LAZER OASIZ GALLERY
Type “bicycle helmet” into a Google search and the usual suspects appear: Giro, Bell, Specialized, hell, even Louis Garneau.
But zeroing in on one of the oldest helmet makers in cycling — Lazer — isn’t as easy despite the fact that the likes of the Luna Pro Team, Brian Lopes and a variety of top-tier road teams wear lids from the oldest company in the business.
Coming from cycling-mad Belgium, it’s not difficult to fathom that Lazer is more than 90 years old. As far as we’re concerned, longevity is a virtue. And the fact that Lazer has teamed up with another long-standing name in cycling — Brian Lopes — bode well for our helmet in question: The Lazer Oasiz, or to be more exact, the Oasiz Lopes Grey Orange.
At $135 for the Oasiz with the Lopes-inspired styling, the lid is on the expensive side. But at 310 grams (with visor, size L-XL tested), that puts the Oasiz in the same weight ballpark as the company’s high-end road helmets. Considering the extensive rear coverage the Oasiz offers compared to road helmets, that weight is impressive. Impressive as well compared to the Xar, Giro’s comparable all-mountain helmet, which is about 20 to 50 grams heavier than the Oasiz.
MSRP: $130 for Brian Lopes styling; $125 otherwise
Weight: 310 grams w/ visor
Sizes: Two sizes XXS-M and L-XL
What’s cool about the Oasiz is that while the stylized Lopes models are more expensive than the Oasiz helmets without the flash ($125), they all tip the scales the same.
Getting to know — and like — my Oasiz test helmet took three or four rides, as something just wasn’t right about the fit.
I have a lot of hair. Not necessarily long, just thick. Unshorn, the Oasiz sat high on my head and the Rollsys retention system, which is supposed to symmetrically tighten around your head without any pressure points, just didn’t feel like it was getting any bite through my bushy fro.
And while I have a lot of hair, it also grows fast, so I get it cut fairly often. After a post-barber ride, I was pleasantly surprised how well the Oasiz fit and how dialed the Rollsys system actually performed. With one finger, the RollSys thumb wheel, located on the top-rear of the helmet, is used to tighten or loosen the retention band that wraps fully around your head. For someone with thin, close-cropped or no hair, I’d venture to say the Oasiz would fit with no problems.
Like the initial shell fit, the straps on the Oasiz took a while to warm up to for me. Made from lightweight webbing, the straps were difficult to dial in initially because they are a bit flimsy. Once the strap tabs were adjusted around my ears, however, they lay fine along my jaw and didn’t need frequent fiddling.
Like all of Lazer’s high-end lids, the Oasiz comes with the company’s Magic Buckle. Thanks to magnets in the buckles, the male and female sections mate together easily, to the point that the two buckles are guided together, lined up and can almost be closed with one hand. It’s a cool feature when it works, which is to say the magic doesn’t always allow for one-handed operation. However, we didn’t find anything in Lazer’s marketing saying that Magic Buckle allows one-armed riders fool-proof use.
All that said, there was one constant that I never was able to fix on the Oasiz – a noisy visor. When bombing down rocky, vibration-prone trail sections at speed, I was accompanied by the noise of the removable visor rattling around. Upon closer inspection, the visor didn’t seem to have much slop in it when trying to move it with my hand. But sure enough on the trail, that movement was enough to cause noise on rocky descents. My guess is that the retention system worked too well, causing the loose visor to hinge off the stable base of the helmet. One solution is to ditch the visor — saving grams but losing some cred with the style snobs in the MTB crowd in the process.
Lazer likes to tout its X-Static, anti-stink padding material used inside the helmet. And that’s fine. What we love about the padding is that the padded forehead sweat band and removable top-of-head pad are removable for cleaning.
The Oasiz’s 21 vents would seem to be more than adequate for cooling, but I never wore the helmet in uncomfortably warm temperatures. From what I could tell, it vents like any other helmet I’ve worn that costs +/- $100, which is to say it worked fine.
Unlike some helmet lines, Lazer hit the rainbow for color options on the Oasiz. The Brian Lopes Oasiz edition comes in black/green, gray/orange (tested) and white/blue color/graphic combos for $135. At $125 there are several choices, including matte black, white/red, white, white/silver or pink/silver.