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Racing the Trans-Sylvania Epic in the Lazer Ultrax

Racing the Trans-Sylvania Epic in the Lazer Ultrax (image courtesy of TSEpic Media Team)

Lazer produces a wide range of MTB helmets from XC race to full-face DH. The Ultrax tested here is an all-around trail helmet that packs in the features for its inexpensive retail price of $89.

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Design

Following current mountain bike helmet trends, the Ultrax provides extended coverage for the back of the head. Lazer also integrates a reflector into the rear of the helmet for additional visibility when riding at night. Around front, there’s a visor that can be adjusted up or down.

Lazer Helmet

The Matte White helmet I tested has subtle grey accents for a low-key look. If you prefer something a little bolder, there are Flash Orange, Cyan Blue, and Camo color options. A Matte Black colorway is also available, although I find black helmets to be a poor choice for the hot Georgia summers. On the subject of heat, the Ultrax features 23 large vents to keep your dome cool.

Lazer uses their Autofit system on this helmet, which allows you to fine tune the fit via a dial on the rear of the helmet. As you would hope, the helmet meets CE (European), CPSC (US), and AS (Australian) standards for safety.

Riding Impressions

I typically have a tough time finding a mountain bike helmet that fits my head well. My head is large but also narrow, so I wear a medium-sized helmet in some brands and a large in others. The Ultrax I tested was a large and while the fit wasn’t perfect, it was comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time.

The Autofit dial was easy to use. With a couple of twists, I could snug the helmet up before a descent and then back it off for extended climbs.

The straps gave me a little trouble, though. Even after plenty of fiddling around, I couldn’t quite find a position where they were not rubbing the front of my ears. After the straps broke in a little bit, they were more comfortable, but the issue never went away entirely.

As far as heat goes, the Ultrax breathed extremely well. With plenty of 90+ degree days here in Georgia, but I never felt like my head was overheating due to the helmet. The Matte White color also helps to keep head temps down.

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By Aaron Chamberlain
 

Crash Test

Most reviewers aren’t going to crash in a test helmet just to see how the helmet fares. However, crashing is a part of mountain biking. I had the dubious pleasure of crashing in the Ultrax while racing the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Slight damage to the winglets on the back of the helmet

Slight damage to the winglets on the back of the helmet

While riding a rocky ridge line on Stage 6, I lost my momentum trying to get up and over a ledge and fell backwards. The back of my head slapped back against a boulder below hard enough for me to briefly see stars. I actually said, “that’s why we wear helmets,” out loud while I picked myself up. The helmet definitely saved my noggin and apart from denting up one of the winglets on the back, there were no cracks or other damage.

Final Thoughts

Helmet choice is a matter of personal preference, both in terms of appearance and fit. On the appearance side, the Ultrax is exactly what I’m looking for in a mountain bike helmet. I really like its subdued looks. As for the fit, it’s a case of “close, but no cigar” for me. While it wasn’t uncomfortable, it just didn’t have the glove-like fit I want from my helmet.

Everyone’s head is different, though, so if you like the looks of the Ultrax, it’s worth a shot. With its long list of features and affordable price, it may be just what you need.

MSRP: $89

Thanks to Lazer for providing the Ultrax for review.

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