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
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.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.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.
Very well ventilated +
Comfortable and unobtrustive+
No dedicated glasses storage
|The 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
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.
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.
@andrewbikeguide honestly I didn’t even ask but I should have. Picked up a new one for $85.
Introducing the 2023 Specialized S-Works pro turbo MIPS Sweatguard ebike compatible helmet. Only $799.99! Not compatible with bikes under $10K.
@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
available with Wavecel - so no where to stick your glasses when you are climbing
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.
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.