Gravel Grinder News: Shimano and Lazer Partner on Tropical Leaves Shoe and Helmet Combo

Gravel Grinder News: Shimano and Lazer Partner on Tropical Leaves Shoe and Helmet Combo – by MG

You know we’re on the tail end of winter when announcements like this come our way. Shimano and Lazer have teamed up to help you shed the winter gravel riding blues with a new limited-edition “Tropical Leaves” color scheme. Available on Shimano’s RX-801 gravel shoes, and Lazer’s excellent Strada KinetiCore helmet, the new color scheme is an ode to warmer days, and warmer rides, to come.

Detail of the Tropical Leaves pattern on the RX8 shoes. It looks even better in person. Image: Shimano

Shimano RX-801 Shoes

Frequent readers may recall that Guitar Ted and I are both avid fans of Shimano’s RX8 gravel shoes. The first-generation RX8s were winners, but that didn’t stop Shimano from making notable improvements to the updated RX-801 shoes available today. They’re more breathable and have a refined fit compared to the originals.

Features include:

  • BOA Li2 dial
  • Breathable synthetic leather upper
  • Stiff carbon composite sole
  • Scratch-resistant TPU outsole
  • Refined toe box fit
  • Vivid inkjet-printed Tropical Leaves graphics
  • Weight: 268 grams (size 42)

We’re in the middle of testing the second-generation shoes, in fact, so be sure to check out that review to learn more. MSRP on the special-edition RX-801 shoes is $275, the same as the other available colors.

Lazer Strada KinetiCore Helmet

Personal experience with the ScrollSys retention system on the Lazer Strada KinetiCore confirms it works well for folks with ponytails. Image: Shimano

Lazer’s Strada KinetiCore helmet scored a “best available” five-star protection rating in Virginia Tech testing, and it has quickly become a personal favorite as well. Priced right at $109.99 (US), the Strada KinetiCore offers fit and breathability that I typically associate with more expensive helmets. It’s one of the best bargains in cycling today, IMHO.

Lazer’s KinetiCore rotational impact protection technology is molded into the helmet foam, instead of requiring a secondary liner inside the helmet. In addition to protecting the head from rotational impacts, KinetiCore creates highly breathable channels that make for a very well ventilated helmet. The ScrollSys retention system is very comfortable and easy to adjust too, so there’s a lot to like with the Strada KinetiCore helmet.

Other features of the Strada KinetiCore helmet include:

  • Virginia Tech 5-Star protection rating
  • Lighter, cooler and more aerodynamic than the Blade+ MIPS
  • Weight: 290 grams
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL

I have samples of the new Tropical Breeze pieces in house, and they look even better in person than they do in the pictures. So if you’re feelin’ the breeze, act quickly. I suspect they’ll sell through quickly. Head over to the Shimano and Lazer sites to learn more and get some Tropical Breeze for yourself.


Note: Shimano and Lazer sent samples of these products to Riding Gravel at no charge for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.


Author: MG

Matt Gersib is the 2014 Gravel World Champion in the Fatbike category. He's also finished some of the most challenging gravel events in the country, including the Dirty Kanza XL, TransIowa and the Dirty Kanza 200, among others. In 2015, Gersib was an inaugural inductee into the DK200 "1,000 mile club" of five-time finishers. In addition to his gravel cycling, Gersib is an accomplished mountain bike racer, with numerous race wins and championships, including the 2012 Nebraska State Marathon MTB Championship.

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