Zipp NSW Carbon Clincher Tubeless – First Look

Zipp’s NSW line has been earning rave reviews from us consistently. The Showstopper Brake track and Cognition hubs have continued to make a strong impression on our editors every time we take them out for a ride. NSW continues to represent the best products Zipp can make, and since their initial introduction in 2015, they have continued to expand their lineup. On Thursday, they announced their latest updates – a revised rim profile that now support tubeless tires on their three most popular rim depths.

The Zipp NSW Carbon Clincher Tubeless

The new wheel features a rim profile optimized to be fastest with wider tires. All three new wheelsets feature a 19mm internal rim width and corresponding outer rim shape for aerodynamic optimization with 25mm tires. Though we are still waiting on aero data to see the difference between 25mm and 23mm wheels.

The new rim is also tubeless compatible allowing you to run tubeless or traditional clinchers. For those unfamiliar, the benefits of tubeless include superior flat protection, the ability to run lower pressures, and a smoother ride with high cornering grip and low rolling resistance.

Like the NSW wheels before them, the new tubeless wheels feature Cognition, ImPress, ABLC Sawtooth, and Showstopper. The Cognition hubset with Axial Clutch technology reduces drag by disengaging the ratchet mechanism when coasting. A star-flanged straight-pull hubshell design on the rear hub distributes the load placed on the hub flange away from the bearings.

ImPress graphics technology prints graphics directly on the wheel. This helps to allow the dimples to do what they were design to do – help control vortex shedding, the rate at which air sheds off the wheel.

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.

Finally, there is the Showstopper brake track. 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 results of its Showstopper technology is a braking force in wet conditions equal to that of industry leading aluminum rims.

All Zipp NSW rims are laid up and built by hand at their factory in Indianapolis, Indiana. The new wheels ship with tubeless tape and valves installed for quick and precise set up.

The Wheels

The new wheels are available in the 303, 404, and 808 depths. The 303 is the shallowest rim with a 45mm rim depth. Weight for the combined set is 1,500g (675/825). Pricing comes in for the front wheel at $1,400 (€1,300, £1,160 )and the rear wheel at $1,800 (€1,700, £1,518).

The 404 is the mid-level wheel with a depth of 58mm. Weight for the combined set is 1,620g (738/882). Like the 303, pricing comes in for the front wheel at $1,400 (€1,300, £1,160 )and the rear wheel at $1,800 (€1,700, £1,518).

Finally, the big boy 808 has a depth of 82mm. Weight for the combined set is 1,855g (857/998). Pricing for the deepest rim kicks up a bit and comes in for the front wheel at $1,550 (€1,400, £1,250)and the rear wheel at $1,950 (€1,800, £1,607).

All wheels have planned retail availability in June of 2018.

Our Thoughts

While this launch caught us a bit off guard (and why it took a day for us to share the details), we aren’t surprised with where they went with this wheel. Both optimization for wider tires and tubeless compatibility are quickly becoming the expectations for new wheel launches. But don’t think that just meeting the industry expectations is a bad thing. In fact, we couldn’t be happier to see Zipp take a wheel we wanted at the top of our birthday list and bringing it up to the newest industry standards. Stay tuned for an in-depth review. Zipp has already promised a set with our name on it is being built as we write this.

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