The Rudy Project Strym helmet looks classy in this dark grey colour, fits my head really comfortably (and flatteringly low – no 'mushroom head' here), and is well ventilated. The strap dividers sit neatly below my ears, but – and it's a fairly big but – the non-adjustable strap is so long it means there's next to no adjustability of the other one. Pulled tight, the buckle sits so close to the under-ear divider that there's nowhere for the excess strap to live. It's annoying and an oversight on an otherwise really nice helmet.
- Pros: Fit, comfort, bug net, strap dividers
- Cons: Strap length/buckle placement
Aside from meeting safety standards, perhaps the most important thing about a helmet is the fit: it's got to be comfortable and suit your head shape. This one felt just right as soon as I put it on. It sits low on my head without interfering with my vision or my glasses. (It's not me in the photos, by the way.)
I'm not keen on helmets that have the padding stuck to the inner of the helmet – I always find those with a more flexible way of fitting around the head more comfortable, no matter how thick the pads. Here, the padding is part of the bug net, attached to the helmet with Velcro/equivalent (small 'hook' patches are stuck to the helmet itself, with larger 'loop' patches on the net allowing some adjustment), but at the front it sticks to what Rudy Project calls an 'Adaptive Air Frame Band'. This is fixed at two points either side of the front, so the centre is free to adapt to the shape of your forehead.
The retention system attaches at the same two points up front, so when you turn the dial at the rear (the 'RSR 10 Adjustable Retention System') it adjusts from those points – rather than pulling the Adaptive Air Frame Band any tighter. It works well.
The rear cradle can be moved up and down, just by pushing or pulling, though it does pull rather easily. Lowering it makes the helmet feel more secure on the head, and gives space to pull a ponytail through.
As I mentioned up top, the strap design is the helmet's only real flaw. I'm testing the 55-58cm helmet and don't have a particularly huge head, but the length of the non-adjustable strap means there's next to no room for adjusting the other one. The buckle already sits so far round my chin(s) that it's almost right up against the strap divider when adjusted correctly, leaving a good 10cm of spare strap.
If the non-adjustable strap was just a few cm shorter it'd be so much better. (Or if it was one long strap that could be fed through the helmet – which is what I initially thought could be done but can't, it's two separate straps.)
The strap dividers themselves (or 'Divider Pro Side Buckles') are great – similar to Specialized's Tri-fix splitters but better because they can be moved up and down to suit your ear size/shape/position, and – for me anyway – the straps sit tighter to my head than Specialized's non-adjustable ones.
It's a fairly breezy helmet, its 16 vents doing a good job of letting cool air in. Because I hate the idea of getting flying buzzy things stuck in my hair I nearly always wear a cap under my helmet so I might be overplaying how well vented the Strym is in comparison, but my head has felt cold – too cold some days – so it seems to work.
You could always remove the bug net if you put ventilation higher than repelling flying insects.
There's no Mips going on here – and you can spend less and still get Mips incorporated – but at 244g it's a decent weight for the money. Compared with those of a similar price, it's lighter than the £95 Specialized Propero III with Angi (313g, medium); it's also lighter than the £99.99 Sweet Protection Outrider (267g, medium) and the £99.95 Salice Ghibli (255g, size 52/58).
There are lighter lids: the S-Works Women's Prevail II I tested a couple of years ago is 189g, but costs another £80.
Overall, I'd say this is potentially a very good helmet – if you have a bigger chin and can make more use of the excess strap you'll like it more – but just a tweak of the non-adjustable strap for the rest of us would make it so much better.
A potentially very good helmet, limited only by the silly-long non-adjustable strap
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rudy Project Strym helmet
Size tested: Small/Medium
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Rudy Project says: "Lightness and ventilation for your everyday adventures. Clean and compact, Strym features the inner airframe and 16 vents strategically placed to enhance the air circulation and keep you always cool when pedaling. Thanks to the all new RSR 10 retention system, Strym ensures a customized and comfortable fit to athletes and weekend warriors."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Rudy Project:
The airframe frontal padding minimizes the sweating process inside the helmet enhancing the air circulation and avoiding the release of unpleasant smells and ensuring the best level of performance.
EPS IN-MOLD CONSTRUCTION
In-Mold technology allows us 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, allowing for better ventilation system. The combined action of the EPS structure, the polycarbonate cap and exo-skeleton creates resistance to the mechanical action exercised by an impact and dissipates the energy in order to prevent it from being transferred to the head of the person wearing the helmet.
RSR 10 RETENTION SYSTEM
The lightweight yet resistant RSR 10 adjustable retention system provides perfect personal fit. thanks to its wraparound structure and multiple micro-metric vertical and horizontal positions for the size adjustment.
Riders safety is one of the main goal of Rudy Project. Helmets, sunglasses and our bikewear collection are designed to provide the highest standard of performance and safety. All our lines are manufactured with finest materials while bright and fluorescent colours ensure perfect visibility on the road enhancing riders security and drawing drivers' attention
S-M (cm55 – 58 / 21,7' - 22,8') - L (cm59 – 61 / 23,2' - 24')
CE / EN 1078, CPSC12.03
A fair amount of exposed polystyrene, but all seems well made – no rough bits, nothing becoming detached.
It's not a heavy helmet, but it's pretty good compared with others around the same price.
The bug net might keep insects out (I can't claim for sure, as I don't know whether any were actually fended off), but it leaves a pronounced mark on my forehead when I remove the helmet.
It's better ventilated and lighter than some that cost more.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Fits well, easy to adjust, well vented.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The look and the fit – the way it sits quite low – plus the bug net. I HATE getting insects in my hair, and usually wear a cap to prevent it, which can get hot.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The length of the non-adjustable strap, which limits the adjustability of the other.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Although £95 isn't to be sneezed at – and you can get a lot of cheaper helmets – it's way cheaper than others.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I'd think about it.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – with a warning about the strap adjustability.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a really nice helmet – in looks and performance – and it's a reasonable price. But it'd be a higher score if it wasn't for the annoyingly-long non-adjustable strap.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Venon My best bike is: Paulus Quiros
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding
Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.