Rudy Project Protera+ Helmet Review
Words & Photos by Ryan “Frenchie” Gagnon
Rudy Project recently released their Protera+ mountain bike helmet. Admittedly, Rudy Project isn’t a brand we really equate with cool mountain bike products, but their new Protera+ piqued our interest. Designed to be an all around mountain biker’s helmet, Rudy set out to design something that would be well-ventilated, comfortable and offer practical features that set it apart.
Rudy’s Protera+ features more lower head protection, a wraparound fit, quick change buckles and a goggle strap retainer that can also be used to secure sunglasses. Rudy offers the helmet in three color options: Black, Merlot and cool ocean.
Rudy uses an EPS In-Mold technology to cast the external polycarbonate outer shell directly during the injection stage of the expandable polystyrene (EPS) impact-absorbing foam. The result is a much more rigid structure which is knock-resistant and extremely light. The use of this construction allows for 18 vents to help air flow through the helmet nicely. Sweat management was handled nicely thanks to the Dry Foarn and X-Static antibacterial pads and ventilation.
Something that is unique to Rudy helmets is the Strap Quick Change feature. It allows a simple and user-friendly removal of the straps for washing or if you’d like to purchase different colored straps to match with your kit or bike.
The Protera+ helmet uses Rudy’s RSR9 retention system to ensure a secure and snug fit. The system allows for micro-metric adjustments and positions so that different sized and shaped heads will have an equally comfortable and protected fit.
I found that the Protera+ fit comfortably around my head. The retention system cradles the skull a little lower than some helmets, which didn’t bother me during testing. It’s a cinch to tighten the rear RSR9 retention dial one-handed. I found that the visor screws are pretty low profile and were pretty difficult to adjust, but I appreciated that the screws never came loose during our test period.
A highlight for me was the Airframe design and ventilation. During long hot climbs in Southern California me head remained cool and I could feel the air circulation through the helmet.
Depending on the type of glasses you wear, you could have some issues with the retention system. Some of my “action” style glasses from Oakley and Smith had issues tangling or contacting the system a bit. I found that my lifestyle sunglasses fit the best because they have shorter arms.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Overall, I really like the helmet in terms of fit, looks and functionality. It’s a very spendy helmet to not have MIPS or another rotational impact protection design. At first the narrow visor was a bit of an issue for me, mostly from an aesthetic perspective, but over time I adjusted to it. If you’re looking for an alternative to the major players in the helmet game and kind of like that Euro-style flair, the Rudy Project Protera+ could be worth a look. It feels nice on my head and has some nice features like goggle or sunglasses retention and the Strap Quick Change that make it pretty cool and stand out at the trail.
No Rotational Impact Technology
LEAVE A COMMENT, WIN FREE SWAG!
Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top mountain and electric mountain bikes.