When the company with the highest helmet count at Kona releases a new aero helmet, there is good reason to pay attention. But when the person doing the introduction is John Cobb, well then it’s best you stop what you are doing and take some serious notice. Meet the Wing57, Rudy Project’s newest addition to their already impressive helmet lineup and the successor to their popular Wingspan TT.
The Wing57 is a relatively short aero helmet, keeping up the trend we are seeing throughout the industry. Upon first glance you will notice two distinct features. First up is the dorsal ridge running along the top. This provides a surface that when viewed from the front is minimal, but from the side helps minimize the effects of cross wind.
Next you will notice the side vents; these vents are the outward part of Rudy Project’s Vortex Killer system. This system creates a high\low pressure area that moves air from one side of the helmet out the back on the opposite side resulting in reduced turbulence for the rider. An added benefit is increased air across the rider’s neck and shoulder area (aka ventilation).
Rudy Project recognizes that not all riders are shaped the same; some riders have a “flat” (or A) back while others have a more “U” shape (or B back). This can result in different riders experiencing different results from a helmet (and is something that Rudy Project would like to avoid). To accommodate this, Rudy Project has equipped the Wing57 with “Jet Stream”, a removable magnetic aerodynamic tail that riders with a “flat” back can use to bridge the gap between the helmet and their back.
Finally the Wing57 is equipped with a removable visor that enhances aerodynamics and limits eye fatigue. While the Wing57 will ship with a non-mirrored version, mirrored ones will be available for an additional charge.
Aero helmets will never be known for their cooling benefits, or rather they are extremely well known for their complete lack of cooling abilities. Rudy Project has sought to change that with a number of features in the Wing57. We already mentioned the Vortex Killer feature that pushes air across your neck and shoulders. The Wing57 also includes a set of removable, modular front vent covers that allow you to determine your own balance of ventilation and aerodynamics. The helmet will ship with two covers, one closed, and the other mesh.
This provides you with three configurations; open allows the most air but is least aerodynamic, the mesh cover provides limited air flow without the full aerodynamic penalty of the open configuration, and the closed cover eliminates ventilation through the front but provides the most aerodynamic configuration.
Ear flaps are often another feature that aero helmets are infamous for. Helmets with snug ear flaps provide a more aerodynamic shape, but tend to be next to impossible to get over your head. Those that are not as snug can let air in and counteract the aero benefits of the helmet. The Wing57 solves this by integrating the helmet straps with the ear flaps. When you put the helmet on the flaps can easily be placed over your ears, but once the helmet is cinched tight, the flaps are race ready.
The Wing57 will be available in two sizes; S-M (54-58 cm – 300g) and L (59-61 cm – 320g) which is a welcome change to the Wingspan which had only been available in S-M.
This is a helmet we are legitimately excited about. As we mentioned earlier, any time Rudy Project releases a new helmet our interest is going to be piqued, and adding John Cobb to the mix makes us downright giddy. Rudy Project has packed a huge amount of technology into the helmet; they made the Wing57 as aero as possible, while making a serious attempt at ventilation. Our only serious concern is the rumored price. While Rudy Project has made no announcements, we have seen the number $400 bouncing around. But for those looking for the ultimate in aerodynamic accessories this will likely be a small price to pay.