Zipp Wheels are among the best known high-performance road wheels available on the market. The company makes other products too, but the primary focus is wheels, and making them as fast as they can go. There is a large product range to choose from, catering for all types of bike racing on the road.
Zipp wheels are made by a company officially known as Zipp Speed Weaponry. It was founded in 1988 and started by releasing a carbon fibre disc wheel. Today it makes a wide range of wheels that are built for one primary purpose – speed.
To see this focus on speed you only have to look at the descriptions Zipp publishes for its wheels. Take the starter model in the range, the 30 Clincher, as an example. Zipp says this wheel is an average of 42 seconds faster than standard box-section rims in normal wind conditions.
In addition to speed, Zipp wheels are designed to improve performance in crosswinds, under braking, and going uphill. To achieve this, the company has invested in aerodynamic research that leads directly to design innovations.
For example, it was the first wheel manufacturer to make dimpled rims and discs. This technology improves aerodynamics in crosswinds.
Today, Zipp is based in Indianapolis and is owned by SRAM
The range of wheels from Zipp is extensive - you will find a wide selection of them on Bike Exchange. It includes a number of rim depth options - from 21mm in the 202 range up to 82mm in the 808 range. It also includes clincher, tubular, disc-brake, and disc wheel options.
The standard wheels in the range - the 30, 30 Course, and 60 - are aluminium wheelsets, while the rest of the range is carbon.
Other technologies included in some models throughout the range are:
• Firecrest - a design which uses a specially designed rim shape. This improves the aerodynamics of the wheel as well as giving it more strength and stability. It has been further developed with the Firestrike, a modification on this design.
• NSW - NSW stands for Nest Speed Weaponry and is used on wheels featuring Zipp's latest technology. “The Nest” is how the company describes its research and development office.
The current range includes:
• 30 - an aluminium clincher with 30mm deep rims
• 30 Course - aluminium wheels that come in disc-brake clincher, disc-brake tubular, rim-brake clincher, and rim-brake tubular varieties
• 60 - a clincher with an aluminium hub shell and carbon rim that is 58mm deep
• 202 - carbon wheels with 32mm rims that come in clincher, tubular disc-brake, and tubular options
• 303 - carbon wheels with 45mm rims and similar options to the 202
• 404 - carbon wheels with 45mm rims. This is one of the most popular models of wheel in the range and includes similar options to the 202 and 303, although there are also track and 650c options.
• 808 - carbon wheels with 82mm rims and options similar to the 404
• Discs - carbon disc wheels including the Super-9 range
Zipp sponsors a number of cycling teams involved in professional road racing. This includes the French team AG2R La Mondiale Pro Cycling Team and Team Katusha from Russia. It also sponsors the women's teams Boels Dolmans Cycling Team, Canyon // SRAM, and Team Twenty16.
The company also sponsors individual triathletes and professional cyclocross racers.