Looking to bring bicycle helmets for urban, commuter, bmx and dirt jump into the modern era, Lazer’s Armor takes advantage of their better manufacturing facilities to create an in-molded, lightweight helmet.
Bonus: It looks pretty good, too.
The new Armor comes in around 290g, about 80g to 100g lighter than most helmets in this category. It uses in-mold technology (just like most road or mtb helmets) for a lighter weight and a nylon reinforcement on inside edge to increase durability. Besides the bright colors shown above, they’ll likely have black and white ones when they go on sale in August. Pricing, more info and pics, plus some of their other models and things coming in the future, all after the break…
The nylon inner molding is visible as the smooth white surface on the inside edge of the helmet above. For urban/BMX helmets like this that typically get banged around, strapped to the bike, etc, this reinforcement keeps the EPS foam inside in better condition so the helmet lasts longer and stays intact and safe. The alloy adjustment buckle on the straps is a nice touch versus the usual plastic ones.
Weight is saved by reducing the outer material thanks to the in-mold construction, they no longer need a separate shell, which also reduces the thickness of the helmet.
The Lazer Armor has internally molded air channels and 16 vents. The ventilation design was a collaboration with the Royal University of Leuven in Belgium. On the right, straps are placed closer to the head, eliminating some of the extreme angle toward the chin that’s common among urban style helmets. MSRP of $60. The claimed weight of 290g for a medium felt about right when I held it, but I didn’t bring the scale.
The One City is the current model, but will become the 2nd tier offering behind the Armor when it hits stores. MSRP is $45, and weight is about 360g – 390g. The two designs above are new for 2011.
Using the One City as an example, you can see how much further outboard the straps usually sit on these type of helmets.
Decidedly more urban and less BMX is the Krux. The two in the foreground are new colorways.
The Urbanize is full on commuter. It has integrated front and rear LED lights that can be set to blink or steady lighting modes.
It’ll also fit Lazer’s optional winter padding kit that includes insulated forehead section and ear covers.
If none of the above strikes your fancy, you can get a broad coverage city commuter helmet that looks like a big, padded hat. It’s called the CityZen.
The children’s line of helmets have some new shells to go over them. These use Lazer’s new AutoFit system for no-hassle adjustment once they’re fit, and they have their magnetic Magic Buckle, which made my kids feel much more comfortable when they tried them on because there’s zero risk of pinching their neck skin with a standard buckle. If you’ve never had that happen, trust me, they really don’t like it when that happens.
Lazer is switching all production to their higher end manufacturing facility, which will let them bring their higher end features to lower price point helmets going forward (like the in-mold shell on the Armor). The goal is to offer a complete line of helmets for retailers, so they can go with one line to cover all types of riders. Their full face helmet, the Excaliber, is a bit dated looking compared to the rest of their line (it’s still safe and all, just a bit plain looking), but they’re working with Brian Lopes to redesign and relaunch it next year.