Rudy Project Boost 01 Review

Rudy Project Boost 01

Review of the Rudy Project Boost 01 Aero Helmet

The Boost 01 is Rudy Project’s aero road helmet and can currently be seen adorning the heads of the riders’ of Bahrain-Merida in its flashy golden color.  Rudy Project is probably better known to triathletes but has been making a bigger push into the road world thanks to the sponsorship of a number of teams racing at the top levels including Jelly Belly and Team TIBCO-SVB.

Although it is not available in the gold that you see Bahrain-Merida and Vicenzo Nibali wearing at the Giro d’Italia, the Rudy Project Boost 01 is available in four color options from fluro to subtle to match everyone’s taste and kits.  There is also a removable shield available to purchase for those looking for that extra aerodynamic edge, or bad ass points.

Rudy Project Boost 01

The Rudy Project Boost 01 was designed in conjunction with aero guru John Cobb which focused on not only improvements in aerodynamics but also comfort.  In order to reduce strain on the neck, Rudy Project removed material from the back of the helmet and added some to the front in order to improve weight distribution.

Aero road helmets already get a bad rap for their strange looks and, in my opinion, the Rudy Project Boost 01 is one of the most unusual looking helmets in a category of already strange looking lids.  This unusual look is thanks to the central ridge and the car hood scoop air vents but fortunately both have a purpose.

Rudy Project calls the central ridge the Dorsal Ridge and has drawn on nature for this design inspiration.  Zipp isn’t the only company to use bio-mimicry for their products.  The Dorsal Ridge was inspired by sharks and the crown is intended to convert sideways forces from the wind into forward propulsion.  Unfortunately without a wind tunnel its impossible to test these claims.

Rudy Project Boost 01

The large vents on the Rudy Project Boost 01 provide good ventilation for an aero helmet and does very well at pulling air across the top of your head meaning I was never concerned with over heating while wearing the helmet.  The Boost 01 comes with a pair of plugs to fill the front vents, one that completely closes it and another that partially closes it, so that you can choose your desired amount of ventilation and aerodynamics.

Now unfortunately the shape of the Rudy Project Boost 01 didn’t work with my head at all.  It was like trying to fit an oval shaped peg through a circular hole, something that even a toddler knows doesn’t work.  Since the shape of the Boost 01 didn’t work with the shape of my head, it lead to pressure points on the sides of my forehead when the retention system was tightened up to an appropriate snugness.  But remember, fit is a very personal thing.  What works for one person may not work for another.

Despite my problems with the fit, the Rudy Project Boost 01’s RSR9 adjustable fit system works very well.  With its adjustable height and precise ratcheting you can really dial in your desired fit.

The clips on the straps of the Rudy Project Boost 01 do a great job at keeping the straps tidy around your ears but the waxy coating on the straps lead to them slipping and loosening at the buckle.  The loop that holds the extra ends of the straps in place also wouldn’t stay in place letting them flap around.

Rudy Project Boost 01

It almost feels unfair to make a final verdict regarding the Rudy Project Boost 01.  What doesn’t work for me may be perfect for you and vise versa.  But I have to judge the Boost 01 based on how it was to me.  And it didn’t work for me.

I think the best judgement I can pass on a product is to answer the question: is this a product I will continue to use?  And the answer to that question is no, I have used a number of better helmets than the Boost 01, including the Smith Overtake and the Giro Air Attack so I find it impossible to recommend the Boost 01.

Rudy Project Boost 01 Good:

  • good ventilation
  • clips keep straps tidy around ears

Rudy Project Boost 01 Bad:

  • poor fit on some head shapes
  • strange appearance
  • straps a little too waxy and slip