Keith Earickson is a transient who is currently headquartered in Flagstaff, AZ. He writes a filthy, NSFA (Not Safe For Anything) blog at www.spacedriftin.blogspot.com and is enjoying his switch from a crappy, no-name beach cruiser to a fully loaded Surly LHT way too much. He has forgotten how to drive a car.
Recently I was given this Lazer Krux bicycle helmet by Ted so I could write up a review. Ted told me that this particular helmet had been sitting in their offices for awhile as no one else was interested in giving this lid a swing around the dance floor. Well I’ll give her a chance; I just hate to see something be disregarded, so maybe this helmet has been waiting for me.
I took the opportunity because I am a fairly new convert to full time bike commuting and my experience with cycling helmets is very limited. It’s been over one year now that I have been using a bike as my sole form of transportation, and in the past I was a “hat or nothing” type of guy on the bike.
About a year ago I decided to try out a Nutcase helmet after reading another cyclist’s blog, and I thought it sounded like a fine first helmet for me to use as a commuter. I wore my Nutcase some, but not very much. In the end I spent more time adorning it with stickers. But with the Lazer Krux I was much more disciplined in strapping on the helmet every time I went for a ride. As a side note, I did not slap any stickers on the Krux, but it’s got space galore for that kind of thing if you’re into it.
I feel it’s important to bring up my lack of helmet-wearing experience because what would I be comparing my Krux experience too after all? I spent a few days carrying them both with me and switching back and forth to try to get a better feel for what I liked and didn’t like about both of them. I’ll stop bringing up my Nutcase helmet now because I’m not writing a review for it, but I have to say I have come to really appreciate some little details of the Lazer Krux as a result of having something else with which to play compare/contrast as far as helmets go.
My initial impression of the Krux was that it looked kinda silly. That’s great, I like silly, and looking silly is at this time my only full time job. But everyone out there will have to decide for themselves if the look of the Krux is to their liking.
Right out of the box I thought it looked like the kind of helmet that a dude driving a tank would wear, and Lazer does have this in their “urban” collection of helmets so I’m sure that the rough and tough styling is no accident. My only worries at that time were that it would be bulky feeling, heavy, and very hot.
Oh, was I in for a surprise. This helmet feels very light to me. It feels light as in weight but also in how it fits and sits on my head. The suspension system inside the helmet is adjusted by what Lazer calls their Rollsys adjuster. It is a ridged barrel adjuster that is easily rolled to either loosen or tighten the inner webbing. Once you have the webbing adjusted to a nice snug position it feels like your head is being cupped, but there is also plenty of breathing room between head/hair/scalp and the inside of the helmet shell, so it feels like the helmet is floating on top of my head without it feeling loose. This is what makes the helmet feel so cool to me.
I sweat much more with a hat on than I do with this helmet on so that nullified my fears that I would be too hot while wearing the Krux. As you can see from the picture, the air vents are long slots, four in the front, four in the back, and two on top, and this proved to be plenty of venting to allow air circulation.
As for the styling, I’ve actually gotten a few compliments from people that they think it looks neat and it looks like a military helmet. This seems to be really appealing to dudes, and I must say I do appreciate a more rugged appearance.
After looking at myself in the mirror I thought to myself, “Looks like Robocop.” Depending on your tastes, you may feel like, Hell yeah, I look like Robocop!, or This is ridiculous, I look like Robocop. It’s all up to you.
The strap adjustment clamps are also very secure. The Krux has actual clamps on the straps and not sliders, so once I got the straps adjusted right for my head I haven’t had to touch them since. Based on the design it doesn’t look like they are going anywhere. About the only negative thing I can say about the Krux is that it catches lots of wind and is very noisy in the wind, but in its defense, the spring wind in Flagstaff could conservatively be called “biblical” in its strength and frequency, so this is a minor complaint that probably couldn’t be avoided anyway.
At roughly $65 this helmet would be easy for me to pick up as an urban rider/commuter that is always looking to get a lot of gear for a short price, and in the often aggressive world of city bike riding it can’t hurt to look like Robocop.