The Protera MTB Helmet is the first MTB-specific helmet from Rudy Project, a brand best known for road cycling eyewear and helmets. Last year we had first saw the new MTB offerings at the Sea Otter Classic. For a road brand, the Protera MTB helmet looked like a more than respectable trail helmet; it was the moment I picked one up that impressed me with its light weight. It also fit my head, so I was more than happy to take one home with me to try on XC and multi-surface gravel rides.
Features (via Rudy Project)
- Listed weight: 320 grams
On the bike
The Protera is Rudy Project’s first go at creating an MTB helmet and we’re impressed at all the boxed checked. It has the extended coverage in the rear we look for in an MTB specific helmet but they left the additional weight out, making it ideal for a big day of riding on the bike.
Vent holes are large and do a fine job routing air through the helmet; key for those hard efforts on the bike. I found the Protera was an excellent helmet to reach for when headed out trail riding, on the gravel bike, or commuting, as it was well suited for anything where the minimal weight and all-day comfort is the priority.
The visor has a nice range of adjustability, and while you can pair the helmet with goggles, it doesn’t quite raise high enough to stash the goggles. I found myself wearing it the most frequently on the daily during the warm summer months, as the excellent fit, ventilation and lightweight added a lot of value, especially paired with the lifestyle-oriented Spinair glasses, which were great for casual happy hour sessions after work.
I do wish it was available in an all-black option. (update- an all-black model is now available here)
The first item we expect the average mountain biker to inquire about these days when it comes to helmets is regarding slip-plane protection. And while we’re always open to getting as much possible protection in a product, we recommend choosing your helmet starting with the first as the priority. I’ve crashed enough times to value a helmet that stays in place over anything else, and while MIPs and the various slip plane protection is a nice additional feature, they may or may not play well or help enhance fit.
While on the subject of fit, I often have a challenge finding helmets that fit. Many helmet mold shapes are biased toward oval-shaped heads. Having more of a round head means I often have to size up to even fit into a helmet, the least optimal option. The S-M Rudy Project fits me well though, as it has a more rounded profile, so if you have a similar challenge with fit, it is definitely worth taking a close look.
The Rudy Project Protera MTB Helmet lists for $199. Learn more at RudyProjectna.com