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Rudy Project Nytron Helmet Extended Review

Our tester digs into one of our favorite aero road helmets of the year, Rudy Project's Nytron.

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I have been riding with the Rudy Project Nytron helmet for some months now—despite the fact that it still isn’t publicly available for another month (what can I say, I’m a lucky gear tester!). I have tested Rudy’s newest aero road helmet in enough variability of weather and routes to give a little more insight into the benefits and shortcomings of this lid.  TL;DR: I am just as happy with it now as I was when I first donned it. So let’s take a dive at why this is a great choice when considering purchasing a new helmet.

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Rudy Project Nytron: Fit

I find it suitable that Rudy Project partnered with Swiss Side for this helmet design, because I would classify the fit to “Being Switzerland.” By that, I mean it remains neutral. The shape sits right between a round and oval head. Padding is neither thin nor over-cushioned. Retention and adjustments are functional but not too over developed.  A nice touch that I’ve learned to love over time is the addition of a retention “hook” on the bottom of the Rudy Lock Buckle (which holds straps down below your ear) that allows the leftover strap material to be tucked in neatly. A nice detail to make you “feel” more aero.

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Rudy Project Nytron:Ventilation

Ahh, the breeze. I am not here to fool you. This is not the most ventilated helmet I have used. And on hot days when I know I will be climbing for a couple hours or more, I do reach for a more ventilated road helmet. However, on most days I prefer the overall benefits of the Nytron and enjoy that it does ventilate well—particularly for something with such impressive aerodynamic numbers over a fully vented counterpart.

If you are like me, your top tube looks like a Rorschach inkblot test, compliments of forehead sweat. However, having all the ventilation ports in the front with large exit ports at the rear effectively funnels the wind (and your sweat) away from your forehead—thus, keeping you cool. Unless you live in a climate where you find yourself riding in several hot days a year, this helmet will serve you well with sufficient ventilation.

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This is a well-balanced helmet. I appreciate that the helmet does not have a sense of wanting to tip fore/aft nor side to side. And it “feels” fast on appearance. I appreciate the absence of ventilation on the top of the helmet that you would expect to see on other “aerodynamic” helmets, as it gives the sense of drag reduction and speed. The helmet has great lines (in my opinion) and a truncated shape that is becoming increasingly more common amongst aero helmets—as opposed to a long tail that results in a rear heavy helmet. Speaking of weight distribution, the Nytron is only 250g! Impressive for any style helmet, but unbelievable for an aero road helmet.

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Rudy Project Nytron: Aerodynamics

It goes without saying that a product resulting from a partnership with Swiss Side will be aerodynamic. However, whether it be wheels, frames, or helmets, aerodynamic gains typically come at the cost of comfort. Rudy does not make claims that this is their go-to choice for maximum aerodynamics. In fact, they publish a chart detailing aerodynamic benefits (drag and time savings) as well as internal ventilation across their range of helmets (see below).

What the Nytron does well is achieve a balance between aerodynamics and ventilation that makes this helmet an excellent choice for both training and racing. The shape allows the helmet to remain firmly planted regardless of head position or even when turning your head. This may sound trivial, but I think that not having to get out of your aero tuck and readjust your helmet gives me the sense of time savings similar to being able to stay tucked and use an aero hydration choice, as opposed to sitting up to grab a drink from a water bottle. The more you can stay comfortably in your aero position, the faster you will be. There has been a recent emphasis on this fact when talking about the actual aerodynamic efficiency of a helmet, versus how it flows in a wind tunnel on a stationary head for a few minutes. For now, rest assured that your noggin is not going to be shifted around no matter the direction of wind. And if you do not find yourself in a wind tunnel with head-on laminar wind flow, the aero benefits of the Nytron are likely gained in real world conditions.

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One big bonus with the Nytron is the eyewear storage. If you use this helmet for racing, there is the time savings of having your sunglasses ready to go in T1. During training, nothing looks more pro than shades tucked neatly in the front of your helmet.

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My initial impression was that the Rudy Project Nytron could be a “quiver killer” of a helmet has only been strengthened over continued use. I appreciate having the aero benefits during training rides while competing with my friends (hey, every gain helps), and come summer of 2022 when the local sprint- and Olympic-distance races are calling my name, I will be reaching for this helmet.