Review: Lazer Coyote Kineticore Helmet

Apr 11, 2023
by Henry Quinney  
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Since being acquired by Shimano in 2016, Lazer's presence within cycling has grown and grown, especially in off-road markets. The company may have well been known in its native Europe as an old-school brand with cyclocross and road pedigree but until recently wasn't as common of a sight on the heads of mountain bikers.

However, after several years of slowly building up momentum, it really feels like Lazer has arrived, releasing sleeker-looking helmets that hit the key notes of aesthetics and protection. And the protection can not be understated, with the Coyote Kineticore being granted a 5-star protection rating from Virginia Tech.

Of course, looks aren't the be-all and end-all, but I think most of us would acknowledge that we want a helmet that is both safe and that doesn't make us stick out like a sore thumb.
Coyote KinetiCore Details
• KinetiCore Integrated Rotational Impact Protection
• Has aftermarket light and fleece liner
• Crash replacement program offered
• Weight: 340 grams (size M)
• Five star Virginia Tech rating, CPSC certified
Colors: cali, white/black, black, light blue, dark green, purple fade
• MSRP: $109 USD
lazersport.us


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Ventilation

The Coyote helmet has 21 vents but that only tells half the story as to how this helmet keeps you cool. Oftentimes, I find myself rolling my eyes as I hear about how this particular helmet has some proprietary technology or some magical venting, but in this instance, it's not all marketing spiel. The ribbed and raised internal profile genuinely do a notably better job of keeping air circulating around your head than many other models that I have tried. In fact, when going between different helmets that airflow was always noticeable in comparison.

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Technology

At the heart of Lazer helmets is their own rotational impact protection system called KinetiCore. In 2022, when they announced their new technology and its use in their helmets, they were quick to point out that they had up until that point used MIPS all through their ranges. The KinetiCore design involves shaping the EPS foam into blocks that are intended to deform and shear to reduce the force of an impact.

This technology isn't just reserved for Lazer's high-end helmets either; it's also used in some of their kid's and commuter helmets. I can't speak to the improved safety of this system but it should be noted its five-star score from Virginia Tech. One thing I do like about it though is the lack of creaking that you can get some MIPS systems. Although some generations are better than others, it's always irritated me.

The helmet has many of the features that you would expect, including an adjustable visor that aids eyewear storage and a magnetic buckle. Should you live in a climate cold enough to merit it, the helmet also has an aftermarket fleece liner available. It is also compatible with the Lazer Universal LED rear light.


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Fit & Eyewear

The helmet offers a medium-deep fit. It's certainly not as deep as some but it doesn't feel like a shallow XC or road helmet, either. It's not excessively bulky or cumbersome, though, and my large size fit me well and was true to its 58-61 cm size. The helmet has a TurnSys dial on the back. Revolutionary it isn't, but it is a dial and it worked.

The visor is in a usable range, and I like the fact that the lip of the helmet itself doesn't obscure my vision. The fit is such that the brim doesn't feel too far down your brow, or knock glasses as you ride. Speaking of eyewear, there isn't any specific storage but if you're inventive enough there are a few spots to be found. They stayed put, but a more secure way to put my eyewear in the helmet for undulating singletrack climbs certainly would be no bad thing. The back of the helmet has a flatter band around the middle of the helmet for goggles, should you wear them.

Price & Weight

Although not a direct consequence of using their own rotational impact system, I also like the price. $109 USD seem reasonable to me for a mid-to-premium helmet. The styling, while inoffensive, can sometimes be a little bulbous and domed. This criticism is obviously quite superficial, but I'm not sure I'm convinced about the look of the curved visor. It looks like it came straight off an entry-level commuter helmet. Maybe if that bothers you you could spend more on something else. However, when it comes to actually riding, the value compared to the performance is very good.

The weight of the helmet falls in line with many other trail helmets, although the Lazer beats them all on price. At 340g it's very comparable to the Specialized Ambush ($180 & 360g). Giro Merit helmet ($220 & 360g), Fox Speedframe Pro ($170 & 380g), and the Troy Lee Designs A3 ($220 & 415g).

Should you take the Virginia Tech ratings as read, then that looks even more favorable.



Pros

+ Very well ventilated
+ Comfortable and unobtrustive
+ Good value

Cons

- No dedicated glasses storage




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Lazer Coyote KinetiCore offers a strong blend of price, safety, comfort, and ventilation. Although the internal profile of the helmet might look slightly gimmicky, it really does deliver excellent ventilation. While I found a reasonably secure place for my glasses, I think that a lack of specific storage is my only real complaint and, although small, that would be my only criticism when it comes to riding in this good value proposition.
Henry Quinney


Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
336 articles

67 Comments
  • 47 1
 So, on this side photo Henry has good 3 centimeters from top of his ear to the helmet's edge. Same thing in the back. To me it seems like a helmet with a terrible fit
  • 14 1
 He has a real knack for not fitting the helmets he tries on.
  • 16 1
 I think it would be good to get some of the staff with different head shapes to try it on. Employee ____ (egg shaped): picture; employee _____ (round shape): picture; etc etc etc
  • 30 0
 @alexsin: Ha - well, apparently so.

