Rudy Project is getting ready to once again revolutionize the helmet market. For triathlon and time-trial enthusiasts, here is their new highly innovative, technological product, the result of an intensive, concentrated engineering research project conducted in collaboration with the American aerodynamics guru, John Cobb: the Wing57™ helmet.
Built on the foundations of the successful and award-winning Wingspan™ (the helmet most worn by the athletes at the world's toughest triathlon race in Kona Hawai in 2011 and 2012), the Wing57™ was wind tunnel-tested and is faster than any of the best helmets in its category. It can also point to unsurpassed patented features, its superior lightweight and extraordinary protection architecture together with a beautiful form factor.
Designed with the aide of legendary aerodynamics guru John Cobb, the new Wing57™ has undergone extensive wind tunnel testing to become the best TT helmet on the market. Through this testing, Rudy Project and Cobb developed a unique tail geometry that works best for all TT positions and back profiles. Proven to beat out most competing aero helmets in time simulations, the Wing57™ will be, without question, the best aero helmet on the market throughout the triathlon and cycling worlds.
One of the major breakthroughs results from the scientific combination of the overall helmet design geometry and the two side vents; the purpose is to aid in the straightening of the airflow over the rear of the helmet. To help in managing these Vortex eddy low pressure points, which create drag and instability, air is directed, through a proprietary patented channel system, over the neck and shoulder areas at a different rate or volume than the oncoming free air: we call this invention Vortex Killer or Air Straightener System. This system adds significantly more ventilation inside the helmet: the Air director creates a high/low pressure area, on each side, so that air coming from the right vent goes to the opposite side of the Director and then flows out. And vice versa for the other side. Acceleration of air means more ventilation to help with sweat evaporation (rider cooling).
Inspired by sharks, the Wing57™ dorsal ridge helps converting sideways force into a forward force, like it was a long tailed helmet. It gives more surface only when it is necessary, as with a cross wind, while it remains small for less frontal area effect.
Wing57™ is equipped with a set of removable, modular front vent covers, one closed and the other in a mesh configuration, which will allow you to manage the airflow inside the helmet. You will be able to control ventilation and aerodynamic efficiency according to the environmental conditions and maintain your body's efficiency.
The CLOSED configuration offers the best aerodynamic efficiency but the least ventilation. It's recommended for short/medium competition where timing is king.
The NET configuration is a very good compromise between ventilation and aerodynamics. It lets air go through the vents and cool the temperature while protecting the head against bugs and insects. It also maintains a very good aerodynamic efficiency.
The OPEN configuration is the best solution for long distances and for hot weather conditions. The maximum ventilation is definitively needed for keeping the cyclist cool. Due to the longer racing time, a lower temperature outweighs having the “max” aerodynamic advantage since it could affect a racer's ability to compete over the long haul.
By reducing the length of the tail and by adding material on top (Dorsal Ridge), we have moved the center of pressure of the helmet forward in order to best match with the center of gravity of the user’s head. This for a better weight balance and to avoid forced axis rotation due to cross winds force.
The new shape of this helmet gives all the advantages of a NACA wing shapes (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) but avoiding the natural wind aligning energy cost of that shape itself due to cross winds.
A long-tailed helmet ensures outstanding efficiency in case of a head wind. In most cases, however, the environmental conditions are variable, during long races against the clock for instance, and often the air hits the helmet laterally producing a sail effect - the greater the surface of the helmet concerned, the greater the effect. This imposes countless stresses on the neck muscles in order to maintain the head in the same position.
The optimally sized front and side sections, and the innovative short-tailed design of the Wing57™ reduce torsional stresses and therefore fatigue, and allow you to focus totally on athletic performance.
What's more, the Dorsal Ridge™ effectively diverts the airflow, conveying it in such a way as to reduce resistance to forward motion, thereby allowing the athlete to go faster, with lower energy consumption.
The Wing57™ is equipped with an additional and removable magnetic aerodynamic tail that can be added to the Air Director as its extension, improving its performance depending upon rider’s back and shoulders configuration.
The flatter the shape of the rider's back, the greater the distance between the helmet tail and the body surface. The aerodynamic tail is designed to bridge the gap between the shell of the helmet and flat-shaped backs and enhance the Vortex Killer™ effect. This results in greater aerodynamic penetration and increased dispersion of warm air from the head.
The fully integrated and removal shield will ensure maximized protection and enhanced aerodynamics while eliminating annoying glare and eye fatigue. Building on Rudy Project RP-Optics™ advanced polycarbonate technology, the Wing57™ visor combines cutting-edge coatings superior optical protection against harmful UV rays minimizing eye strain.
From their own experience on the racetracks, the Rudy Project engineers have developed a brilliant solution to fit a helmet in the shortest possible time. The helmet straps are anchored directly to the ear-pads, allowing the helmet to be put on with one single, instantaneous movement.
The ear-pads are made of antibacterial material with padded ergonomic cushions designed to convey the airflows and noise from the outside.
Wing57™ has been developed and tested in the Pininfarina advanced wind tunnel, taking full advantage of the experience of aerodynamics guru John Cobb and of the Rudy Project engineering team.
Data extrapolated using the most sophisticated mathematical models have demonstrated the unparalleled aerodynamic efficiency of Wing57™. The results of a comparison with leading rival helmets, obtained by measuring the resistance of a representative sample of racers with differently shaped backs and different wind yaw angles, have shown the Wing57™ to be the helmet with the best aerodynamic performance.
Example of one of the many simulations performed, in which three key variables are kept constant:
same racer, same power applied, same frontal air impact at 0°.
Simulation of a 40K TT race as represented by a fairly typical age group triathlete with the height of 5’10” (178cm) size and weight of 185lbs (84 kg) who averages 320 watts (power level that is suited for that type of person).
The Wing57™ helmet is currently in being used by the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team champions, accompanying them in their numerous successes.
Wing57™ is the time-trial helmet worn by the leading international triathlon athletes, such as Pete Jacobs (Ironman World Champion 2012), Timo Bracht, Yvonne Van Vlerken, Camilla Pedersen and many more.
The winners' choice for record performance.