Zipp is synonymous with speed. They have built their reputation with aerodynamic carbon and in recent years have proven they are quite proficient in aluminum. The Zipp 101s, Service Course components and Alumina aerobars are fine examples of their alloy abilities. For 2013, Zipp aims to uphold their carbon reputation while expanding their aluminum offerings.
Leading Zipp’s charge on the aerobar side for 2013 is the new Vuka Stealth. The Vuka Stealth looks to bring Zipp’s famous aerodynamics to an integrated aerobar without the fit pitfalls and lack of adjustment. In development for four years, Zipp’s goal was to create an integrated aerobar that fits a wide range of riders. To accomplish this Zipp created an aerobar that has a staggering 1,920 fit options. About the only thing not adjustable on the Vuka Stealth is the base bar width, which is locked in at 42cm.
Employing their vast knowledge of aerodynamics, Zipp has created the Vuka Stealth to be 3 to 1 UCI legal and is as fast as the non-legal Vuka Aero that had a 4 to 1 ratio. Also in an effort to improve aerodynamics the Vuka Stealth has multiple exit ports for the brake cables to better align with the cable ports on different frames. For ease of setup, Zipp uses internal cable guides.
The Vuka Stealth comes in three stem lengths, small, medium and large. For each size there is an available shim that will extend the reach by 10mm. Stem length is just the start of the Vuka Stealth’s adjustability. The pad height can be adjusted using 10-, 25- or 50mm risers and the pad spacing can go from 140mm, center-to-center, to 236mm. The pads can also move fore and aft on the base bar plus or minus 40mm in 20mm increments. One area of adjustment that is new for integrated aerobars is the extensions can be set at plus or minus 6-degrees. The Vuka Stealth comes without extensions for $1,070 or with a choice of Zipp bend options for $1,200. It has 90mm of extension adjustability and uses the industry standard 22.2mm diameter to be compatible with other brands’ extensions
To help customers find the proper fit and size for their line of Vuka bars, Zipp developed Vuka Fit. Vuka Fit is an online application that will go live this spring. It will be accessible through the Zipp web site along with a soon to be available app. Using stack and reach, pad width and other data points, the system will aid in choosing the right equipment and setup. Vuka Fit is not a fitting protocol, and Zipp stresses that riders should under go a proper bike fit before using the system.
The Zipp 30 aims for balance. Balance between weight, stiffness, aerodynamics and price. It is similar to their formidable 101 aluminum wheel at a lower price point. Compared to the 101s the Zipp 30 uses different hubs and a parallel braking surface. The Zipp 30 feature a 30mm deep, toroidal rim shape that is faster than many deeper “V” section rims and uses a 21.5mm width rim for better cornering, lowered rolling resistance and increased ride comfort. Aerodynamically, the Zipp 30 fall just below the performance the of Zipp’s 202 carbon wheels. The hubs are a proprietary Zipp design. They are factory set with no pre-load adjustment and stainless steel bearings. Both hubs are constructed with 7075-T6 alloy shells, while the front uses 18 radially laced Sapim CX Ray spokes. The rear hub uses 20 spokes, radially laced on the drive side and 2-cross on the non-drive side. It is 10/11 speed compatible. The Zipp 30 wheelset weighs 1655 grams and will retail for $850.
The new Zipp 60 look to provide a ton of performance and bang-for-the buck. The Zipp 60 are a cross between Zipp’s legendary 404 aero wheelset and the new Zipp 30. The rims are a 58mm deep aluminum/carbon hybrid with a toroidal profile mated to a 19mm wide aluminum-braking surface. Like the Zipp 30, the braking surface on the Zipp 60 is parallel. The Zipp 60 also utilize the same Sapim CX Ray spokes and alloy hubs that are found on the Zipp 30s. The Zipp 60 wheelset hit the scale at 1780 grams and retail for an impressive $1500.
650 404 Firecrest
Another addition to the Zipp wheel line is a new smaller diameter 404. The 650 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher features all the technology and performance of the 700c version but in a smaller diameter. The addition of the 650 404 is a huge commitment to the 650 market and elevates the level of performance in a sector where performance wheel options are limited. The 650 404 hit the scale at 1465 grams and retail for $2,725
In terms of the SRAM corporate umbrella, the inclusion of the lower price point Zipp 30 and 60 will mean the end of SRAM branded road wheels. Look for a full review of the Zipp 30 in an upcoming issue of peloton magazine.