This is just the shape of my head, although some brands accentuate it more than others. Maybe my ears are just really low? I'm not sure. The helmet fits though, and if I go bigger they tend to come too far down my brow.

EDIT - www.pinkbike.com/photo/24537649 This is a shot of Dario in his, if that helps for reference. Thanks.
  • 2 0
 @Dem628: Levy = egghead
  • 27 0
 @henryquinney: i just checked. Your inner ear is in line with the tip of your nose. Mine is about a centimeter above the tip of my nose. Seems there's something wrong with the geo of your head.
  • 4 0
 @henryquinney: Living in the deep south any lid with reputed excellent ventilation piques my interest. Three questions: How would you compare it's ventilation to the current Ambush? Do you have any pictures with glasses stored say beneath the visor? Lastly, did Dario decorate his?
  • 6 0
 @hellbelly: honestly, when that humidity hits there is no helmet at all that will provide the ventilation we need. Riding Pisgah in July and August you get into the coves and the humidity is so high, so hot, you can cut it with a knife. There’s nothing you can do except take the helmet off on fire road climbs, and jump in a swimming hole after your ride.
  • 2 0
 @pisgahgnar: Oh for sure. That is a regular for my friends and I especially going for a dip up on the northside of DuPont after riding all of the stuff around the Lake Imaging area. Rocky Ridge is a blast!
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney + @hellbelly : Second request for comparison to Ambush's ability to move air. Ambush has best combination of proper halfshell coverage & ventilation of dozens of helmets I've tried. As for head geometry, side-angle shots of my average, ovalish head in Med. Ambush show that, like @Muckal, my inner ear is 1cm above tip of nose.
Side profile of Ambush is much lower from brow to behind ear tho: Henry & Dario are both wearing the Lazer ~2cm up on their foreheads. Wearing front of Ambush just above my eyebrows, shell dips to just below top of eye-socket at sideburns, stays within 1cm over my ears, & back of shell is level w bottom of my nose. Punchline: the Lazer Coyote has side-coverage similar to my older Scott ARX XC helmet, but slightly deeper rear-skull coverage. This is how they've achieved even lighter weight than Ambush: less material on sides. That said, I'm still interested for 90-100F days of Norcal summers, particularly given top safety marks by Virginia Tech.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney you aught to get a shorter post in that tragus, assuming my memory of it being older than 6-8 months is correct.
  • 37 0
 Really? The PB comment section does not even mention that Henry Quinney likes a "ribbed and raised internal profile"? You guys used to be cool.
  • 6 0
 Most people don’t even read the article and start commenting (me).
  • 7 0
 Blimey.
  • 4 0
 Ribbed for his pleasure. Schwing!
  • 1 0
 @Keegansamonster: We’re not worthy… we’re not worthy!
  • 2 0
 @Keegansamonster: Party time! Excellent!
  • 18 2
 My personal opinion is that a helmet fit review is useless since all heads are different.
  • 14 0
 "Sharks with freakin' Lazers on their heads."
  • 13 0
 Am I the only one here that didn’t realise Lazer were owed by Shimano?!
  • 1 0
 Nope
  • 8 0
 I really like the kinetic core concept - cheap, well integrated, and obvious if the foam has been compressed and needs to be replaced.
  • 3 0
 I really like Cushcore on my head. No need to be replaced after crashes. Fit can be custom trimmed.
  • 10 0
 @rrolly: good call, plus you can still ride it out even if your mind gets blown
  • 4 0
 My experience of getting the absolute best airflow/ventilation was cutting my hair with a #1 guard every week. I'm in the Southeastern United States. I really do believe it offered an advantage while doing a lot of endurance racing. This idea doesn't sell any bicycle related products.
  • 1 0
 What about a G3 Ferrari Enduro beard and hair trimmer?
  • 1 0
 @andrewbmxmtb: All about the ebike specific trimmers now. Enduro specific is so last year.
  • 2 0
 Great price! However, it looks like this helmet sits on top of your head, not around it. Controlled VT ratings notwithstanding, the Specialized Tactic wraps my temples, ears, and upper neck in a way that matters when you have a real world crash.
  • 1 0
 You should go buy a specialized tactic I reckon
  • 2 0
 I was so skeptical of the tactic 4 since it has no padding on the back half of the helmet. My god it’s the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever owned. I hate specialized and don’t like supporting them personally but I couldn’t argue with the comfort. However, their mips system does creak a lot.
  • 4 0
 Just had a real world crash on a tactic last week. Large dents in the helmet in 3 different places including near the temple. My egg was totally fine. The doctor recommended concussion protocol (48 hour chill followed by slow ramp up as symptoms allowed) as a precaution but I experienced no neurological effects besides a very mild headache though I suspect that is more to do with the whiplash in my neck and back. Bought another tactic to replace it.
  • 2 1
 @topherdagopher: Who cares? You'll heal! How's the bike?
  • 1 0
 @topherdagopher: did they do a crash replacement price?
  • 2 0
 @pakleni: true just pointing out that there isn’t much healing to do because the helmet did it’s job well. Bike is unscathed! First thing I checked.

