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Lazer tackles rotational impacts with new Mips rival KinetiCore

Sam Challis
30 Mar 2022

Fully built-in KinetiCore tech claimed to make helmets lighter and airier than Mips

Lazer has introduced a new safety technology called KinetiCore into its helmet range. KinetiCore aims to provide increased protection against the rotational impact forces commonly experienced by the rider’s head in cycling crashes.

KinetiCore is a series of EPS blocks that line the inside of the helmet. Under impact they are designed to deform, allowing the helmet to move independently of the rider’s head.

Essentially it is Lazer’s answer to Mips’ slip plane liner technology and Bontrager’s WaveCel design. Lazer says however that in comparison to other systems, KinetiCore is fundamentally incorporated into the helmet shell design, rather than being supplementary.



As a result, Lazer claims KinetiCore helmets can be lighter, better ventilated and cheaper as well as better for the environment because less material is used during manufacture.

The safety assessment conducted by Virginia Tech, widely regarded as the industry standard for impartial safety testing, awarded several of Lazer’s KinetiCore-based designs its highest 5-star rating.

 

The KinetiCore technology is unique to each helmet model, but it is available now in six designs across Lazer’s range. Prices range from the £39.99 Nutz children’s helmet to the brand new £259.99 Vento aero road helmet.

Lazer KinetiCore: 10 years in the making

Lazer claims that KinetiCore technology has been in development for 10 years. The brand says its aim was to create a protection solution against the rotational impacts cyclists experience in crashes, but one that was built into the helmet rather than simply added into a conventional design.

Lazer says the crumple zones of a car were its inspiration for the KinetiCore technology. Crumple zones are essentially buffers that are designed to buckle under impact, absorbing the energy of a crash, so Lazer recreated that concept in the underside of the helmet’s EPS shell.

Lazer’s ‘Controlled Crumple Zones’ are essentially crenelations of EPS that protrude from the internal surface of the EPS shell, or rather the main EPS structure has been sculpted back to leave lots of raised blocks separated by channels.

Under impact Lazer says they can deform, absorbing harmful impact energy by allowing the helmet to move independently of the rider’s head.

Lazer says the design reduces the peak magnitude of violent impact forces significantly.

Lazer KinetiCore: Multifaceted performance

Lazer says that because the technology is fundamentally built into the design of a KinetiCore helmet, rather than added in, it could be designed to enhance performance attributes rather than impede them.

Lazer has essentially removed areas of EPS from the shell. Where adding rival rotational impact protection systems adds weight to an existing helmet design, including KinetiCore reduces the weight of the helmet.

To illustrate the extent of the weight loss, Lazer says its Jackal KinetiCore mountainbike helmet is 50g lighter than its Jackal Mips helmet, and 20g lighter than the regular Jackal.

Lazer says the channels in between the KinetiCore blocks have been refined in such a way as to better channel airflow too.

The brand claims this improves ventilation compared helmets that have a slip-plane liner mechanism, which tends to block or convolute airflow inside the helmet.

Using the Jackal helmet as an example once again, Lazer claims a 5.2% increase in cooling efficiency over the same helmet using Mips.

Lazer designed a mannequin head loaded with thermal sensors to chart the quality of airflow across the head as well as each helmet’s cooling efficiency.

Lazer says KinetiCore is even environmentally friendly. As the technology is based around the removal of material rather than the addition of it, the brand says the manufacturing process is easier (making the helmets cheaper to the customer) and requires less plastic to produce.

Lazer are backing this up by reducing the plastic packaging all their helmet’s come in and reducing their ink usage too.

Lazer KinetiCore: The new Vento aero road helmet


Sitting at the top of the KinetiCore hierarchy is Lazer’s new aero road helmet, the Vento, which costs £259.99 and comes in eight different colours.

The Vento supersedes Lazer’s Bullet 2.0, and the brand says it is better in every way, having been developed with input from the Lazer-sponsored Jumbo-Visma WorldTour team.

At 293g, the Vento is 90g lighter than the Bullet 2.0, despite Lazer claiming it tests faster.

Lazer says the shape of the helmet and the way its vents are structured mean the Vento offers more cooling power when the rider is a normal riding position, but better aerodynamic efficiency in a lower, more aggression position.

Lazer says it also shapes the helmet vents to leverage the Venturi effect, a phenomenon used to manipulate air speed commonly used in Formula 1. According to the brand, the Vento speeds the air up over the rider’s head to improve cooling.

The Vento’s retention system is new too. Lazer has updated its ‘Rollsys’ system because apparently the dial to tighten the system situated right on top of the helmet intefered with the Vento’s aerodynamic performance.

The new iteration, ‘Scrollsys’ uses a tactile, treadmill-like mechanism at the rear of the helmet to tighten it around the rider’s head.

Lazer says it recognises safety goes beyond impact protection, so the brand has developed an LED light that is compatible with the rear of every Lazer helmet, affixing via a magnet.

The light puts out 40 lumens despite its diminutive size and uses a magnetic charging port. Lazer includes a mounting bracket to ensure compatibility with almost all other helmets too.

Lazer KinetiCore: Safety technology at all levels


The new technology doesn’t just appear in Lazer’s most expensive helmets. The brand includes it at all price points in the range, right down to the £39.99 Nutz children’s helmet.

On the road side, the most affordable KinetiCore-equipped helmet is the Strada, which replaces the Blade+ Mips model at £99.99.

The Strada uses the updated ‘Scrollsys’ retention mechanism and focuses more on all-round performance as opposed to the aerodynamic efficiency of the Vento, although there is an aeroshell plastic cover available for it if the rider wants to improve its aero qualities.

The Strada has also been awarded a 5-star safety rating by Virginia Tech.

All Lazer KinetiCore helmets are available to buy now from Freewheel (£39.99-£259.99).

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