This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
BikeRadar Verdict: "The Bullet looks great and feels fast, but doesn’t produce consistent all-over cooling"
BikeRadar Score:3 stars
Highs: Styling, shape, aerodynamic features Lows: Narrow fit, stubborn Air Slide, limited internal airflow Buy if: You value outright speed over having a cool, comfortable head
Belgium’s Lazer seems to be both innovative and traditional all at once, a feeling the new Bullet doesn’t dispel. The previously range-topping Z1 has 31 vents, but its aero credentials rely on fitting an external shell to cover them up. By contrast, the Bullet has four large open vents along each side, and a central one controlled by a siding cover.
The Bullet’s Air Slide system consists of a front-to-back channel within the EPS foam, and fittings and vents that are shielded by a two-part customisable cover.
As supplied, the rear section is solid, and the front portion has a hexagonal grid pattern above four sprung flaps. Sliding this rearwards reveals a vent above the brow, and the flaps open to channel air on to the head.
Alternate covers are included to fully ventilate or enclose the central channel. There’s a brow mounting point for Lazer’s optional LifeBEAM heart rate monitor, a rear position for its electronics, and the helmet’s external shell is extensive, but it all adds mass — my large size weighing 349g.
Compared to the Z1’s round shape, the same sized Bullet feels narrower, and I found its shell created some tightness on the upper rear part of the head. The old Rollsys retention system makes way for a new dial-operated setup, which is secure, if a little bulky.
With the Air Slide closed, there’s reasonable cooling, but I found the side vents to be extremely cold in low temperatures, a time when more enclosed helmets are usually a boon, and the Bullet’s volume prevented me from squeezing a skull cap beneath.
Moving the Air Slide on the go is harder than expected, because it doesn’t slide easily, and grip on the cover is limited. Once open, the additional air supply is obvious, but the top of my head remained warm. Surprisingly, the top flap just directs air between the EPS and upper cover to exit from the back, leading to differing temperatures and reduced comfort.
Lazer claims some worthwhile aerodynamic drag reduction figures, apparently saving 7–12 watts at 45kph in open or closed configuration, when compared to the non-aero Z1.
There’s much to like about the Bullet, its style, features and aero claims are current, but the need for effective cooling and universal fit hasn’t been met in the way Lazer’s helmets usually do.