Rudy Project Wingspan TT Helmet review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I have to be honest with you; Sometimes I look for short cuts – legal ways to save time or go faster. Especially in my racing.

I wore a traditional road helmet for my first 8 years of triathlon. Late in 2010 I finally took the leap and tried an aerohelmet after reading several articles on how an aerohelmet is dollar for dollar the most cost effective way to gain free speed on the bike.

I tried a couple of different models of helmets. I really liked one of them and wore it for several races. I definately felt the difference and my times were faster. So I’m an aerohelmet believer.

Coming into the 2012 season I was fortunate to get my hands on the new Rudy Project Wingspan aerohelmet. I already had an aerohelmet that I really liked, so I was skeptical about a new helmet meeting my expectations.

The Wingspan’s creditionals spoke for themselves though. It was the most worn aerohelmet at Ironman Hawaii (Kona) last year. It weighs just 349 grams (translation for non-techy guys like me – it’s super light).

After its radical appearance, the first thing I noticed when I put it on was the weight. I hardly noticed it. In the world of sometimes clunky aerohelmets that’s a big deal. Based on weight alone I knew why so many people were choosing it for Iron distance races.

The ear flaps left me plenty of room, so I didn’t feel like I was in an old fashioned deep sea diving helmet either. That’s part of Rudy’s engineering plan – to allow the rider to hear better on the road. Nice safety feature.

Next came the moment of truth; actually riding in the Wingspan. I’ve ridden in it a few times now and can say with 100% honesty that it’s the most comfortable aerohelmet I’ve worn.

The little turny thing (Rudy probably has an official name for it) on the back made it fully adjustable to my head, and it was easy to actually turn while wearing. Sometimes those things are hard to adjust. Not the case with the Wingspan.

Mine came with 5 different front venting options: white mesh, white solid, silver mesh, and silver solid. So far I’ve ridden with the silver mesh because it’s awesome looking and has the most “bling” and with the vents wide open. Both kept me nice and cool on hot summer rides.

The top and back vents are huge. This allows the air flowing through the front vents to travel through the helmet and out, creating a nice draft through the helmet. Again, staying cool while wearing an aerohelmet is one of the conundrums of wearing an aerohelment design and selection. Rudy got it right.

I know this is small, but it mattered to me. The chin strap was padded where it meets under your chin. In other helmets I’ve experienced chaffing there, especially on hot days when racing long course.

Most importantly, it was fast! I don’t have any quantifiable data on this point yet, but I just felt “fast”. Having ridden a bike for a long time now, I just know. Sometimes “feeling fast” makes the difference in whether you actually are or not. It’s the look good feel good thing.

In summary, I love this helmet and will be selling my other helmet that I enjoyed so much. How can “more Kona athletes” be wrong?

The Wingspan is available in 7 colors. My advice: go bold! Choose one of the 3 “fluo” options and let them see you coming.

Love you kids,

– Daddy

* is sponsored by Rudy Project NA. My opinions are my own.