Rudy Project: Sterling Cycling Helmet Review
A short while ago I received and reviewed a race kit sent to me by Rudy Projects. It was a great experience and their race kit has become a staple in my usual ‘go-to’ training gear options. There’s a lot to be said for well-made, reliable training gear that you can count on and the Rudy Projects products I reviewed exceeded all of my expectations. With that said, you can imagine how thrilled I was when they sent me one of their helmets to test and review as well. So, how did the helmet measure up to my race kit experience? Read on to find out!
Weighing in at 12 oz, Rudy Project’s Sterling helmet is noticeably light. It doesn’t take but a few seconds of having it on to forget completely that you do in fact have it on. The inner lining is soft and flexible, and really adds to the “barely” there feeling. The helmet I received was of the white/shiny blue variety but this particular model comes in a variety of color options including bright, lively, eye-catching hues such as fluorescent green, yellow and pink. I can’t lie, even just in terms of design and “look”, I thought this helmet just plain looked cool and it also looked as if it would do a good job of keeping me cool.
In addition to the weight of the helmet, any cyclist will tell you that when it comes to cycling helmets, a good fit is crucial. As a rule of thumb a good, properly fitted helmet should be snug but not so tight it hurts. Helmets I have worn in the past sometimes take a few minutes (and plenty of man-handling) to adjust to my personal settings (aka wrangling onto my BIG head) but with RP’s retention dial system, adjusting the Sterling for was extremely easy and took mere seconds; It was simply a matter of turning the dial to it’s widest position, placing the helmet on my head and then turning the dial to fit my head. There was no tugging and adjusting straps and because of that, something as basic and simple as a dial saved me some unnecessary elbow grease and a whole lot of frustration. The chinstrap came with a standard easy to snap, one-click clasp and with a plush 6 inch strip of padding for the chin. I was amazed how much more comfortable I found the Sterling’s chin strap because of this extra bit of padding.
The Sterling by default comes with a built in eye-wear docking system which made my typical method of putting my sunglasses in the helmet vents null and void. I was weary about whether or not this would work at first but even on my first try, the system kept my sunglasses in place. Honestly, this is probably one of my favorite components of the helmet!
In terms of circulation, helmet vents increase wind-flow over your head, and also aid in keeping you cooler and more comfortable as you ride. Generally speaking, the more vents you have, the cooler you are likely to be. The Sterling has a total of eight teen vents, which was about four more vents then most helmets I have worn. Personally, I found that those four extra vents made a world of difference. In the past, I sometimes felt smothered by my helmet at the end of a long ride and gained much relief from taking it off, but with the Sterling there were times I stopped riding and actually forgot to take my helmet off simply because I could barely feel it and I believe that was because not only was the helmet light but the extra vents had helped keep my head from overheating.
The Sterling came with a soft carrying bag, removable bug stopper & free padding, all of which came in very handy for the bike rides and races I wore the Sterling during. This was especially true for the bug stopper which was a excellent “gnat guard” on a handful of my summer rides. I also love that the bug guard is both removable and washable. The soft carrying bag gave me an additional option for protection in terms of storing the helmet in my transition bag as well as in the trunk of my car. I haven’t yet used the free padding but knowing that eventually the need will exist, I am pleased to have it on hand.
The Sterling is a light, comfortable and extremely well made helmet. It kept me cool, dry and most importantly, protected and it did it in style! This has become my number one helmet for the season and I foresee it making an appearance in my future seasons as well.