A sleek, stealthy-looking aero helmet with impressive ventilation and all-round comfort
Stealthy, low-key aesthetics
Comprehensive fit and micro-adjustable retention dial
Excellent strap management
Printed as opposed to stick-on graphics
Chrome-coloured retention cradle doesn't suit aesthetic
Matte finish can show up dirt and marks
You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.
When it comes to the best road bike helmets and best cycling sunglasses, Rudy Project is one of the pioneers with a lineage that dates back decades. The Italian company is known for pushing the design envelope and is not afraid of incorporating bright, sometimes leftfield colourways to stand out from the anonymity of what is fast becoming a saturated market.
Rudy Project's latest helmet offering, the Nytron, makes no qualms about its intentions: it's an aero helmet at heart but also tackles the notion of ventilation with wind tunnel-tested results. Despite the bold claims, a helmet is always going to be a personal consideration - especially when it comes to its most important attribute, the fit. We've been using it for the past two months to see whether it performs in the real world.
Design, aesthetics and specifications
Rudy Project has nailed the design and colour treatment of the Nytron helmet. As someone who prefers stealthier hues, the black and grey colour theme of the model pictured here works well to accentuate the helmet structure and form, aiding it to work well with any kit colour combination. While it's easy for manufacturers to get carried away when it comes to branding, the Nytron benefits from just the right amount so as not to cheapen the look.
It's available in three colourways: black (pictured here), white, and red/black, all of which come in a matte finish. As Rudy Project's premier aero helmet, it's already been used by WorldTour outfit Bahrain Victorious, both during last year's Tour de France and Spring Classics. A prominent standout - and this is something we've seen employed across the brand's premium offerings - is the refined logo treatment and graphic placement. There are no decals here. Instead, the Rudy Project wordmark on the flanks and logo on the front, are painted on which lifts the quality of the package.
The helmet, however, is not without design faux pas with the most notable being the 'Nytron' sticker on the rear and chrome treatment of the retention cradle. The chrome does nothing to benefit the look and feel of the helmet while the sticker comes across more as an afterthought than anything else. That said, on the whole, the Nytron - like its Italian sibling the Met Manta - is leading the design charge as far as the best aero helmets are concerned.
In terms of sizes offered, the Nytron is available in two options: S-M (55-58cm) and Large (59-61cm). Our S-M helmet weighed in at 263g on our scales and while this isn't particularly heavy, it does represent a 13g disparity with the advertised 250g weight.
As an aero-specific helmet, the Nytron was designed and engineered in collaboration with aerodynamic experts Swiss Side who performed extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel testing. As a result, the Nytron’s 15-ventilation-port design blueprint incorporates four In-Mould EPS liners that not only provide exceptional safety and protection measures but also help with ventilation.
Speaking of safety, the Nytron also benefits from Rudy Project's WG11 rotational impact test which measures the performance of the helmets against rotational impacts. Using the BRIC (Brain Injury Criterion) method, Rudy Project was able to crash test the Nytron to establish its concussive value of 0.24 which is well below the 0.60-0.68 baseline values.
Ride experience and performance
Winter is a tricky time of the year to test the ventilation of an aero helmet as the colder temperatures compensate for issues such as heat soak. That's not to say the Nytron isn't well ventilated because it is - the temperature versatility is impressive and there's enough venting to allow heat to escape. I used the December period and Rapha Festive 500 to bank as much testing time as possible and came away mightily impressed by its cooling properties - which were especially noticeable when used in combination with a cap/skully.
As previously mentioned, the Nytron is offered in two sizes (S-M and L) which should cater for most head dimensions. The helmet comes fitted with an RSR 10 dial retention system complete with micro-adjustability. While Rudy Project lists it as a unisex option, those with ponytails might struggle to find the perfect fit - the space between the retention dial and base of the helmet is minimal. On a personal level, the Nytron provided a comprehensive and stable fit. It feels neither bulky nor heavy and high-set flanks help it play nicely with most contemporary cycling sunglasses.
That said, it's not without fault. The matte finish does have a propensity for showing up scuffs and oily fingerprints, and while the Nytron is pretty quiet at higher speeds, wind noise does start to become apparent when moving your head or checking behind you.
Aero helmets have a tendency to sometimes look a bit mushroom-like when viewed front on but Rudy Project has nailed the design of the Nytron - it looks great and the colour palette of the range has enough variation to sate even the most critical cycling sartorialists.
It feels fast, provides adequate cooling (granted we haven't tested it in warmer weather so we'll need to revisit this point) can be used with a host of different sunglasses and the adjustable fit can be personalised thanks to the handy RSR 10 retention dial.
So what's the catch? Well, at £199.99 / $324.99 / €199.90 there are cheaper aero helmets available, but each one comes with a separate list of pros and cons. Having sampled most of its rivals, the Rudy Project Nytron is one of the better options in the segment. It looks good, feels fast and has one of the best fits currently available.
Tech Specs: Rudy Project Nytron helmet
- Price: £199.99 / $324.99 / €199.90
- Weight: 263g (actual, medium)
- Rotational safety: Rudy Project WG11
- Retention: RSR 10-dial adjustable
- Aero: Yes
- Sizes: 2 ( S-M and L)
- Colours: Black Matte, White Matte, Red/Black Matte
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1