Gear News

Zipp launch 808 NSW carbon clinchers

Latest deep-section wheels claimed to save 3-4 watts at 40km/h

Zipp describes their NSW series as ‘a science, a philosophy and a mission to engineer the fastest, most stable and highest performance cycling components ever tested.’ We’d describe them as wheels. Fast wheels.

Anyway, the latest from Zipp’s NSW (Nest Speed Weaponry) series is a brand new set of 808s, Zipps 82mm-deep time trial (and triathlon) wheelset, designed to maximise aerodynamic benefit and get you from A to B as quickly as possible.

Zipp are claiming a 3-4 watt saving with the NSW 808s when compared to the previous 808 Firecrests, which translates to an estimated saving of 90 seconds at 40km/h over 180km (the length of an Ironman bike leg). On top of that, Zipp say there’s an 8-10 per cent reduction in sideforce with the NSWs, meaning more predictable handling in blustery conditions.

The wheels are built around the ‘Cognition’ hubset, a mechanism that uses an Axial Clutch to reduce the drag within the freehub ratchet when you’re coasting (although you never coast, right?). In theory this should mean a smaller reduction in speed when, say, freewheeling into corners, providing a marginal time saving.

Elsewhere, the wheels use ‘Impress’ graphics – which is basically printing the graphics straight onto the wheels rather than using decals. That means the golf ball-style dimples on the rim surface aren’t compromised by having decals overlaid, so they can work more effectively.

Speaking of which, the dimples themselves have been redesigned to what Zipp are calling ‘ABLC Sawtooth’. They’re designed to start aerodynamic shearing at 50hz as soon as riders hit 20mph, which decreases the laminar bubble effect on the aerodynamically shielded side of the rim’s profile to reduce drag at high yaw and improve crosswind stability. Basically, re-read that previous sentence as ‘they’ve improved stability in crosswinds’.

The final feature, which was first rolled out on the outstanding Firestrike 404 wheels is the ‘Showstopper’ brake track. It’s made from silicon carbide and, having ridden the Firestrikes extensively ourselves, we can confirm just how good it is: probably the best carbon braking surface on the market.

Stats-wise, the 808 NSWs come in at a claimed 1,810g (830g front/980g rear), with a 26.44mm width at the brake track and 17.25mm internal width – although the widest section of the rim measures in at 27.8mm.

The wheels use the aforementioned Cognition hubset and pair that to Sapim CX-Ray spokes to top off a pretty impressive package. Needless to say, the price tag will reflect the technology used as they’ll come in at £2,350 and will be available from December 2015..

Website: Zipp

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