Based in Indianapolis, the heartland of Moto, Zipp has used motorsports as an inspiration to develop many carbon cycling innovations.
For around 30 years we have seen a lot of cool technology from ZIPP. However, this single-wall rim design is in my opinion, their most innovative yet. In essence, this Moto inspired technology allows the rim to ‘pivot’ around the spoke bed on rough trails. This pivoting movement or ‘ankle compliance’ of each edge of the rim is very slight but creates the feeling of having a little extra suspension and control, especially when speeds are high and the trails are gnarly.
- 27.5″ or 29″ (tested) options
- Single wall, handmade carbon rim with hookless rim bead, 30mm inner and 37.5mm external width designed for aggressive trail and enduro racing
- Available as a rim only or complete wheelset (tested)
- 32 Spoke in a 3 cross lace pattern
- Sapim D-Lite, J-Bend Stainless steel DBL butted spokes 2.0 / 1.65 / 2.0
- Integrated tyre pressure monitoring system – TyreWiz™
- Tubeless valve & tubeless rim tape – factory installed
- ZM1 Zipp hubs | 52 points of engagement
- XD Driver & 6 Bolt rotor
- Lifetime warranty
- Made in Indianapolis, USA
- Complete weight: 29″ 1910g | 27.5″ 1825g
- Rim weight: 29″ 567g | 27.5″ 536g
- Wheelset RRP: R31 874
- Rim only RRP: R11 388 (each)
The dynamic ride quality of the wheelset is due to the technology and innovation sitting within each component of the system – rims, hubs, spokes and valves.
THE SINGLE-WALL RIM: The single-wall approach (below and left) is low in profile with a thicker carbon wall. This design yields a stronger, more robust rim, without it being overbuilt and becoming excessively stiff.
ANKLE COMPLIANCE: Like the natural flex in a runner’s ankle when leaning through a sharp turn, the 3ZERO MOTO rim flexes under load to stay parallel to the ground when cornering which improves traction. This compliance also prevents you from getting bounced off of your line during single bead impacts when charging on rough terrain.
ZIPP’s WIDE HUB FLANGES: The ZM1 hubs have wider hub flanges for better spoke-bracing angles to improve lateral stiffness. The result is a more direct and planted feel when cornering.
SPOKES: They are 32 hole wheelsets and the stainless steel Sapim D-Lite, J-Bend spokes are a little longer than on box-section wheels. Zipp supply the ideal tension numbers in order to prevent torsional windup and energy loss when under power. It’s a double-butted spoke measuring 2.0 / 1.65 / 2.0.
RADIAL COMPLIANCE: The radial compliance built into the system kind of acts like a bit of additional suspension when you hit a rock. The rim actually flexes and absorbs the impact energy whilst spreading it away from the impact zone to reduce the likelihood of failure. Essentially, some of the load or force of the impact is driven away from the point of contact. This also reduces the chances of pinch flats.
APP-BASED TYRE PRESSURE MONITORING: The TyreWiz valve system is included with the wheelset and is an app-based, real-time
In Enduro racing or when charging gnarly trails a
When it comes to wheels, strong and stiff is good, but stiffest is not always best. The optimal amount of compliance, in the right direction, will improve performance. With the 3ZERO Moto wheels when you are hammering down a trail it is very difficult to specifically isolate the exact moments of the flex and compliance. I figure with more testing and a controlled environment that might be possible – but that’s not the point here really. The point is the flex and compliance does indeed exist, but is so very subtle that all you end up feeling is a more planted ride with less of the harsh trail feedback when things get rough.
Very rocky and rough terrain is slightly smoother with these wheels and it is easier to ride more direct lines, controlling the chaos and making up time. For one of the rides, I reverted back to my regular
POV | Zipp 3ZERO MOTO in Action
The 3ZERO wheels are incredible in technical terrain. When crisscrossing ruts, riding up inside edges and holding high lines on off cambers the technology simply does what it is supposed to and everything seems easier. Without a doubt, this is a phenomenal wheelset and I don’t know that there is anything better.
I think for a racer (virtual or real-world) the added value in this wheelset is felt after about two minutes into a long trail, and that value grows with compound interest for every additional minute spent at pace. I am talking about arm pump and rider fatigue. With more control and less effort wasted fighting the bike, you are simply fresher and more able to continue attacking the trail all the way to the finish line, beach or bar.