Specialising in helmets and eyewear across cycling, snow and watersports, Rudy Project might not be the first brand to come to mind when you think of urban lids, but it certainly has a lot to offer.
The Central + aims to blend top-end protection with sleek city style – although this won’t be to everyone’s taste, and to me it feels a little… equestrian.
It’s available in matte black or white and you can easily replace the straps in red, pink, sky blue or silver for a brighter touch. Be careful how you store the helmet when not in use, though, because the matte paint can get scuffed easily.
For more customisation, you can remove the sturdy peak to replace it with a flip-up face shield with clear, grey or orange lenses, although this is an optional extra.
The helmet is formed from expandable polystyrene (EPS), which is injected into the polycarbonate shell during manufacture, resulting in a helmet that not only reduces the effect of an impact but is surprisingly lightweight too. It weighs in at 292g, just over the 270g claimed.
I’m glad to see there’s also reflective detailing on the rear to aid visibility in low light.
The front two mesh-lined vents mercifully stop flying critters getting too familiar, which sit alongside generous, soft padding. These pads are responsible for how comfortable the Central + feels when you’re wearing it, and are easily removed for cleaning or replacement when they inevitably get a bit stinky.
All of this adjustability and customisation comes at a cost of £89.99. Although perhaps this is a touch more than what you’d pay for some other urban helmets, being able to replace both pads and straps could extend the life of the helmet, and certainly adds value.
Choose from S/M (54 to 58cm) or L (59 to 61cm) sizes, dialled in with the retention system on the back to get a finely tuned fit, even on the go.
Twinned with the adjustable strap dividers, it’s easy to get a close fit for a range of head shapes. The only thing that’s missing here is a good retention system for the excess chinstrap when tightened as it tends to flap about unsecured.