Indiana-based Zipp – after talking to their tech king Andy Paskin, we discovered they’re based within the shadows of the famous Indy race circuit – have a couple new hoops that’ll serve to reinforce their position as main players in the world of tri.
The 101 wheelset is based around the successful 202, but uses alu for the rim. Key sells of the 101 are its versatility – it’s light enough to show well up hills, while the aero wind-tunnel data is comparable with the 202’s – and will hit the UK at around £1,000 for the wheelset. Not cheap but we’re talking wheels for true performance seekers here.
The infamous Sub-9 Disc – of “negative drag” claim (though unsure that’s physically possible without the universe imploding) – now has a younger sibling. The Super 9 is of similar ilk to the Sub-9 and was borne out of an issue that many Cervelo and Specialized users had, which revolved around the Sub 9’s tapered end. Rich from Saddlebak explained how the occasional Cervelo and Spec user couldn’t fit the Sub-9 into the stays. Hence, the new Super-9, whilst tapering gently from the hub’s 21mm to the outer-edge 23mm, it clears the stays fine. It includes the dimpled effect employed so successfully on he Sub-9 (and on golf balls) and the Pyrex foam that provides stiffness but doesn’t lose compliancy. Price in the UK TBC.
To finish off all things Zipp, we wrestled with the new RZR shifters. Based on SRAM’s R2C concept – where each bar-end shift has the paddle returning to its centre instead of the traditional method of remaining where shifted to (a cumbersome process indeed) – the paddles are slightly wider and resemble the ones used by Mr Armstrong at the Tour (though they were branded SRAM at the Tour). SRAM and Zipp are basically one after a buy-out a couple of years ago so it’s no surprise to see the R2C concept on the Zipp’s. They’ll come in slightly more expensive than the SRAM’s but hopefully both, as Richard assured us they would, will “settle down”. By that we mean shift just a touch easier. With our early efforts with the R2C in Majorca in Feb of this year and our crude efforts at Eurobike, each shift required a touch more effort than we’d like. We didn’t have miles of testing so we hope Rich is right.