Rudy Project Windmax helmet review£159.99

Airy pro-level lid

BikeRadar score4/5

First released in 2012, the Windmax continues to sit on top of Rudy Project’s range - as well as Peter Sagan’s head. The Windmax is a versatile lid, offering both elite-level road and mountain bike features in a comfortable and airy package.

With a total of 21 vents, including a massive central front port, the Windmax directs air through the helmet well, keeping you cool and dry.

It's available in two sizes - small/medium (54-58cm) and large (59-61cm) - and we found the fit comparable to other European helmets, such as those from Met, Kask and Lazer.

Our Australian safety standards-approved medium sample weighed 278g - it's claimed that the global models are a little lighter, at 220g. While not the lightest on the market, it’s a respectable weight, especially given the exterior hard-shell that extends well into the helmet, giving us confidence in the long-term durability and safety of this lid.

The plastic retention dial doesn't feel as solid as some others, but the rubber coated dial is simple to use whilst riding:
The plastic retention dial doesn't feel as solid as some others, but the rubber coated dial is simple to use whilst riding:

The large dial is easy to adjust while on the move

The plastic retention buckle provides a rubber-coated dial that’s easy to adjust while you're riding or with gloves on. The plastic construction may not feel as solid as others, but we never experienced any issues with it during our testing. The height adjustable retention strap is fixed half way along the helmet, which pushes your head forward in the helmet for a snug fit, but never caused discomfort. 

A perk of this side-mounted retention system is that it leaves plenty of space for women to tuck a ponytail through. Plus it feels just a little more airy at the back of your head.

A generous pad sits directly over the chinstrap buckle for additional comfort :
A generous pad sits directly over the chinstrap buckle for additional comfort :

Comfy pad for under the chin

The helmet’s straps are super thin and don’t retain moisture, while the basic chin buckle is covered by a comfortable and wicking pad. A simple plastic guide helps with strap adjustment under the ears - it's easy to adjust, sits flat and remains in place well.

Our Hi-Vis yellow sample offers a good level of visibility, and the fibre polymer reinforcing inserts provide an additional level of reflectivity along with the claimed structural support.

In addition to the summer pad set, the windmax includes a bug stopping internal pad set – something that we found was perfect for cooler months too :
In addition to the summer pad set, the windmax includes a bug stopping internal pad set – something that we found was perfect for cooler months too :

The bug-stopping mesh pad set is great, but does reduce the cooling effect on really hot days

The Windmax includes two different pad sets: a bug-protecting mesh-based set that also gives a little winter protection, and a more breathable summer set. Despite being attached with simple Velcro, switching between the pad sets is a tedious task - the summer set comprises nine individual pieces! Although this does mean you can personalise the fit, especially with a choice of thicknesses for the temple pads.

Outside of Australia, the Windmax includes two snap-in visors that use the holes at the brim of the helmet - they're omitted in Australia due to strict standards. One visor offers a more squared profile for mountain biking, while the other is far shorter and pointed. It's designed for use on the road and claims to provide an aerodynamic advantage. A microfibre pouch is also included for storage and transporting.

While we were just a little disappointed to find that it’s not the helmet giving Sagan his no-handed wheelie ability, the Windmax no doubt has plenty to offer and is well worth trying on. Just be aware that the inclusion of two visors and multiple pad sets adds to the high price.

For those in Australia, despite the lack of visors, this is still a super lid made even better by the direct-buy pricing.

David Rome

Former Editor, Australia
Dave was the editor of BikeRadar Australia until early 2016.
  • Age: 28
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 89cm / 35in
  • Discipline: Mountain, road and cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Fast and flowing singletrack with the occasional air is the dream. Also happy chasing tarmac bends.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Fuel EX 27.5, SwiftCarbon Detritovore, Salsa Chilli Con Crosso
  • Dream Bike: Custom Independent Fabrications titanium, SRAM Etap and Enve wheels/cockpit
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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