Zipp and carbon wheels. It's like referencing McDonald's and fast food, or Nike and sneakers. Zipp is ubiquitous, an early tech innovator that’s often sat at the forefront of cycling technology. Amongst the first to use carbon in wheels, they’ve consistently pushed the envelope of what’s possible when it comes to aerodynamics and weight. Now, they've broken the mold (literally) with the new 454 NSW wheel. Aesthetically, it's a striking departure from traditional carbon wheel shaping, with a buzzsaw-looking variable inner diameter, actually inspired by the fins of humpback whales, an engineering trend known as biomimicry. The long story made short? It allows the 454s to dump the vortexes that cause a wheel to become unstable faster, making them slightly quicker than a Zipp 404, with the stability of a 303. It also gives them a surprisingly lithe cornering feel, when most deep carbon requires focus and muscling, especially at speed going downhill. The ride feel of the 454 can be described in one phrase: Ludicrously fast. They move forward with an extremely planted, driving feeling, holding that speed with tangible ease. They're easily the stiffest stock Zipps we've ridden, and the complete lack of flex contributed to joyous.
At the hub, Zipp has ditched their stock set in exchange for the NSW Cognition. An all-new design originally used with the NSW line of Zipp wheels, the trick rear hub has a near-mountain bike level of instant engagement, but without the immense amount of drag a system usually offers. How? Science. Specifically, magnets that disengage the drive ring during coasting, giving them a ceramic bearing feel. The rapid hub engagement gives acceleration a kind of drive-by-wire feeling.
- Size (Wheels): 700c
- Rim Construction: Carbon – Hookless
- Tire Compatibility: Tubeless Tires Only
- Rim Depth: 58mm
- Brake Compatibility: Disc (Center Lock)
- Driver Body Type: n/a, SRAM XDR, SRAM/Shimano Road
- Rim - Inside Width: 23mm
- Rim Finish: Ud Fiber, Impress Technology
- Rim Profile: Symmetrical
- Spoke Length DS: 248mm, 254mm
- Spoke Length NDS: 252mm, 254mm
- Weight: 1358g (based on estimated lightest weight for wheelset)
- Configuration: 12mm through axles and XDR body. No tape or valve included in weight.
- Front: 631g
- Rear: 727g