lazer cage kineticore
(Images/Frank Martinez for Shimano)

Safest Full-Face Helmet? Lazer ‘Cage KinetiCore’ Receives First 5-Star Rating

Love to bomb big hills but don’t like to hazard breaking your face? Check out the highly endorsed new Lazer Cage KinetiCore.

For concussion safety testing, it doesn’t get a whole lot more highly regarded than the Virginia Tech (VT) Helmet Lab. For 15 years, researchers at the Blacksburg, Va., facility have put brain buckets to the test across several disciplines and expressed their findings via a 5-star system.

Enter the first-ever full-face bicycle helmet to get a published 5-star (read: best possible) protection rating from the experts at VT.

The Lazer Cage KinetiCore arrives today with rotational and direct impact protection thanks to the proprietary tech’s “controlled crumple zones.” The target is multidirectional impact protection. And an economy of material helps keep the Cage lightweight and cool inside.

lazer cage kineticore
(Photo/Frank Martinez for Shimano)

Ten years of research culminated in the design, Lazer said, and you can find multiple other user-comfort features on board.

Lazer, a Shimano subsidiary, said it built the Cage “for the modern downhill and enduro racer pushing their limits on course,” noting that its airflow can help riders stay cool both on the way up and the way down.

lazer cage kineticore
(Photo/Frank Martinez for Shimano)

What Is ‘KinetiCore?’

KinetiCore is Lazer’s answer/alternative to MIPS rotational impact limiting technology. The key differentiation point is that Lazer limits material cost and plastics by removing as much EPS foam as possible. The resulting crumple zones function a lot like those on car panels; they serve to diffuse impact by collapsing according to design.

Functionally, MIPS works by allowing the helmet’s exterior to “slip” on an interior liner and thus move independently of the wearer’s head. Lazer says its design doesn’t sacrifice safety for the wearer but promotes better breathability.

Lazer Cage KinetiCore interior
(Photo/Frank Martinez for Shimano)
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Included on the Cage, it plays a critical role in the superlatively-rated VT Helmet Lab design. The lab specializes in injury biomechanics, investigating human tolerance to impact loading. In particular, the lab focuses on concussion prevention. KinetiCore’s crumple zones fall into a crossover discipline for the lab due to their research in automobile safety.

Other Features, Claimed Weight, MSRP of the Lazer Cage KinetiCore

The Cage also gets user-friendly inclusions like a magnetic chinstrap buckle, a sticky strip on the back to help hold goggles in place, and neck brace compatibility. Each helmet comes with two different sets of cheek pads to dial in sizing. And American Society for Testing and Materials Certification (ASTM) gives it the green light for downhilling.

lazer cage kineticore
The Lazer Cage KinetiCore’s carbon fiber construction; (photo/Frank Martinez for Shimano)

Carbon fiber also helps keep the weight to a minimal 820 g (claimed) in a size medium. The Lazer Cage KinetiCore full-face helmet comes in sizes XS-XL to fit everyone from toddlers to adults with 64cm noggins. It comes in three matte finishes and costs $299 MSRP. Check it out over at Lazer’s website.

Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.