Zipp started Spring right this week with not one or two, but three product launches – the 303 NSW, disc brake versions of the 404 Firecrest and 808 Firecrest, and Custom Super-9 Discs with Zipp ImPress™. All three build on technologies that Zipp has showcased over the past year and brings them to even more athletes. Lets dive in!
Zipp 303 NSW
Zipp first launched NSW with the 808 depth, and in February brought it to the 404. Today we see them go one step shallower (45mm) with the 303 – what Zipp calls their lightest, highest performance 303 wheel set they have ever made. Meant to be more than a race-day-only wheel set, Zipp did plenty of testing of the 303 NSW along the cobbles of the Arenberg Forest with some of the world’s fastest riders.
The technology that we are becoming so fond of in the 808 NSW shows up in the 303 NSW as well, starting with the Cognition Hub Set. The Cognition hub set with Axial Clutch technology reduces drag by disengaging the ratchet mechanism when coasting. A star-flanged straight-pull hub shell design on the rear hub distributes the load placed on the hub flange away from the bearings.
With less internal hub drag, a rider can pedal less when riding through rolling hills or drafting in a headwind. Riders can also achieve higher speeds when coasting in an aero tuck, or opt to stop pedaling a moment sooner before entering a corner and bank that wattage for use exiting the corner. Inside the Axial Clutch mechanism, Zipp uses magnets, rather than steel springs, to move and engage the lightweight Metal injection Molded (MIM) ratchet rings for reliable and consistent operations.
The ABLC (Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control) Sawtooth dimple design consists of 12 nodes that are specifically clocked to start aerodynamic shearing at a rate of 50hz at a rider speed of 20mph. Sawtooth accomplishes this by inducing small sheet vortices that shed at a low magnitude, but at a higher natural frequency, thus decreasing the laminar bubble effect on the aerodynamically shielded side of the rim’s profile to further reduce high yaw drag and improve crosswind stability.
To help you control that speed, the 303 NSW also gets the same Showstopper tech found in the 808 and 404. Showstopper’s power resides in directional, molded-in, texture paired with silicon carbide (SiC) particles suspended in the surface resin. SiC is nearly three-times harder than hardened steel, which helps ensure a strong and consistent braking experience. The grooves on the wheel also help to wipe water away and act as cooling vanes. Zipp claims that the net result of its Showstopper technology is a braking force in wet conditions equal to that of industry leading aluminum rims (and if our time with the 808 NSW is any indication, those claims appear to hold some water).
Zipp claims a total weight of 1,425g (640g/785g) for the 303 NSW. The new wheel set will be available in May 2016 with an MSRP of $3,100.
Zipp 404 / 808 Firecrest Disc Brake
While we have been expecting a 303 NSW, we have to admit that the dual launch of the 404 and 808 Firecrest Disc brake wheel sets caught us a bit by surprise. Yes 404 shouldn’t have been a surprise – but the 808 depth? To us, that says Zipp sees Disc brakes making their way to triathlon.
Both the 404 and 808 wheels get Zipp’s 77/177D hub set. With the 77/177, the breaking preload is preset. The hubs are thru-axle compatible and come with thru-axle end caps that can be swapped by hand – Front: 12x100mm & 15x100mm- Rear: 12x135mm & 12x142mm.
The 404 and 808 are available in both carbon clincher and tubular versions. The 404 has a rim depth of 58mm while the 808 is 82mm.
Pricing for the 404 disc brake is $2,400 for the carbon clincher, and $2,300 for the tubular. Total weight for the carbon clincher is 1,715g (800g/915g). Retail availability will be May 2016.
The 808 disc brake carbon clincher will retail for $2,700 (tubular for $2,600). The carbon clincher weighs in at 1975g (950g/1025g). And like the 404, it will be available in May.
Canyon / SRAM Zipp Super-9 Disc
To celebrate speed, high-performance, and women’s cycling, Zipp has created this limited edition CANYON/SRAM Racing Super-9 Disc wheel. Produced in their Indianapolis factory, these Super-9 Disc wheels feature Zipp ImPress direct print technology that emblazons their fastest wheel with the team’s distinctive Rapha kit design. The custom CANYON/SRAM Racing design is available for the Super-9 Carbon Clincher.
And while we normally do not get too excited for just a new color palate, this wheel looks simply fantastic. And as an added benefit, Zipp’s ImPress technology (also used on their NSW wheels including the 303 NSW) prints graphics directly on the wheel, to help allow the dimples to do what they were designed to do – control vortex shedding, the rate at which air sheds off the wheel.
The Canyon/SRAM Super-9 Disc will be available in May with an MSRP of $2,500.