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by Dave Rome
January 15, 2019
Photography by David Rome
TECH NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY BIKEEXCHANGE
Fast aero road helmets are nothing new, however, fast helmets that offer breezy ventilation and integrated features are a much newer concept. Lazer is the latest company to introduce a helmet that claims to be crazily fast and still comfortable to wear when it’s hot.
Launching at the Santos Tour Down, the Lazer Bullet 2.0 is the Belgium company’s latest pro-level aero road lid. First seen on the heads of Sunweb and Jumbo-Visma riders, tech writer Dave Rome takes a closer look.
Much like the original Bullet, the successor features a sliding front panel called the AirSlide, which allows the helmet to be quickly switched between ultimate speed or ventilation. CyclingTips global tech editor James Huang reviewed the original Lazer Bullet a year ago and found the ventilation to be lacking.
The Airslide in action.
It seems Lazer were well aware of such issues, and the new model features overhauled internal channelling, far larger rear (exhaust) venting and a top forward-facing vent to provide a claimed 11% improvement in heat reduction over the predecessor Bullet and even 4% over the company’s far more ventilated Z1.
Part of this improvement is Lazer’s newfound investment in aerodynamic testing. Sean van Waes, the general manager of Lazer Sports explained: where the original Bullet was designed exclusively with computer simulations, the new Bullet 2.0 came together with time in the new wind tunnel that Lazer shares with likes of Ridley and BioRacer.
Lazer doesn’t make any claims for the Bullet 2.0 to be faster than its predecessor. Instead, they somewhat regurgitate the old Bullet’s press materials, which claim to save seven watts (at 58,68 km/h!) over the company’s Z1. And unfortunately, there’s no comparison data to see how it compares to its direct competitors, either.
The new magnetic visor is perfect for selfies, as long as you’re not the one wearing it.
A new wrap-around visor simply snaps into place, and, more cleverly, there’s a docking station on top of the helmet to store the visor when climbing that can easily be used one-handed. Still, if you want to use regular eyewear, the Bullet 2.0 still looks to lack a place to store such things.
Lazer offers the Bullet 2.0 with or without MIPS. The MIPS liner is specific to the Bullet 2.0 and is cut to not impede any of the vents. It’s still too early to know how the Bullet 2.0 stacks up against its competitors in terms of safety, but if it’s anything like the Z1 MIPS, it should be one of the very best. It’s something we’re sure Virginia Tech will test in near time.
Much like the previous version, the new model is ready to accept Lazer’s LifeBeam strap-free heart rate monitor or “Inclination Sensor” for head position analysis. Further tech is provided as stock, with a red LED light integrated into the Advanced Turnfit rear retention system. Caps for the Airslide and top vent also allow for even more speed if it’s cold out.
While airier than before, the generally closed nature of the Bullet 2.0 still means it’ll be best used for flatter and faster rides. And certainly, such a feature-packed helmet comes with an obvious weight penalty. A medium-sized Bullet 2.0 MIPS (Australian standards, which tend to be heavier) sits at 380g. A surprisingly high figure, but Lazer do suggest it’s lighter than before.
Just how noticeable are these changes to the previous Bullet? We’ll have to get our hands on our sample before we’ll know the answer to that.
The Bullet 2.0 is ready for sale now. The MIPS-equipped version, including the lens, retails for AU$449. International pricing is to be confirmed.
The new Bullet 2.0 offers a similar form from the old.
The “Formula 1 inspired Venturi rear top cap” is designed to create additional air acceleration through the helmet. Note the docked visor too.
The visor’s magnets are certainly secure.
Bullet on the left, Bullet 2.0 on the right.
An inside look. Bullet on the left, Bullet 2.0 on the right.
The MIPS liner is precisely cut to match the vents.
The rear exhaust vents are far more generous.
The front brow pad now sits off the shell. Note the covered bottom part of the helmet, that’s new too.
Pro cycling photographer Beardy McBeard taking to the other side of the camera.