Zipp has released new wheelsets with the 202, 303, 404 and 808 all becoming available for disc equipped bikes in both the Firecrest and top end NSW models. The new wheelsets are tubeless compatible, optimized for wider tires, and offer improved aerodynamics and stability.

“In the new range, Zipp has looked beyond just aerodynamics in pursuit of speed to incorporate factors like stability, comfort and durability, as riders are increasingly venturing further from just pavement,” Zipp’s wheel product manager Jason Fowler explained.

In order to achieve the desired performance of the new wheelsets, Zipp began by matching rim shapes with the width of the tires they expect people to be running. With gravel riding all the rage, offering stable and versatile wheelsets was important.


Tubeless compatible and 19 mm internal width on the Zipp NSW 404

The 32-mm deep Zipp 202 and 45-mm deep Zipp 303 offer the most versatility as all road-oriented wheelsets. Testing fastest with 28-mm tires, they have a 21-mm internal width. According to Zipp, they are the first wheelsets designed specifically for gravel.

“What drove the development of this wheels, is we wanted to develop the first gravel optimized wheel that is aerodynamically fast,” said explained Zipp product manager Bastian Donze.

RELATED: First ride: The new 2018 Giant Propel Disc

The 58-mm deep Zipp 404 and 82-mm deep Zipp 808 are designed for smoother roads when speed is everything where 25-mm tires are still most popular. The internal rim width on these models has been increased from 17 mm to 19 mm.


Swatooth dimple design on the Zipp NSW 303

The new top-end NSW rims feature Zipp’s ABLC Sawtooth dimple design. With no break track, the aerodynamics of the wheels with rotors has been improved as has their stability in wind. The new NSW disc wheelsets are Zipp’s lightest carbon clinchers. The graphics are printed directly on the wheel using ImPress technology. This helps achieve the high-stability and low-drag system Zipp calls Aero Balance which is not compromised by stickers.

The new wheelsets are now all tubeless compatible with internal ridges to lock the tire bead in place. Tubeless tires can be run at a lower pressure to offer more comfort without the risk of pinch flatting. They also have lower rolling resistance and offer more grip in corners, which all results in more confidence on the road. The advantages of such a setup are attracting more and more riders. Zipp claims the easiest setup is with their new tubeless range of tires.

The NSW wheels come with Zipp’s Cognition disc-brake hub set with Axial Clutch technology which decreases the freehub ratcheting drag by 25 per cent compared with traditional pawls according to the company. All wheels feature tool-free removal of end caps to suit different thru axles and dropouts.

Pricing on the new wheelsets will be as follows: the NSW 202, 303 and 404 will retail for US$3,400 with the front wheel priced at US$1,400 and the rear at US$1,800. A set of NSW 808 will set you back US$3,500 at US$1,950 rear and US$1,550 front.

The new Zipp Ergo SL-40 bars

Zipp also revealed its new SL-70 ergo carbon handlebars. “Fit actually matters more for the amateur rider than WorldTour rider, because they are out there longer” explained Nathan Schickel, Zipp product manager.

The new bars were derived from the Zipp Contour SL. “The Contour was designed as a pavement bar, but that is not how people ride anymore. We had to make something that can handle the ‘cross course, the minor drops that you will see from time to time,” Schickel explained. “What we did was make a carbon bar stronger than an aluminum bar.”

The new SL-70 is designed for long days and has a flat bar shape on top with a three degree back sweep for more hand support and control. The bars offer 70-mm reach and 128-mm drop. Zipp focused on the hood transition and the variable radius drop position offers different drop grip positions.

The new SL-70 will be available in 40-, 42- and 44-mm widths and have a US$275 price tag.


Leave a Reply