The Wing is the brand-new tri/TT lid from Rudy Project, the result of a huge R&D effort undertaken with the celebrated aerodynamicists at Swiss Side wheels to hone aerodynamics.
Weighing 390g on our scales, they say it’s spent countless hours in the wind tunnel along with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) testing, and the geometry profile is suited to multiple head positions. The downfall of long TT helmets for triathlon is that they require you to hold a specific position to benefit fully. That’s why the tail on Rudy’s previous Wingspan TT helmet has been replaced by a large rear port to maximise airflow, which also gives it a more rounded, stubbier appearance typical of a high-end TT helmet in 2020.
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Rudy Project’s wind-tunnel results claim The Wing, with the front vent covered, could save 3:46mins over their Volantis aero road helmet on an 180km Ironman bike course. Refreshingly, the calculations are based on a 75kg rider holding 200 watts, which is far more applicable to age-groupers than many tunnel tests that work off speeds of 45km/h or more. Our own real-world testing on a traffic-free 4km loop holding 250 watts found we were consistently around 3-4secs faster in The Wing per 4km compared to a standard road helmet (around 3mins over 180km).
A huge price tag means plenty of impressive tech, including a magnetic piece that covers the front vent for max aerodynamics. If you decide you want more ventilation mid-race, it can be stored at the rear thanks to extra magnetic contact points. The mirrored visor is very wide, providing excellent peripheral vision plus protection against harsh rays. It’s also attached via magnets.
If you prefer eyewear, that’s fine because Rudy Project claim that there are ‘no significant differences’ in the aerodynamic performance of
The Wing with glasses instead of
With no vents at the side, we found things did get quite hot even with that big rear port, so we’d be hesitant to recommend it for Ironman racing in very warm conditions. Another big sticking point for triathletes is that the fit is very tight over the ears – narrow enough that we’d be concerned about losing time in transition. The close fit may have aerodynamic benefits and it’s less of an issue on longer races, but we also found it was quite claustrophobic and led to us feeling even hotter.
Due to the massive price tag, we’d be demanding near to race-helmet nirvana from The Wing. Yet the fact that getting it on and off was too tricky means we’d personally struggle to justify the huge spend.
Verdict: Impressively engineered tri features, but the fit is just too snug for us, 76%
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