Sea Otter: New helmets from Giant, Lazer and Smith

Camera mounts, improved safety and budget-priced full face protection

Helmets Sea Otter Classic

2015 Sea Otter Classic

This trail lid features an integrated camera mount that provides optimal POV positioning.

This trail lid features an integrated camera mount that provides optimal POV positioning (click to enlarge).

Long gone are the days when a mountain bike helmet was little more than a glorified piece of day-glow-colored Styrofoam wrapped around your head. Today’s brain protectors offer a variety of high-tech functionality, solid styling, and most importantly, protection in case of a crash. Here are four new lids that caught our eye during last month’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California.

Nice clean integration between the Rail and a GoPro.

Nice clean integration between the Rail and a GoPro (click to enlarge).

Giant Rail ($130)

We all know about Giant’s vast array of bikes. (It’s the world’s biggest bike maker after all.) But the global cycling behemoth is making a big push into head protection. The new Rail is a sharp looking trail helmet with ample front-to-back protection and oversized cooling vents, plus a wealth of functional features, including an adjustable visor, rear goggle strap, and an integrated camera mount that provides optimal POV positioning. Claimed weight is 265 grams size medium. Available in five colors, including orange/yellow. There’s also a women’s version with all the same features dubbed the Liv Infinita ($130) More info at www.giant-bicycles.com

Good looks and a solid value at $100.

Good looks and a solid value at $100 (click to enlarge).

Lazer Phoenix+ ($100)

Full face protection doesn’t have to cost a proverbial nose and chin. The updated Lazer Phoenix+ is just one hundred dollars and has a redesigned chin and mouth guard that sits further from the face for better ventilation. The Phoenix+ is constructed from fiberglass composite and has multiple thickness padding inside. Other features include an adjustable visor, six cooling vents and a claimed weight of 1000 grams. We also love the new colors, especially the matte gray with yellow. Available starting June 1. More info at www.lazersport.com

You wont get lost in the woods with these bright colors.

You wont get lost in the woods with these bright colors (click to enlarge).

Lazer Magma ($100)

For XC riders on a budget, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value than the Magma. Twenty-two vents help keep you cool, while the innovative Rollsys retention system provides an even, snug fit that’s easily adjusted on the fly. Claimed weight is 240 grams for a size medium. More info at lazersport.com

An inside look at Smith's Aerocore construction featuring Koroyd, which creates a low volume helmet with ventilated protection.

An inside look at Smith’s Aerocore construction featuring Koroyd, which creates a low volume helmet with ventilated protection (click to enlarge).

Smith Forefront MIPs ($260)

For an extra measure of protection, Smith has introduced MIPs technology into its line of mountain bike helmets. This full-coverage helmet features Aerocore construction featuring Koroyd, which creates a low volume helmet with ventilated protection that fully integrates with your sunglasses, goggles, lights, or POV camera. The addition of MIPs is claimed to up the safety factor by adding a low friction layer that allows the helmet to slide relative to the head during an impact. More info at www.smithoptics.com and www.mipshelmet.com.

This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2015 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympics, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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