@andrewbikeguide honestly I didn’t even ask but I should have. Picked up a new one for $85.
  • 1 0
 @topherdagopher: That's good. Happy for you..
  • 1 0
 @tmtb999: I bought one when it came out. Point is: the Lazer doesn't seem to fully envelop the skull enough.
  • 2 0
 I have a Lazer G1 for road and a Lazer Jackal Kineticore in my mtb helmet colection and they are both my go too helmets. The Kineticore is awesome
  • 2 0
 I've been super happy with my Strada Kineticore. Super comfortable and great airflow. I feel like it's maybe a bit bulky compared to some road/gravel helmets I see around, but it was super affordable and idk how safe some of those lightweight roadie helmets are. It's also cool that Lazer offers snap-on shells for some of their helmets (for aerodynamics or just cold/wet weather). Much cheaper than buying multiple helmets (if you're into that kind of thing).
  • 2 2
 Why are there such a crazy number of brands in the mountain bike half-shell market? Is it possible that selling a piece of foam with a bit of plastic & padding in there for a standard rate of $100-$200 has such a generous profit margin that it's hard not to make money?
  • 2 0
 Helmets are also one of the highest selling pieces of bike equipment because of their necessity. So really adding it to any product line is a no brainer.
  • 7 2
 You're right, a 'generous' profit margin is not enough.

Introducing the 2023 Specialized S-Works pro turbo MIPS Sweatguard ebike compatible helmet. Only $799.99! Not compatible with bikes under $10K.
  • 2 0
 Testing is expensive
  • 2 3
 @ryan77777: MIPS?! That is so outdated. The 2023 Specialized S-Works pro turbo Sweatguard e-bike compatible helmet will also be available with Wavecel for only $899.99!

@FULL-SEND-ER: Is it? I mean how many of these helmets do they run through during testing? Each costs like maybe $20 maximum to manufacture. Don't get me wrong, this helmet is by no means too pricy, especially compared to other very overpriced half-lids. But, using KinetiCore should save them even more money since they won't have to license MIPS.

In general, I think we're all getting a bit shafted on these, just my 2 cents
  • 2 0
 Liability insurance to sell helmets is expensive. Big barrier to entry.
  • 1 0
 @ryanandrewrogers:

available with Wavecel - so no where to stick your glasses when you are climbing
  • 1 0
 About the Kineticore thing, might be worthy to mention that they have a model available in both Kineticore and MIPS versions, the Jackal. Both got tested by Virginia Tech and the MIPS one got a better score. Food for thought
  • 3 0
 However, the Lazer Coyote Kineticore scored higher than the Lazer Coyote MIPS. So its not a cut and dry comparison.
  • 1 0
 @ratedgg13:

While not a completely cut and dry comparison, no helmet with kineticore scored above 50th place. And the coyote kineticore was 80th (coyote mips is 4 stars and 120th). I personally wouldn't buy a helmet that had 79 helmets that out preformed it.
  • 3 0
 @Tim-bikes-a-lot: unless it was the one that fit your head the best! Fit is the first aspect of higher safety: more likely to be worn and more likely to be in the right place on the rider's head.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide:

No disagreement there! Proper fit and actually wearing it are both very important.

I wish more companies would send their helmets to VT before releasing them.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: I totally agree with you there. There's no point buying a helmet which looks cool and doesn't fit your head properly.
  • 1 0
 Just picked one up. Nice fit and finish and no extra MIPS liner to creak about. Magnetic buckle is cool at this price point. Big fan.
  • 2 0
 That ear-thingy ain’t protected. That’s a rip out waiting to happen……
  • 1 0
 Good looking helmet at a good price. A new helmet is next on my list of bicycle and bicycle related accessories.
  • 1 0
 I would have liked to see a front picture with the helmet on. Also that ear piecing must have really hurt.
  • 1 0
 Never mind, click the picture and there are more options.
  • 1 0
 100 dollars for the right of safety!
  • 1 0
 Tried one on, and it fit great, but I like a hi-viz color, so no dice.
  • 1 0
 Ia this a kid helmet?
  • 1 3
 Helmet value trending up but head units not. New solar edge 540 coming in at $550. Thats more than a ps5- bruh, mega steep
  • 1 0
 My bad- $450. Still tho.
  • 1 2
 Costco has multi sports mips helmets for $40.00CDN, in stock right now.
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