This, many times, is a sport of want and not need. So it’s no surprise when true bike geeks have moments of unadulterated lust for products. For me and the Lazer Genesis helmet, this is one of those moments. I’ve been a fan of Lazer for a long time, so it was a welcome gesture when they took pity upon my desire to become a bike-path-riding-helmeteer by submitting a black and pink Genesis model for a
verbal humping ride/review.
First Look: Lazer Genesis
I won’t lie, the Genesis and Helium helmets from the Belgian brand Lazer are my favorite designed helmets. However, I won’t let the crippling bias affect me here. Yet, it’s the overall impression and subsequent details that create that bias, so here we go.
Across the board, the design effect is solid. It’s visually different than most of the helmets out there, without being too radical (Catlike, Orbea). When viewed upon countless CX riders, it sits well on the head without creating the dreaded mushroom effect. One of my favorite elements of the Genesis is how the front bottom elements curve around the temples and rise slightly as they wrap around the front. Typically, most manufacturers have a flat bowl-cut looking front. This probably adds a slight bit of weight, but that (for me) is offset by the substantial visual appeal.
Subtle bits of perfection
Overall construction, performance and fit are the most important considerations when purchasing a helmet. But it’s the extra details that keep it in the front group on a windy stage, “PRO levels skyrocket higher than a Riis hematocrit test as the alt-colored strap matches the racing stripe along the helmet’s top.”and the Lazer Genesis is well-endowed enough to create the gap. Particularly echelonal on this black/pink colorway are the multi-colored straps. Easy enough to go the traditional single color route, but Lazer threw in some pink on the right side. PRO levels skyrocket higher than a Riis hematocrit test as the alt-colored strap matches the racing stripe along the helmet’s top. They even added an alternative color for the buckle, making the male part red. The radio harness adorning the aforementioned pink strap is designed to keep your earpiece/earbuds from dangling like Gilbert’s in the final 10k of any race he enters. Then we have the Lazer branded bits. The strap end binder and strap adjustment clip are both adorned with their trademark ‘Z’.
Genesis ventilation performance
My testing period has taken me through winter, spring, and now finally summer. The true test of any helmet’s ventilation is the swamp-assed air of the DCMetro region. Tangible, stagnant, and at times dangerous (Code Orange Air Quality Alerts), there’s not always a breeze to cool this bike-path rouleur’s dome. So a helmet needs to provide exceptional ventilation, creating wonderful vortexes of sweat-drying wind along the surface of your baking skull. This is a task the Lazer Genesis completes with ease. I never find myself wanting to remove it for any reason, unfortunately including espresso breaks, which is a style violation.
What I might want to see is a bit more padding along the front of the helmet in order to soak up more sweat. But I’m a prolific salty sweater. Not as disgustingly abundant as some, but enough that I could use the help, cuz I ain’t using a bandanna or any type of sweat diversion device. That’s a slippery slope to adding mirrors to the side of this Belgian perfection.
Rollsys® retention system
Rollsys® is Dutch for, “like glue to head.” The retention system is a complex system of levers and pulleys effectively securing the helmet to your head not unlike an electromagnet to the roof of a car. Okay, there aren’t any levers or pulleys, but the system is more complex than most—and it works. The roller adjustment wheel resides along the back top of the helmet and pulls a cable that’s connected to a floating band along the front. This creates not only the rear retention, but a front piece as well. Most use the front of the helmet with effectiveness, but Lazer took it a step further. To me this front piece is flexible whereas the helmet obviously isn’t allowing it to transform the to oddities of your misshapen skull.
The only true gripe I have about the helmet is that it was (at first) incredibly difficult to find a spot to hold glasses (tested with Rudy Project Ekynox). While nowhere near deal-breaking considering the design priority is ventilation and safety, to many it’s still a consideration. But, I was able to find at least two good vent locations. The first, as pointed out by Helmeteer Chris, you can place them on the top vents. There’s an additional spot in the more traditional place (pictured), midway down the front. Although, you have to practice your aim a little bit more than with others. An obvious personal issue, I know.
Final thoughts and rating
I like this helmet. I know reviews are supposed to be impartial, but like I said at the beginning, I had the lusting for the Lazer Genesis. I have some pretty freaking high standards when it comes to helmets, and the Genesis meets and or exceeds all of them. Obviously it’s subjective, but the Lazer can teach the helmet peloton a course on style 101. As for opportunities I’d like to see some more padding, if possible, on the headband of the Rollsys® for sweat-sponging duties. However, my desire for the ultimate sunglass storage comes in a distant second to great ventilation, so I think that’ll fall on deaf ears.
PRO FACTORS: Different styling, great ventilation, fantastic retention system.
OPPORTUNITIES: More padding along the headband.
RATING: 95% – The Lazer Genesis helmet is sweet Belgian stroopwafel PRO.