Hal Would Buy It!
I would consider this the highest end product I own, especially because I never would have thought I would own a helmet worth more than $300. Fortunately, I was able to get this product at a killer deal (all my surfing the web for endurance products finally paid off).
When Rudy Project went to develop a new TT helmet they intended to revolutionize the industry. Although I am not convinced the industry was revolutionized they did create a great helmet that was also reported to be the most popular helmet used at the most recent Ironman World Championships in Kona. Rudy Project enlisted the help with their design by hiring aerodynamics specialist, John Cobb. Cobb designed the helmet so that it would fit multiple styles of cyclists. So if you have a rounded, square or any other shaped back or riding position, the helmet will work for you.
One of my favorite things about this helmet is that it doesn’t scream “elite aero cyclist.” When I first started doing triathlons I was never interested in getting a TT helmet. The long style helmets always reminded me of the “Malcolm in the Middle” episode where Hal takes up speed walking. I like that the Wingspan does not have a long tail. It makes it easier to travel with and does not announce to everyone around you that you are an elite cyclist, regardless if you are or not.
The helmet itself is noticeably light, coming in at a weight of 10.2 ounces/290 grams. The Wingspan also has the “disc retention” system for tightening the helmet to fit on your head and can easily be adjusted while riding.
Perhaps one of the most innovative things about the Wingspan, other than world-class aerodynamics, is the aerodynamic kit itself. The Wingspan helmet includes a closed cover, net cover and tail cover. This allows for multiple ways to set up your helmet as you hit the road. The closed cover and net cover are pieces that connect to the front of the helmet and allow for no wind to maximum wind to flow through. The closed cover keeps the Wingspan in its most aerodynamic design, while the mesh cover or no cover at all will help circulate air through the helmet to help keep you cool. The tail cover works in the same manner. The chart (see website) from Rudy Project gives recommendations on which set-up is needed, depending on distance and weather. When I ran the Ironman St. George I was ecstatic about using a TT helmet. I left the opening in the front of the helmet open and took off the tail cover. To help cool down even more I would place the nozzle of my water bottle in the front hole and squeeze.
The Bottom Line ~
The Rudy Project Wingspan TT Helmet is a great helmet. The cost could be a deal-breaker for many age-group athletes. There are other time-trial helmets that are less expensive, but if you do purchase the Wingspan you should be confident that you have world-class equipment that was designed and built by the best.