The Lazer Century helmet is a well made lid with some clever features, although they up the weight which might not please all riders.
Clever added features
Turning the rear light on and off is fiddly
By Paul Norman
Lazer has a habit of providing additional features on its helmets - think the LifeBeam optical heart rate monitoring you can slot into some of its helmets to free you of a heart rate strap. That innovation shows in the Lazer Century helmet too.
Like the Lazer Bullet, the Century can swap between a more aero and a more vented format. Whereas the former has a sliding vent, the Lazer Century’s venting is swapped by means of a panel held on the helmet using magnets. All you need to do is to pull it off and flip it round and, hey presto, you’re maybe a bit more (or less) aero. Lazer says that opening the vents increases airflow by 11%, although it doesn’t tell us the drag reduction when they’re closed.
Since the helmet has the same shiny surface underneath the panel, you could also wear the Century without the panel and save a bit of weight. The magnets hold the panel in place firmly - being Belgian, Lazer says that it’s tested the design over the worst cobbles it could find to make sure it stayed put.
Another add-on, there’s a built-in rear light. That’s powered by a small power pack that sits inside the shell of the helmet towards the rear. The central spur of the rear vent is transparent, so that the red LED shines through it, while its curvature helps spread the light a little. There’s a continuous and a flashing mode.
The blinkie is rechargeable using a USB cable. It’s a bit awkward to get in and out of the helmet and pushing it into its slot is fiddly, as you need to pull up the back of the rear cradle and poke it out with a pen or similar.
Likewise, switching it on and off is awkward, as you need to pull up the cradle to do this too and locate the small switch on the inside of the helmet. I didn’t get to use the Lazer Century helmet in the rain, but I’m not sure whether the light unit would stand up to a proper deluge. Lazer doesn’t quote any water resistance ratings.
My test helmet came with MIPS. It’s nice to have for additional peace of mind, although there’s a non-MIPS version of the helmet available too if you prefer.
All the add-ons do up the weight of the Century MIPS though. In size large, its 342g weight puts it towards the heavier end of the spectrum. Lazer quotes 265g for a small size helmet and you get seven different colour options, although not all are available in the UK.
The weight was unobtrusive when worn and I found the Lazer Century MIPS comfortable in use. The fit feels secure and adjustment is easy using the large rear knob, while the wide straps sit close and comfortable against the side of the head. With the central panel open, there are 18 vents, providing plenty of airflow.
The £150 price tag puts the Lazer Century MIPS in the mid-price helmet category. With its add-on features that feels like pretty good value.
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