Zipp’s new 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher brings the Firecrest rim shape to the 202 platform, which means it’s now available as a clincher.
The 202 started out as a climbing wheel, but made with the “what goes must come down” mantra in mind. They’re made for everything from racing to gravel road grinds.
It’s designed with CFD to refine the airflow around the rim shape. Because the shallow rim profile is more susceptible to tire shape, they optimized it to work with a wide range of tires. The goal was to give cyclists a wheel they would want to ride in any conditions, and allow them to pick the best tire for the day’s conditions.
Zipp says Firecrest is the “first mathematically derived continuous radius rim shape”. In layman’s terms, it means it’s a patent pending shape that mimics the tire’s profile on the second leading edge, also known as the back of the wheel when they’re on the bike. If the shapes aren’t balanced, a pressure differential can cause undue side force, which is felt as steering torque. the 202 Firecrest’s center of pressure is just below the hub, essentially centered in the wheel.
Compared to a standard box section rim, there’s the expected improvement in drag straight on, but also a significant improvement in drag reduction in a crosswind.
Zipp’s technical PR man David Ripley says they’re more aerodynamic than traditional (ie. “V” shaped) wheels as deep as 66mm, and is faster than pretty much any aero wheel from 10 years ago. That point was made only to show that wheel tech has come a long way. It’s even faster (less drag) than the 202 tubular (stays in the line as-is, which doesn’t have the Firecrest shape – none of their tubulars do because that rim shape doesn’t work for tubular construction without adding weight to strengthen it, which is a whole ‘nutha story).
They have the same or greater rider weight limits as any of their other wheels with a full warranty. They have virtually identical claimed lateral stiffness as the 303 Firecrest but 150g lighter.
Retail is $2725 US. 32mm rim depth,ax width is 25.4mm. Brake track width is 24.5 outside and 16.25mm inside. Wheelset weight is 1375g (625g F/750g R) with 18/24 spokes. Ships October, and they’re approved for cyclocross use.
The Super 9 Carbon Clincher Disc is the other big news for wheels.
They say it’s “The fastest wheel EVER” which is saying something since it’s a clincher. Ripley says they’re now making clinchers significantly more aerodynamic than tubulars because the interface between the tire and rim helps keep the air attached to the wheel, which reduces turbulence, and thus drag.
The Super 9 was designed to ride like a spoked wheel so it won’t beat you up over rough pavement, yet it’s their laterally stiffest wheel ever. It’s also designed to be robust enough to still be on the road in 20 years.
Yes, clinchers are a heavier system overall than tubulars, but Ripley says aerodynamics trump weighthis. This wheel comes in at 1175g, 180g more than the tubular model. Clinchers also give a rider a lot more flexibility in tire selection.
Ships in November for $2,375. Rim is 27.5mm wide at the widest, a bit narrower at the brake track.
Both wheels will ship 11-speed compatible. Details on Zipp’s 11-speed compatibility and retrofittable-ness is covered here.
Braking performance on both the 202 and Super 9 is improved over existing models.
The resin was tweaked slightly from the 303 and 404 because there’s less rim material to conduct and dissipate heat. What it boils (bad pun intented) down to is the transition temperature of glass. The new resin mix handles the heat better for these rims, however Ripley says the new resin isn’t slated to move to the 303 and 404 because it’s close enough you wouldn’t likely notice a performance benefit on those wheels. Ripley says they’ve had zero heat related braking failures yet. Brand manager Andy Paskins says they were among the last to the game in carbon clinchers because they wanted to get the braking performance right. Zipp’s only had carbon clinchers for about 2-1/2 years, starting with the 404 Firecrest.
The Zipp SL Speed Zero Offset carbon seatpost adds a, yep, zero setback option alongside the 20mm offset introduced last year.
27.2 and 31.6 diameters, 330mm length, Ti bolts and ships in November for $295. Weight is 175g for the 27.2.
Tangente Platinum Pro Evo brake pads takes the existing model and makes it 1mm thinner, which adds 2mm clearance to the bike. This was done to make it easier to fit the newer, wider rims that Zipp and many others are using. To boost performance, they made the contact patch larger (~10mm tall, which is about 2mm taller than a standard yellow SwissStop pad, and it’s slightly longer, too) and added four grooves (up from 3) to shuttle water off the brake track.
$40 per wheel and 31g, available in October and will ship with wheels. They’re made for them by SwissStop, but uses Zipp’s proprietary platinum oxide formula.