Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeCyclingReview: Lazer Z1 KinetiCore Helmet

Review: Lazer Z1 KinetiCore Helmet


Lazer is a brand that’s been around for more than 100 years. Their newest helmet is the latest incarnation of the Z1. Previously, the Z1 used MIPS for rotational impact protection. The newest Z1 replaces MIPS with Lazer’s Kineticore technology that acts like a crumple zone in cars.

Lazer Z1 2024
The Lazer Z1 KinetiCore comes with a helmet bag, but the Aeroshell costs an additional $29.99

PEZ readers will know that I’ve ridden many Lazer helmets over the years, including the Helium, the original version of the Z1, Sphere MIPS, and Vento KinetiCore. With my Flanders special edition Z1 reaching retirement age, I was psyched to get my hands (or is that my head?) on the newest Lazer Z1 KinetiCore.

Lazer Z1 2024
Out with the old (Z1 Flanders special edition – background) and in with the new (Z1 KinetiCore – foreground)

Lazer Z1 KinetiCore – $279.99

 

The Lazer Z1 KinetiCore is Lazer’s top of the range helmet if you’re looking for air flow/cooling (if you’re looking for #aero, that’s their Vento KinetiCore). Per Lazer:

  • Lightweight and comfortable high performance road helmet
  • 5-Star Protection Technology: Built with top rated Lazer KinetiCore to reduce risk of injury from direct or rotational impact
  • Premium Ventilation: 3% more cooling with Z1 KinetiCore as compared to wearing no helmet at all!
  • Comfortable and Secure Fit: an updated Lazer Advanced RollSys system is operated by a smooth thumb wheel
  • Featherweight Protection: weighs 220 grams or about three energy bars
  • Head circumference in CM : S 52 – 56, M 55 – 59, L 58 – 61

The Lazer Z1 KinetiCore comes in six different colors (Harbor Grey, Metallic Red, Matte Black, Cosmic Blue, White, Flash Orange), as well as a limited edition Tour de France model that’s dark blue with yellow graphics. PEZ got the Flash Orange for something hi-viz without it being fluo yellow.

Lazer Z1 2024

Lazer Z1 2024
Lots of front vents (by my count, 16) to pull air in

Lazer Z1 2024

Lazer Z1 2024

Lazer Z1 2024
All the other vents (top, side, and back) pull air through and out the helmet

Lazer Z1 2024
The KinetiCore molding creates air channels to help pull air from the front through to the back of the helmet for cooling

Lazer Z1 2024
The Z1 KinetiCore cuts a pretty sleek profile

Lazer Z1 2024

Lazer Z1 2024
Snap on the Aeroshell for a more slippery profile (or for protection against the elements)

Lazer Z1 2024
I’m going to miss my Flanders special edition Aeroshell

Lazer Z1 2024
Lazer spec is 220 grams (but they don’t say for what size — mine is medium)

Lazer Z1 2024
Because I’m sure someone wants to know

Fit

All my other Lazer helmets (actually, all of my other helmets) are size medium and the Z1 Kineticore was no exception. Still, it’s always a good idea to measure your head circumference and use the manufacturer’s sizing guide. That plus try before you buy to be double sure.

Lazer Z1 2024
The rear basket can be adjusted up or down via a ratchet system for fit/comfort and to accommodate a ponytail. NOTE: This can be a little fiddly to move. You have to pull or push pretty firmly on the ratchet part to get it to move, so a minor PITA.

The one thing that’s different from other helmets is Lazer’s RollSys fit system. Most other helmets have an adjustment knob at the back that tightens the “headband” for fit from the back. The Lazer RollSys has a “barrel adjuster” at the back of the helmet that adjusts the headband all the way around for a more “even” fit.

Lazer Z1 2024
Righty tighty and lefty loosey

Lazer Z1 2024
The “headband” adjusts all they around

Having ridden with multiple helmets that use the Roll Sys system, I’m a fan of  because it completely encircles the head, creating more even distribution of tension and eliminating pressure points. IMHO it’s simply a better design than helmets that anchor the retention system into points inside the helmet and squish one end of the helmet against your head.

Lazer Z1 2024
One thing that’s different about the new Z1 KinetiCore is that the straps don’t adjust for fit at the sides

Lazer Z1 2024

Lazer Z1 2024

Lazer Z1 2024

Lazer Z1 2024
IMHO a sharp looking helmet on my noggin’

Lazer Z1 2024
Manufacturers actually design their vents to accommodate sunglass storage

KinetiCore

Of course, what make the Lazer Z1 KinetiCore different from the previous Z1 that used MIPS (and other helmets) is the KinetiCore technology that provides additional protection against rotational impact — which is more common with cycling accidents and most traumatic brain injuries are the result of rotational impact.

KinetiCore consists of blocks and channels molded into the EPS foam of the helmet during manufacturing that are engineered to absorb or redirect the force of either linear or rotational impacts to help reduce head injury. The concept is similar to “crumple zones” built into modern cars that are designed to deform and crumple in a collision, absorbing and redirecting some of the energy of the impact and prevent it from being transmitted to the occupants.

Lazer Z1 2024

lazer Z1 2024

Lazer Z1 2024
The KinetiCore blocks and channels provide impact protection and create air channels to help pull air from the front through to the back of the helmet for cooling

 

In addition to safety, the other benefits of KinectiCore are:

  • Reduced weight: No additional system added after manufacturing. Less EPS foam used in construction
  • Increased ventilation: No liner or other material blocking vents or airflow
  • Reduced plastics in manufacturing: Up to 24% less plastics as compared to previous comparable models

It’s also worth noting that the Lazer Z1 KinetiCore has a 5 star ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab (as of this writing, it’s number 27 on their list). All helmets have to meet minimum safety standards depending on what part of the world you live in:

  • CE (acronym for the French Conformite Europeenne) for Europe and parts of Asia
  • AUS for Australia and New Zealand
  • CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) for Americas

But helmets ranked higher by Virginia Tech may offer better protection that those that are ranked lower and their independent testing results offer an additional perspective on any purchase decision. But as Virginia Tech points out:

No helmet is concussion-proof. Any athlete can sustain a head injury, even with the very best head protection. The helmet ratings identify the helmets that best reduce your chances of sustaining a concussion.

Ultimately, it’s your head so your decision.

Lazer Z1 2024

Universal Rechargeable LED Taillight – $34.99

Lazer Z1 2024
Taillight, charging cord, velcro strap mount (to use with non-Lazer helmets)

If you ride at night, this 40 lumens light is an added layer of safety to use with bike-mounted lights. It has 4 modes to help you be seen: steady, low light pulse, bright(er) light pulse, and flashing.

Lazer Z1 2024
Proprietary magnetic connection-to-USB for charging

Lazer Z1 2024
Insert the light into the slot and twist to lock it in place

Lazer Z1 2024

Hot fun in the summertime

Lazer Z1 2024

It’s that time of year when the temps and humidity are high both in Babylon on the Potomac and the Lowcountry. With its plethora of vents, the Lazer Z1 KinetiCore is exactly the kind of helmet for those kind of conditions. I can’t confirm Lazer’s claim of 3% more cooling with Z1 KinetiCore as compared to wearing no helmet at all!, but I can say that my head hasn’t felt like it was overheating riding in 90+F/feels like 100+F conditions. Definitely a helmet for hot fun in the summertime!

Groupama FDJ’s Grace Brown winning this year’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege wearing the Lazer Z1 KinetiCore


Note: If you have other experiences with gear or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products you see here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper/safe use, handling, maintenance, and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.


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