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Rudy Project Racemaster Cycling Helmet Review | 2017

Welcome to another GearMashers helmet review.  Today we are showcasing the 2017 Rudy Project Racemaster Cycling Helmet.

Rudy Project Racemaster Cycling Helmet Review 2017

For those that don’t know Rudy Project got it start back 1985 when founder and creator Rudy Barbazza launched the Rudy Project brand in Treviso, Italy.  The goal of the company was to improve athlete’s performance by providing the best eyewear available.

Rudy Barbazza Rudy Project 2017 Since 1985

Rudy Barbazza (on the right) with designer, David Michaud

Rudy’s motto is “Technically Cool”, which sums up their philosophy about not only creating great products, but also keeping them hip and current.

Rudy Project Logo

Back in the 80’s endurance sports were just picking up steam and sports eyewear was rather limited.  Fast Forward to 2017 and there are numerous eyewear manufactures.  Rudy has been there the whole time evolving their craft and making fantastic improvements to help athletes along the way.

Branching off from their sunglass line, Rudy Project started focusing on cycling helmets and have crushed the competition, earning the prestigious title of “Most Worn Helmet at the IRONMAN® World Championship” for the sixth consecutive year.  Talk about bragging rights, people who go to Kona are some of the most elite level athletes around the world and could wear any manufacturer’s helmet, yet they have chosen Rudy Project.  That says a lot about their trust in Rudy.

Rudy Project number 1 at Kona 6 consecutive years


With the launch of GearMashers this year, I knew we wanted to review Rudy Project’s fantastic line of eyewear and helmets.  Being both a Triathlete and a Road Cyclist, I figured a good start would be to test out Rudy’s Racemaster helmet line.

Contacting Rudy Project’s director of Public Relations, Simone Cordery-Cotter was amazing.  She actually responds to emails, unlike many other companies I have tried to contact.  If Simone is any indication of the quality of people who work for Rudy Project, well then that’s pretty impressive.  Huge thumbs up for Simone and her communication skills.  Quality all the way!


The Racemaster is Rudy’s answer to a pure road cycling helmet.  Great lines, great ventilation and amazing fit.  While certainly not as aero as Rudy’s Wing 57 or Boost 01 helmets, the Racemaster is definitely more aero than many in it’s category.

A box arrives with some Rudy Project goodies

We were sent the Rudy Project Racemaster helmet and Tralyx eyewear.

The Racemaster comes with a nice microfiber helmet bag, extra helmet padding without netting (Free Pad) , a visor extension, an Emergency identification and notification system tag (ICEDOT) and helmet instructions.

Side profile of the Racemaster.  Notice the large vents on the sides and top.

One really cool feature of the Racemaster is a port for cycling sunglasses, which Rudy calls the Garage Eyewear Dock.  Rather than trying to stick the glasses in a vent, the helmet was designed to hold sunglass in the rear of the helmet.  When using it, the glasses seemed very secure and out of the way, yet still looked ultra cool.

Rear view of the helmet.  I really like the faring on the back, it gives the helmet a really nice look.  The vents are large allowing heat to disperse out the rear.

The helmet comes with combo pad and bug netting setup.  Swapping out the netting (Bug Stop) for the normal padding (Free Pad) is super easy, because the netted padding is one piece.  The non-netted padding comes in 5 pieces.

The Racemaster retention system is adjusted by turning the dial clockwise or counterclockwise.  As the tension is tightened, a plastic strap pulls in closer to the head. The plastic strap doesn’t go all the way around the head, but covers about 85%.

The plastic strap can also be adjusted higher or lower on the head by moving the dial mechanism up or down.

Plastic buckles are used to secure the helmet under the chin.

Thin webbing is used for fastening the helmet.

The webbing has a grey strip of reflective material to help illuminate the helmet at night.



  • 17 ventilation ports
  • shock absorbing EPS shell with HEXOCRUSH technology, impact forces are distributed laterally and rotationally
  • quick and easy-to-handle Fastex closure system
  • easy adjust RSR9 dial system for adjusting to individual head shape
  • Eyewear Dock enables you to stow away glasses at back of head
  • removable visor with Quicksnap fastening
  • exchangeable, washable pads
  • incl. micro fibre storage bag
  • reflective elements
  • sizes: S-M (54-58 cm), L (59-61 cm)
  • weight: 270 g (size M)
  • Retail Price: $349.99


The Rudy Project Racemaster feels a bit heavier than the Suomy Timeless helmet we reviewed recently, yet feels much more substantial.  The quality of the helmet just oozes out.  Our helmet came in size Large and weighed 339 grams or 11.95 ounces, which is definitely heavier than others in the same category.  That said, once the helmet is on you really don’t feel any difference in weight.

Putting on the helmet was liking putting on your most comfortable jeans or shoes.  It just felt right from the beginning.  Rudy Project goes out of their way to make sure helmets not only function as they should, but are keen on fit quality, so it should come as no surprise that the fit is outstanding.

The helmet comes with 6 main adjustment points.  The 2 main ones are the Head Band Dial and the Dial Height Adjustment.  Once these are set, the other 4 pertain to the helmet’s 2 Divider Pro webbing buckles and the 2 Fastener Buckles.  Once everything is setup the way you like it, realistically the only adjustment that will be made is tightening and untightening the Band Dial and fastening and unfastening the Fastener buckle.

Here in Austin the summers can be wicked hot, so having helmets that have a lot of Ventilation is key.  So far we have tested the helmet in 100 degree heat and we didn’t pass out.  The helmet does run slightly warmer than the Laser Z1 we are testing, but not significantly so.

We were sent the Racemaster White Stealth Matte and it absolutely helps reflect the suns rays.  The Suomy Timeless helmet, which is silver, can get hot to the touch, while our Racemaster White Stealth Matte stays cool.  That to me speaks volumes for having white or light colored helmets during summer months.

The Bug netting is a rather cool idea and looks interesting, but in areas where we cycle, there aren’t too many bugs, so we couldn’t really tell if it would help or not.  Currently the helmet is setup with the non-netting pads for a slightly cooler experience temperature wise.

I found the Large helmet to fit true to size, but not much room for those who are butting up against being xtra large.  If you are one of those people who are on the fence, it’s probably a good idea to size up.

Rudy is working in conjunction with ICEDOT ( to provide a safety feature should a crash occur while cycling.  It’s another safety feature not found on all cycling helmets and is a great idea, especially for those with special needs should and accident occur.


Everyone who we come across who own Rudy Project helmets loves them, so it should come as no surprise that we also love the Racemaster.  It’s a fantastic helmet that looks great both on an off.  The performance is superb and fit is outstanding.

The price point of the Racemaster is definitely a sticking point.  With a retail price of $349.99, it will certainly scare off the budget conscious for less costly helmets.  For those who want top of the line quality however, they simply aren’t going to find a better helmet.  Rudy Project did their homework to make something that is attractive, useful and performs at the top of it’s game.

Check out Rudy Project Helmets and Eyewear ( for the latest news and product info.




About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of,,,, and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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