The Abus Hud-Y Helmet is well-styled for urban use and comes with commuter-friendly features including a bright USB-rechargeable rear LED. It's a little on the expensive side, though, and the narrow fit won't suit everyone.
One of several urban styled helmets in Abus's range, the Hud-Y is similar to the Urban-I 3.0 MIPS I tested last year, but with a few notable differences. It doesn't, for example, come with Mips, despite costing £20 more (the Urban is now £109.99), but whereas the Urban-I 3.0 MIPS has a quite fiddly battery-powered rear LED, the Hud-Y has a USB-rechargeable whopper that attaches to the helmet with a sturdy magnet.
Packing a claimed 9 lumens on max, it is pretty bright and makes for a genuinely useful extra safety element on urban roads. It simply pops into the rear of the helmet, secured with an effective magnet.
It charges from dead via USB cable in around two hours, and on full whack lasts about two and a half hours, though it also has a dimmer setting, a surge mode and a flashing mode which last much longer still.
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Like many urban lids, the Abus Hud-Y has a deep fit. It felt quite narrow on my head, but not uncomfortably so, and though it's not a light helmet it didn't feel over-heavy.
The highly padded interior cradle is both height and circumference adjustable, with a sliding adjuster for height (designed to help accommodate pony tails too) and a dial mechanism to adjust the overall fit.
The strap is fully adjustable and features a soft chin-pad as well as a beefy but easy-to-use Fidlock magnetic buckle.
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Two large central vents channel air through the helmet, starting low at the front and with a large rear port on each side of the LED unit, and kept my head from overheating.
There's also a detachable visor, which helps keep out rain and sun. Abus claims it's adjustable, but I couldn't work out how, given that there is only one set of holes for attaching it.
A double whammy of the bright rear LED and plenty of reflective accents all over the helmet make for a reassuringly visible design. The high-vis Signal Yellow colour of the helmet on test just adds to that, but the Hud-Y is available in a choice of seven colours, most of which are more subdued.
Value and conclusion
At £129.99, this sits at the upper end of the spectrum of urban helmets, particularly non-Mips-equipped ones. However, the genuine usability and functionality of the removable LED unit adds value in my opinion.
The Met Mobilite Mips that Matt reviewed last year has gone down to £90, for example, and the Hud-Y is £20 more than the Abus Urban-I 3.0 MIPS I mentioned earlier. Both of those have battery-powered LEDs, though, whereas the Hud-Y's is USB rechargeable and impressively effective, and I reckon the ease of charging and brighter output are worth the extra.
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Also, given a weight difference of around 55g between the Mips and non-Mips Urban-I 3.0, you'd probably be looking at quite a weighty option for a Mips Hud-Y.
Overall, considering the combination of the secure fit, sturdy construction, and extra visibility of the LED rear light and reflectives, I found the Hud-Y very reassuring to wear and a genuinely competent urban-focused cycling helmet.
Comfortable and easy to adjust, with a genuinely bright and useful USB-rechargeable LED
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Make and model: Abus Hud-Y
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?
Designed to be an effective and stylish modern urban bike helmet.
From Abus' UK distributor, Extra:
"The futuristic new HUD-Y is the perfect companion in the city. This bike helmet stands for coolness and blends into any cityscape.
Take the deep fit of modern mountain bike helmets, the head shape of the GameChanger racing bike helmet and add a dose of sci-fi styling for the road. Now add the rechargeable, magnetically attached rear LED and voilà - you have a modern helmet for the city! At the back of the head is a magnetic USB light strip that has four different light modes. The light duration depends on whether Power Mode, Eco Mode, Blink Mode or Pulse Mode is active. In addition to more plain, classic colour designs, there are also signal colours, for example for groups of people who work in the security industry. For all those who ride their bike with style and protection, there is no better option than the ABUS HUD-Y Urban helmet."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Four shell in-mould design with shock-absorbing EPS outer shell
Height adjustable fit system to help accommodate pony tails
Wide-angle LED light with magnetic attachment, four light modes (max 9 lumens) and USB charging
ActiCage reinforcement of helmet structure
FidLock magnetic buckle
Laterally adjustable harness system
Available in M and L (adjustable to fit 54-58cm or 57-61cm)
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Very well made from what seem to be high-quality materials and components.
Rate the product for performance:
The helmet was comfortable, and the LED light was bright, effective and easy to use.
Rate the product for durability:
It's sturdy and well made, and should last. The option of a replacement LED light unit would be good as I could see that getting lost at some point, but it's not currently available.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Heavier than some, probably because of the beefy rear LED lighting unit.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Though slightly narrow for me it was still very comfortable thanks to the adjustable fit and the padded area on the strap.
Rate the product for value:
It's not the cheapest but the extra can be accounted for by the excellent functionality and usability of the rear LED light.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The style, the comfortable and easy to use magnetic buckle and under-chin pad, and the effective and easy to use rear LED light.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I found the fit slightly narrow, but not uncomfortably so.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £129.99, this sits at the upper end of the spectrum of urban helmets, particularly non-Mips-equipped ones. Met's Mobilite Mips is £90, and Abus' own Urban-I 3.0 MIPS helmet is £109.99 less (as well as 30g lighter), but both have battery-powered LEDs rather than the impressively effective and USB rechargeable one of the Hud-Y.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's very good – a well-designed and high-quality helmet, spot on for urban riding, and though not cheap, the addition of the bright, USB-rechargeable rear LED light adds real value in my opinion.
Age: 48 Height: 1.65m Weight: 77kg
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
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