Rudy Project Spectrum helmet review

By Robin Willmot

Pros: Distinctive looks, high quality and good ventilation

Cons: Some glasses clash, no MIPS option


As seen atop Bahrain Merida’s Dylan Teuns, Rudy Project’s Spectrum helmet has a very open look for an aero-focused design with five prominent front vents: two on top of the head, and eight large exhaust ports at the rear.

Its In Mould design fuses three matt-effect polycarbonate shells to the EPS foam core and protects exposed edges from wear and tear.

Internally, the Rudy RSR 10 retention system’s broad occipital cradle adjusts through seven heights, and also for volume via a central dial.

Its Bug Stop Padding has mesh across the front-facing vents to keep flying critters at bay, but normal pads are provided, too. My large example, for 59 to 63cm heads, with standard pads fitted, weighed 293g.

It’s a great fit on round rather than oval head circumferences, and provides good temple coverage.

The lightweight straps are robust enough not to flap or twist, and remain comfortable even on hot days, with minimal sweat absorption or heat retention. If you like storing your glasses on your helmet, the outer ports accept most arms and keep them secure.

I used the Spectrum during a Canadian trip earlier this year that involved a mixture of fast road and slow gravel riding. For two days I had the mesh pad fitted and felt that at slow speeds that were often below 10mph, it did hinder ventilation a little in temperatures that were in the high 20s.

For the 65-mile Grinduro event, I swapped to standard pads and that seemed to improve airflow through the six internal channels enough that I found the Spectrum very comfortable for five hours in the saddle.

Rudy’s Air Frame Band is a perforated plastic strip that suspends the brow pad above the helmet, allowing it to cool and dry as you ride.

My only gripes are that the arms of some sunglasses clash a little with the helmet and that there’s no MIPS version. Otherwise, the Spectrum is a high-quality helmet with modern looks and impressive performance.