Zipp’s new wheel range boasts disc-specific wheels, each incorporating tubeless compatibility. Both Firecrest and NSW ranges have seen updates, designed to bring the range up to date with the fast-evolving road market and cater for the growing trend for mixed terrain riding.
First up, four models from the Firecrest range, the 202, 303 (in 650b – more on that below), 404 and 808 have received a reprofiled internal rim, with the 404 and 808 versions featuring a 19mm internal rim diameter, while the 202 and 303 wheels have seen an increase to 21mm diameter.
Why? Daniel Slusser, PR man for SRAM, Zipp’s parent company, says it’s down to the prevalent use of those wheels in the hands of the rider.
“The 202 and 303 650b are optimised for a 28mm tyre, so they’re faster with a 28mm tyre over a 25mm equivalent tyre, yet are faster than the outgoing models that were designed for 25mm rubber,” he says. “It’s an all-round win – you’re getting more comfort, lower rolling resistance and better overall aerodynamics.
“The narrower 404 and 808 rims are optimised for a 25mm tyre, and that’s because they’re more road-specific in their use and so have slightly better aerodynamics with that use, whereas the 202 and 303 650b are better at crossing over to gravel and even CX use.”
The aerodynamics are improved throughout the range because the distinctive ABLC dimples now run right up to the tyre, while the tubeless compatibility comes from a redesigned rim contour, which Slusser says makes use of a shelf and an inner bump that helps to encompass and ‘seat’ the tyre bead more securely.