Rudy Project Crossway MTB Helmet
The Rudy Project uses three adjectives to describe their innovative Crossway Mountain Bike Helmet: they call it “cool, safe, and great fitting.” After a few weeks of riding with my head covered by the Crossway, I have to agree; not only is this helmet all these things, it is easily the coolest (in several senses of the word) and best fitting helmet I’ve worn—and I’m confident its quite safe, though luckily I have yet to test its head-protection.
In terms of coolness: stylishly speaking, the Crossway looks (aptly) like a cross between a racing helmet and a full-on downhill mountain biking helmet. It doesn’t look offputtingly sleek or futuristic, nor does it come across as clunky or oversized. Rudy’s thoughtful design retains the low profile cut of a racing helmet while stretching the front side into a natural visor—to the effect of erasing any awkward transition between visor and helmet, and creating a unique, simple shape reminiscent of a five-panel hat or an old cyclists cap. I also love the timeless matte black-and-gray mine came in, though if you want something flashier or lighter in color Rudy offers the Crossway in shiny black and yellow, red and black, ocean blue and lead and orange hues.
But as I pedaled along the smoldering pavement and dirt bikeways on Vermont’s first 80-plus degree day, I cared much more about the Crossway’s cool temperatures than its looks. 23 generous vents surround a large central air intake, all of which pull cool air into the space between the helmet’s shell and your noggin. This highly functional cooling space is kept extra roomy thanks to a mesh separator suspended within the shell. Combine the increased airflow with a state-of-the-art sweat-reducing band, and it’s hard to get sticky and hot-headed under the Crossway.
As for the fit: I usually find myself annoyed by the feeling that my bike helmet is either falling over my eyes or slipping back off my head—or I have to ratchet the thing so tight that I leave nice red stripes on my forehead. With the Crossway, I had no such dilemmas. I can honestly say that without any adjustment, the helmet felt weightless and sat perfectly balanced.
On my first ride, I only remembered I was wearing it when I realized how much of the harsh late afternoon glare was cut by the Crossway’s visor. I had forgotten my Rudy Cutlines, and there were definitely a few curves I would have missed without the added shade over my eyes.
All these little features and functions, I think, are signs of a solid helmet. It’s unnoticeable to the wearer, subtle yet stylish to the onlooker, and highly functional for all levels of performance. Whether you’re jamming single track or rolling along the bike path back to that in-person job, this helmet will look good with the surroundings and keep your head safe as can be. At a reasonable $90, take a good look at making the Crossway a go-to piece of gear.