers a little extra safety at night.

The new tonic road helmet ($80 / £49): the new tonic road helmet ($80 / £49)
The new tonic road helmet ($80 / £49): the new tonic road helmet ($80 / £49)

The Tonic also comes in a MIPS option for $100 / £N/A. MIPS is a thin yellow plastic liner that rotates within the helmet in the event of a crash; proponents say this system reduces head trauma as the skull is allowed to pivot a little instead of stopping abruptly.

Lazer Roller MTB helmet

On the dirt side, the Roller is an $85 / £54 lid that also comes in a MIPS option.

As with the Tonic, it has the optional rear LED light, three sizes and five styles (black/red, white/silver, blue, grey, black).

The new roller helmet ($85 / £54): the new roller helmet ($85 / £54)
The new roller helmet ($85 / £54): the new roller helmet ($85 / £54)

Helmet add-ons: Heart rate monitors, inclinometers and LED mud caps

The Z1 helmet with LifeBEAM features a heart-rate monitoring system that measures your pulse at your forehead. Now Lazer is selling the LifeBEAM DIY Kit. Originally priced at $180 when launched late last year, the kit now sells for $130, and works with Lazer’s Z1, Blade and Magna helmets. UK and AU pricing was not immediately available.

The lifebeam reads your heart rate with this led sensor: the lifebeam reads your heart rate with this led sensor
The lifebeam reads your heart rate with this led sensor: the lifebeam reads your heart rate with this led sensor

The LifeBEAM DIY Kit consists of a gel-padded forehead piece, the small forehead sensor and a Bluetooth/ANT+ transponder that clips onto the rear of the helmet. The kit takes up a little more space than a standard helmet forehead pad, so if you’re already on the upper end of a helmet it might not fit. Those with a little adjustment in their helmet should be fine. The kit adds about 45g to the helmet.

Time trialists and triathletes might be interested in the inclination sensor (£149 / $N/A), which clips underneath the back of the Wasp aero helmet and notifies riders when their head is out of their chosen position with sound and vibration.

The inclination sensor is set with the press of a button to keep your head within a desired range for aerodynamics: the inclination sensor is set with the press of a button to keep your head within a desired range for aerodynamics
The inclination sensor is set with the press of a button to keep your head within a desired range for aerodynamics: the inclination sensor is set with the press of a button to keep your head within a desired range for aerodynamics

Of greater application are the LED clip-on options for various helmets , such as the Z-LED that snaps into the back of a Z1 road helmet. This small light tucks inside a rear helmet vent and covers the Rollsys adjustment mechanism. It retrofits to existing Z1s and features an easily replaceable battery.

The z-led snaps into the back of a z1: the z-led snaps into the back of a z1
The z-led snaps into the back of a z1: the z-led snaps into the back of a z1

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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