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I have had the good fortune to race in the Rudy Project Wingspan and the Rudy Project Wing 57, the predecessors to the Rudy Project Wing. Unlike the previous versions, which were incremental improvements, the Rudy Project Wing is a completely new design. The shape is a lot more rounded, and although about the same length as its predecessors, has a massive exhaust port at the tail instead of a fin.
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Like other aero helmets from Rudy Project, the Wing has a front vent which can be plugged with a removable piece, kept in place with magnetic fasteners. This is a nice upgrade from the friction clip used for the same vent plug in the brand’s older helmets. Side and top vents are also gone, which is another update for the Wing. While vents may introduce turbulence and aerodynamic drag, it’s been my experience that keeping cool while racing a 40 kilometer time trial under the hot, summer sun is also nice.
The Wing was designed to be aero in either a heads-up position—like when you’re looking at the horizon—or a head down position, as when looking at the road about four to five meters ahead of the front wheel. This versatility means that maybe you don’t have to hold your head in a fixed position for over fifty minutes of full-gas time trialing.
Rudy Project Wing Fit
The most noticeable change in the Wing helmet is the fit. While the dial-actuated retention system allows for depth and circumference adjustments, the part of the helmet which fits over the rider’s ears is noticeably snug. Compared with other aero helmets from Rudy Project, Kask, Bell, and Giro, I felt the Wing helmet has the most form-fitting profile.
So, while getting the helmet on required some attention — and fiddling with our ears — the overall fit was excellent, without bulk, or shifting around when moving our heads or navigating over uneven pavé. For the pony-tail wearing crowd: the Wing can accommodate this hairstyle and still feel comfortable.
Rudy Project Wing Features
The field of view afforded by the face shield on the front of the Wing is impressive. Magnetic points keep the eye shield, and front vent plug in place. Understanding that more helmet material means more aero but also more weight, the Wing weighs in at 381g for a size small/medium—11g more than its predecessor. While the $399 price tag does not put the Wing at the bottom of aero helmet price scale, the cost benefit may be worth it for those seeking an aero advantage. The Wing is currently available in two colors: gloss white with red detail as shown, and matte black with red detail.
Where you’ll see the Wing
If you’re following pro cycling WorldTour teams Bahrain-McLaren or Team Tibco-SVB, you’ll see the Rudy Project Wing worn by Mikel Landa, Wout Poels, Kendall Ryan, and Lauren Stephens during individual and team time trials.
Rudy Project Wing initial verdict
While getting the helmet on, and comfortably situated is slightly more challenging compared with other helmets, our initial impression is this helmet is an improvement over previous versions of the brand’s aero offering. We’re curious, and a bit excited to race in the Rudy Project Wing throughout the spring and summer, against the clock, over distances varying from 15km through 40km.