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Zipp’s advanced development lab, nicknamed “the Nest”, has turned to nature seeking solutions to the problems of speed, control and efficiency. Utilizing biomimicry, the Zipp 454 NSW Disc Brake Wheelset draws inspiration from an unlikely source: the humpback whale. This wheel showcases an evolutionary leap forward in rim design, and brings unparalleled braking control and responsiveness with it, to boot.
Zipp sought to address the all-too-common problem of crosswind instability. Any rider who’s taken a pair of deep-dish wheels down an exposed decent has had the hair-raising experience of an unpredictable gust nearly resulting in a crash. This occurs because once the wind hits the rim, it results in low-frequency vortices creating what’s called “buffeting”.
The striking Sawtooth™ rim architecture is Zipp’s answer to pesky crosswinds. The biomimetic 53/58-mm deep rim takes inspiration from the tubercles on a humpback whale’s fins. These tubercles provide the whale increased responsiveness as they corral krill, often changing directions or depths to position themselves perfectly. The 24 HyperFoils™ along the 454 NSW rim address side-force by creating less powerful, more predictable high-frequency vortices. Pair this with the HexFin™ ABLC dimples for improved airflow and the result is Zipp’s highest performing wheelset yet.
The 454 NSW rims are laced to the NSW-specific Cognition™ Disc hubs using 24 Belgian Sapim™ CX-Ray spokes front and rear. Providing compatibility with Center Lock rotors, these wheels offer confident braking in all-seasons. The rear hub houses the XD-driver compatible Axiom Clutch freehub body, doing away with the standard 3-pawl ratcheting freehub body and opting for a drag-reducing 36-tooth magnetic-operated freehub that disengages while you coast. There is a star-flanged hub in the rear and a scalloped hub shell up front, increasing durability and reducing load on the stainless steel Swiss bearings.
- Claimed weight: 1,525 grams.
- 24 Sapim® CX-Ray spokesfront and rear.
- ABLC™ HexFin™ dimples improves aerodynamic performance and crosswind stability.
- Cognition™ Disc NSW-specific hubs with Swiss ceramic bearings and Axiom™ clutch technology.
- Rotor compatibility: Center Lock.
- Thru Axle Compatible: 12 or 15mm Front, and 10mm Rear.
- Claimed weight: 1,615 grams.
- Includes: Zipp Tangente Titanium black skewer, valve extenders, individual wheel bags, Tangente Tubes, 700cx20mm rim tape, and Thru-Axle end caps for 12x100, 15x100, and 12x142 dropouts.
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