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New Wheels Coming from Zipp Speed Weaponry, 101’s Finally Available

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Zipp Speed Weaponry just posted this teaser video about something new called FireCrest coming May 7, just a couple days from now.  In the meantime, the news from Sea Otter Classic is that the 101 wheelset is finally available.

Announced last year, the 101’s are the first full torroidal shaped alloy rims and they started shipping last week.  They’re basically the aluminum version of the 202’s.  If you’re looking for an aero wheelset but aren’t convinced crabon fibre is a solid rim material choice, jump on past the break for pics and specs…


First a couple of press-ready glamour shots provided by Zipp.  No, this photo isn’t faded, the wheel color is a glossy gray shadow color that’s pretty classy looking in person and should go with just about any paint scheme.


What’s hard to illustrate in these images is the fact that these rims have the first FULL torroidal profile, with the curve extending across the braking surface.  This maximizes the aerodynamic advantages over “V” shaped rims or the hybrid torroidal shap used on SRAM-branded wheels (SRAM owns Zipp).


You can sort of see it here in these non-glamorous real-world photos taken under a red tent in beating sunlight.


The 101’s use Zipp’s 88 front / 188 rear hubs and include their 78g stainless steel/aluminum skewers.  The hubs even have aerodynamically shaped bearing tensioners.  You turn them in to set the bearing preload, then tighten the hex bolt.  Then just point them in the right direction when you slip them in the dropouts for maximum, er, minimum wind resistance.  Quick specs:

  • $1,300 / set
  • 1,523g / set
  • 24.5mm width at widest cross section
  • 30mm deep
  • 22mm brake track
  • 21-23mm tire width ideal
  • 17mm axle
  • Swiss steel bearings

Full Press Release:

First unveiled at Eurobike in September 2009, the heavily anticipated 101 aero aluminum wheelset from Zipp Speed Weaponry is now shipping to retailers and distributors worldwide.

Featuring the first fully toroidal aluminum rim, the 101 is the most affordable way for cyclists and triathletes to take advantage of Zipp’s aerodynamic technologies developed during two decades of research and results with carbon fiber wheels.

“All our data over the years tells us that aero wheels are faster for every rider,” said Zipp Wheel Product Manager Jim Douglas. “Now, the 101 takes what we’ve learned about rim shape and aero design from working with carbon and applies it to aluminum. And our testing shows that the 101 is the fastest aluminum wheel out there for training and racing.”

Zipp developed the 101’s 30mm-deep rim in the wind tunnel with a proprietary profile curve extending across the braking surfaces. This fully toroidal design creates less drag than either a standard V-shape or a hybrid-toroidal profile with flat, parallel braking surfaces.

Compared to the industry’s benchmark shallow-profile race wheel, the 101’s aero performance is even more impressive, with savings of up to 42 seconds over 40km. With a maximum width of 24.5mm to complement most common tire sizes, the bulged profile of the 101 smoothes airflow around the wheel more effectively than typical, narrow rim designs. The 101’s wide platform also resists pinch flatting, improves lateral stiffness, and provides stable handling on rough surfaces.

Because the rim is narrower at the hook bead than in the middle, the 101 can be used safely with tires as narrow as 21mm, unlike other wide-profile clincher rims. The maximum recommended tire width for the 101 is 35mm.

Like every Zipp wheelset, the 101 is built by hand in Speedway, Indiana, using premium Sapim CX-Ray spokes and Zipp’s 88 and 188 hubs with Swiss steel bearings. The hubs are manufactured in Indiana using the proprietary Z310.9 alloy, and feature oversize 17mm axles and adjustable bearing preload.

The 101 wheelset weighs 1,523 grams and has a suggested retail price of $1,300. It is available in 700c clincher only. Due to high demand, orders for the 101 will be fulfilled in the order of placement, beginning with a significant number of back orders. The current wait time for new orders is approximately one month.

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