by Greg May
May 10, 2013
Functional XC lid with a retention system that happens to work uncommonly well for those riders with ponytails or mullets...
I look for very few things in a helmet. I tend to stay away from colours and peaks. Comfort and simplicity are important to me. The Nirvana from Lazer ticks these off my list straight away. It goes on my head and I get on with riding. I don’t notice it, I don’t need to fiddle with it.
I was surprised that the ‘Rollsys’ retention system managed to keep the helmet attached to my oddly proportioned head. It survived winter duties with a variety of hats underneath it with no feeling of something in the way. Although not feeling as secure as my normal helmet (Kask Mojito), it was surprisingly effective and quite a turnaround from the other systems on the market. During night rides I never felt that unease that comes with a helmet dive and loss of vision due to the added weight of attached lights. This is probably due to the relatively lightweight nature of the Nirvana, but the snug fit also contributes to this. At 255g it is no top-end feather-weight, but neither is it heavy at its price point. With 21 vents the cold winter air always blew over my head, and I never felt like I was being dipped into a lake of fire as I do with many mountain bike-targeted helmets.
However, the little roller that is used to tighten the Rollsys is a fickle lover at best. Sometimes it would lock out if over-adjusted towards the open setting requiring some Tourette’s-inducing anger to get it to come unstuck. Eventually it broke and required a trail-side cable tie bodge followed by a Superglue permanent fix to keep it in order. Not something to scoff at, but something to be aware of for the more cack handed, impatient riders among us. Namely me.
After breaking her own helmet, my ponytail-sporting other half borrowed the helmet for a few weeks. She commented that it fitted better than any other mountain bike helmet she’d tried due to the lack of depth in the retention cup. Bonus.
A light helmet with an unobtrusive fit that just gets on with the job without breaking the bank. Would I buy one…. no, I still hate peaks. Pauline did consider it when looking to get a new lid. However, she loves her Spuik lid. Perhaps one to look at for those of us males still sporting mid-90s grunge haircuts. Or female riders looking for something that just works with a ponytail.