The Zipp 1Zero Hitop Wheelsets are the brand’s first foray into the lightweight carbon XC wheel market. So what’s the big deal?
Essentially it’s another scenario where new technology works so well in one application that it is then rolled out to other disciplines. It happens often in the bike industry and it’s a good thing because overall development costs have a wider platform to be distributed across and more riders get access to better tech. In this case, the new Zipp 1Zero Hitop XC wheels, employ technology that increases compliance to improve comfort and performance. Zipp has already achieved this ride dynamic with their Trail and Gravel wheels.
The new XC carbon wheelset will be available in two iterations, the Zipp 1Zero Hitop S and the Zipp 1Zero Hitop SW. Both wheelsets feature the same carbon rims however the SW wheelset has a slightly higher spec hub, spokes and nipples. Local availability of the S wheelset is scheduled for November and the more premium SW wheelset is initially available on special order only.
The big deal with these wheels is the increased comfort, grip and control that the compliance brings. When carbon rims prioritize stiffness, they tend to transfer more vibrations to the rider, especially the high-frequency trail chatter that isn’t effectively absorbed by the suspension. This results in increased rider fatigue, reduced confidence, and a tendency to ride at slower speeds. It is also common knowledge that stiff wheels raise the risk of pinch flats.
The key to the added compliance lies in the proprietary carbon layup and the shape of the rim. I’ve no doubt the 24-hole spoke count plays a part too. It is a hookless bead, rim depth is 21mm and the inner width is an on-trend 30mm, which means these wheels will work best with 2.3″ to 2.5″ sized tyres but that doesn’t mean narrower options are a no-go.
The intended application is racing (or riding) on bikes with a maximum travel of 130mm. Interestingly the guys at Zipp have said the wheels are compatible with lightweight eMTBs (think under 20kg) that have a maximum torque value of 55Nm. So in South Africa that would be bikes like the Trek Fuel EXE, the Specialized Levo SL etc. A 130kg rider weight restriction does apply and Zipp says the wheels carry a lifetime warranty. All in all these look to be some super speedy wheels. | Learn more