game changer? Maybe . . .

Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Track

Words and pictures by Simon Bradley

Back in 2021 we reviewed a new helmet from a new company – Ruroc – with a new helmet, the Atlas 3.0. You can see the review here, but here's a summary. It was interesting – a great design, really good quality, and made of carbon fibre. It was also comfortable and quiet – all in all a pretty darn’ good helmet. The really innovative thing about it was the fastening – instead of the standard Double D or seatbelt buckle it had a clever and extremely effective magnetic catch. The downside was that the clever magnetic catch wasn’t – and never would be – ACU approved. That, of course, meant that your smart carbon fibre lid was no use on trackdays.

Fast forward three years and the Atlas 3.0 has begat the Atlas 4.0 Carbon with a host of improvements and that same innovative fastener…and the Atlas 4.0 Track, which has all of the above but a conventional Double D ring and ACU Gold certification. So what does that actually mean?

The Atlas 4.0 Track arrived with us as it would with any other customer. Ruroc don’t have a physical outlet, so it’s online purchase only and their packaging reflects that. After confirming the size I needed and choosing my design the helmet arrived in two working days later. A brown box with very discreet branding on it contained the proper helmet box. The packaging is beautiful, and bodes very well for the quality of the product. Open the box and your nose is filled with that special new helmet smell. Nestling within the matt black inner box is your shiny (unless you’ve chosen a matt version of course) new helmet safely wrapped in a nice soft helmet bag and a vast envelope of soft foam. There’s also a dark visor in a visor bag (useful, that) and a Pinlock insert (again, useful).

The helmet itself is really very well finished. Ignore the badge, it’s easily as good as anything from the big Japanese manufacturers (who are really the benchmark, let’s face it) or the Italian or US brands you’re familiar with. Colour is rich and lustrous, with just enough carbon weave visible through the blue (in this case) to leave you in no doubt what it’s made of. Put it on (but don’t take the tags off yet – I’ll come to that in a moment) and as long as you’ve got the size right you’ll revel in the comfort and fit. I have an “Arai head” and my mate has a same size as me “Shoei head.” The two are distinctly different and yet both of us found the Atlas 4 supremely comfortable. Which is a neat trick if you can pull it off.

You may be wondering why I said to leave the tags on. It’s actually really simple. You haven’t had a chance to try the helmet on before buying so you don’t know whether you’ve got the sizing right or not. Ruroc understand this, so they’ll take your helmet back and either exchange it or refund you. They even cover the shipping both ways. But you need to have left the tags on – and you won’t be able to do the straps up so won’t have used it on the road, which seems pretty fair to me.

Assuming it fits you properly, snip those tags and let’s go for a ride.

When you tried it on before you’ll maybe have noticed it’s light and airy, but putting a helmet on indoors always feels a bit claustrophobic to me and I always overheat really quickly. Now you’re on the bike and moving you’ll notice that the airflow is nice. It’s unobtrusive but it’s definitely there. Closing the top vent makes a distinct difference. The chin vent helps as well, though it’s still the same slightly odd design that puts the adjustment switch inside, which is sometimes tricky to get to…

What you won’t be able to miss though is just how big the visor aperture is. You literally can’t see the edges of the visor – the only bit that you can see is the middle nose piece. Visibility is phenomenal, and the visor is very clear indeed – another thumbs-up for quality.

Trundling around town is pleasant enough, but it’s when you get onto the open road and start to press on a bit that the improvements really show. The Atlas 3 we tested before was quiet and we were impressed. This is a different league. Imagine for a moment that I had tested it on a derestricted bit of Autobahn. I am confident that I would still be raving about just how quiet and buffet-free the Atlas 4 Race is. Add to the already slippery shell design the extremely effective add-on visor seals and you get something really pretty special. And the aerodynamics work perfectly as well. No buffet whatsoever, and again I’m sure I’d be saying the same after that Autobahn trip, too…

There’s something else worth considering. It isn’t obvious from the outside. The Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Carbon and Race are the first helmets in the world to have RHEON liners. You may well be wondering what the Hell RHEON is – I was as well. It’s a complicated polymer developed by Imperial College here in London and, as far as I can tell, it stays soft and flexible when it needs to, goes super hard when you whack it but manages to absorb the impact in transforming. It also does some other wizardry to avoid transmitting those nasty rotational forces to your brain. You’ll see the same stuff in body armour, American football helmets, all sorts. And big name brands, too, like Adidas and Harley Davidson are getting in on it. This stuff is a potential game changer, and I’m a big fan of keeping what remains of my grey matter functioning the way it was intended to rather than bouncing off the inside of my skull when it all goes pear-shaped…

For the sake of completeness I’ll also mention there’s another version of the helmet - the Atlas 4.0 Street. It’s fibreglass rather than carbon and doesn’t have the RHEON liner, but it does have a DD ring fastener. However, it is not yet ACU certified so still isn’t technically allowed on the track. Oh, and by the way, scrutineers do look for that gold sticker when they’re checking your back protector. No sticker, no trackday.

I’ll also mention that the whole Atlas 4.0 range is compatible with Ruroc’s Shockwave Bluetooth system. In fact they’re not just compatible, they are pre-wired for it. The unit goes inside the back of the helmet in neat compartment and plugs into the pre-installed wiring. The speakers and mic plug into sockets and attach to pre-fixed Velcro pads inside the lid, so you know they’re not only in the right place but the wires don’t intrude and there’s nothing on the outside to mess with the aerodynamics or catch on the road. The system has been updated and tweaked by no less than Harmon Kardon to work well inside a helmet, so it should be impressive. If I get to test one I’ll let you know.

So to sum up. The Ruroc Atlas 4.0 Track is an absolute top-end helmet with some fantastic features (visibility, quietness, passive safety) and no obvious downsides (like not being ACU approved). It comes with genuinely useful extras, you can integrate audio if you want to and, at £550, while not exactly budget price it’s bloody cheap for a top quality carbon fibre lid. And that RHEON liner just might be the game-changer we've been waiting for, getting us away from the foam we've wrapped our heads in for the last 50 years.

You can get yours from and I would seriously recommend that you give it some genuine consideration.









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