Highs: When Rudy makes a helmet, it’s usually quite good
We say: With pedigree of providing safe and comfortable helmets, we don’t expect any less from this one.
Rudy Project is one of the biggest names in road glasses and helmets, and up until now its mountain bike offerings have been more of a token gesture, such as its detachable peak that comes with some of its more modestly priced helmets. Now it's debuted the all-new Protera, and as a first crack at a mountain bike specific lid, it looks like a pretty decent effort.
The shape is pretty compact compared to most and it has a combination of mixed density EPS foam and a triple in-mould construction. The twin sections of the hard shell are moulded directly into the EPS core, which helps keep the weight down to 353g for a size large — certainly at the lower end of the scale for a trail lid. The temple shaping is designed to be goggle compatible.
Internally, the Protera comes fitted with a one-piece pad with built-in bug netting, but if you prefer a more open feel a set of open pads are included.
Rudy tells us that the Protera features an innovative integrated Airframe structure to both sets of pads which are engineered to minimise the sweating process inside the helmet. This is thanks to a Dry Foam and X-Static antibacterial textile; the foam doesn't absorb the sweat and the fabric quickly dries it.
While not a safety feature, we also like that the straps affix with a slotted clip system, so they can be removed for easy washing when they get filthy, can be replaced when they wear out or, if you're some sort of fashionista, they could be switched out for this year's colour.
Rudy’s Boost 01 TT helmet, as used by Bahrain Merida, is now joined by a second version. The Boost Pro takes the 01 shell and encloses the vents, while the tail section can be removed to switch between a long tail TT lid and a more modern short stubby design (in a similar fashion to Endura’s new D2Z helmet).
Rudy claims that the Pro version saves seven watts of drag over the Boost 01.