The Lazer Volante boasts excellent visibility with a snap-on-and-off, wrap-around visor. The fit is equally as good with an adjustable retention system at the rear and easily adjustable chin strap. The two small vents at the front are covered up when the visor is in place so it can get hot.
Great visibility with wraparound visor
Snug fit with good padding and well placed straps
Airflow managed around side as well as over the top
No ventilation with visor in place so can get warm
Lazer launched their Volante TT helmet last July with the bold claim of it being the fastest ever. When two month's later Primož Roglič was dumped out of Tour de France's yellow jersey with the Volante sitting skew-whiff on his head, it didn't seem like a claim that held much water.
Fast forward to this summer and Roglič and his Jumbo Visma team mate Tom Dumoulin just rode to Olympic gold and silver wearing the Volante. So it now doesn't seem like such an outrageous claim after all.
But what about the rest of us who can only dream of riding the Tour de France or Olympic Games. Aero tech can seem out of reach a lot of the time with sky high price tags and talk of wind tunnel testing.
The first thing I noticed about the £299 Volante was how comfortable it was. There's plenty of (anti-bacterial) padding inside that sits snugly all around your head. Like most good quality road helmets the micro-adjustable retention system pulls on a plastic frame that runs all the way around your head so the pressure is evenly distributed.
There's also five centimetres of movement up and down at the rear, giving options for exactly where on the back of your head it sits.
The chin straps are thin and lightweight and sat flush against my jaw and under my chin. The grommet that gathers the straps together before they run under your chin is clamp free meaning it slides easily up and down and is therefore simple to get it into just the right place, which for most is just under each ear.
There's a small 'pocket' at the rear where the plastic cover wraps under the bottom of the helmet - big enough to fit a small ponytail. Although you'll have to move the retention system down and out of the way first.
All these fit features should reassure you from a safety point of view, and mean comfort hasn't been sacrificed in the pursuit of speed.
You may have noticed there is minimal ventilation. The two tiny vents at the front are covered up when the visor is in place, so of no use with the visor. I used it during the heatwave and only found myself heating up when standing, waiting to start. As soon as I started riding the heat was manageable. It was still warm, but not uncomfortably so over a 30 minute hard TT effort.
Perhaps the Volante's best feature is the wrap-around visor. It's huge - around 10cm deep at the front either side of the nose cutout - and gives excellent visibility. It wraps so far around the helmet that when you look back over either shoulder (although not something you do regularly in a TT) there is nothing obscuring your vision. This means you can glance back when you need to without having to turn your head too far around and disrupt airflow.
The visor snaps on with four magnets, two at the front and two on either side at the rear. It's nicely shaped so that it comes down and in, wrapping around the contours of your cheeks and jaw. Keeping everything as nicely enclosed as possible.
The benefit of the visor coming so low is that it helps airflow around the side of the head, not just over the top. Despite the coverage it didn't steam up, although we didn't get to test it in cold weather.
As ever we're unable to verify aerodynamic claims as we don't test kit on the track or in wind tunnels. Yes the helmet felt fast but we only rode it in TT gear on a TT bike so it would. How it compares to other TT helmets is harder to judge, and will also vary between individuals.
Even if the Volante worked for me, it doesn't always means it will work for you. Position is everything. Aerodynamics benefits of a TT helmet can come down to an individual rider's position, and one helmet can produce wildly different measurements on different riders. Or on the same rider riding in different positions.
Lazer however claim it's a helmet tested on a range of mannequins and with feedback from pro riders with a focus on airflow riding on the road, rather than wind tunnels. Meaning it's suited to lots of different types of riders.
Tail length is a factor here. The Volante has a medium length tail, much shorter than its predecessor the Wasp. But even a medium length tail needs to be tucked down as close as possible inbetween a rider's shoulder blades to work well. Take a look at Tom Dumoulin's position below to see a good example of this.
If you're unable to pull your head in and down between your shoulders (turtling your head) and therefore keep the tail tucked in, you might be better off with a different shape helmet. The aim should be to keep the gap between your shoulders and the tip of the helmet as small as possible so air flows over your shoulders.
The Volante's length from front to back is 35cm. Width wise it's comparable to a road helmet. We measured it at 21.7cm compared to 21.4cm for MET Trenta. The Volante sits a bit higher when measured sitting on a flat surface (without visor), roughly 15.3cm from the surface to the top of the helmet.
The two road helmets we measured were closer 13.5cm. It's the visor that gives it it's depth, attach that, sit the Volante on a flat surface and its height goes up to 21cm. Our medium weighed 538 grams while Lazer list the small as 340 grams.
It comes in both black and white and is available with a clear or mirrored visor. Visor's can be purchased separately for £34.00
- Weight: 538 grams (medium)
- RRP: £299
Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. In that time he has written product reviews, features and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. Once an aspiring bike racer himself, he can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer.
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