Picking up the new 2019 Rudy Project Strym, you start to wonder about the evolution of helmets in the Italian brand’s increasingly broad lineup. It features a good number of technologies found previously on the top-of-the offerings, its seductive appearance gives no hint about the modest price tag. The Strym is packed with high-end features, while adopting the latest trends in both fashion and design.
Last summer Rudy Project announced their new 2019 lineup which includes a mid-price road model called Strym. This model breaks with the design features which characterized previous helmets, it initiates a modern and fashionable upsurge by Rudy Project. Undoubtedly it’s the brand new style and the graphics we first recognize when looking at the design, but turning helmet over holds even more surprises!
Since we’re dealing with a helmet designed to protect the rider’s head, the main goal for the Strym was to maximize safety. Rudy Project stayed with the tried and trusted double in Mould construction, which combines the softer polyurethane inner foam with a hard polycarbonate outer shell. Furthermore, the composite structure extends over the back of the head instead of just the top section to help prevent the most prevalent type of injuries. This system is proven to offer the best protection for most of the possible impact situations.
Part of the helmet’s comfort is down to the effective ventilation – especially on hotter days. Rudy Project applied 16 huge vents joined by internal air channel to assist cooling the head surface thereby reducing body temperature. I would highlight the two horizontal vents just above the brim as I could literary feel air rushing through them pouring a welcome breeze over my forehead. As this part of the head is first to be covered up by sweat, a design that helps to dry it is certainly a bonus.
Just like the Spectrum model I tested previously, the Strym also employs the famed Airframe padding system.
Here the pads are not attached directly to the foam core, rather onto the head adjustment mechanism’s plastic band forms the helmets internal structure. This results in most the padding coming into contact with the skin, offering more effective sweat absorption along with better comfort by spreading out surface pressure. The pads have a mesh structure, one side taking up the sweat while the other is cooled by the incoming breeze in the internal air channels. This type of premium padding is usually found on the top-of-the-line helmets on the market. Moreover, the level of quality and softness is very rare to see in the mid-price range, making the Strym unique in this respect as well. And in case the pads need replacing, the local distributor offers spares, lending the helmet a new lease of life. This model certainly deserves a potential refurbishment!
Rudy Project has always been at the forefront when it comes to helmet (and eyewear) comfort, and the Strym is ready to continue the trend. It features height adjustment as well as the renowned RSR10 ratchet mechanism providing 3D adjustment. The helmet easily adapts to virtually any head shape: in my case playing around for about half of a minute with the controls provided a perfect fit. The straps have easy to use buckles with practical rubber clips to hold the surplus strip in a tidy fashion. Women are also catered for as there is a sizeable opening between the lower back of the helmet and the height adjustment straps for virtually any hair plait style. All in all, we cannot but conclude that the Strym proposes an extremely though-out package, much belying its price tag.
Getting used to the Strym was an easy affair thanks partly to its excellent adjustment system. In fact it proved to be one of the best fitting helmets I have ever tried, it went virtually unnoticed during the rides. I couldn’t detect any of the contact points, the helmet caused no rubbing or chafing of any kind. There is not a single complaint I could devise, and it’s absolutely on par with my day to day helmet, the much more pricy Rudy Project Spectrum. I know well that helmet fit is a subjective matter, but other riders tend to give much the same feedback, making me convinced that the design will work for the general cycling public.
Let’s turn to ventilation! I have to say that I did most of the riding during the heatwave in July, and had no major issues with heat accumulation. I’ve not only ridden in the Strym on the road, but on the trails as well, where the tempo is somewhat less intense, hence there is lower air speed for cooling. In fact Rudy Project is quick to point out that the Strym is not a dedicated road helmet, rather a multi-purpose design for everyday use. I think it’s well suited for mountain biking and touring as well unless you require a visor. The Airframe padding system seem to work quite well, but some may prefer the conventional spongy pads for better sweat absorption. If you’re the sweaty type like me, some of the perspiration will inevitably roll down the head with this thinner mesh type padding.
I cannot but recommend the Strym helmet from this prestigious Italian brand, which provides excellent comfort and versatile adjustment for a very reasonable price. The affordability means that it’s accessible to the wider public, providing stylish protection for most types of bike riding. Available in no less than 8 great colors, the Strym will likely to make a significant impact on the helmet market.