When we gave our top engineers in The Nest advanced development lab the task of shedding more weight from our lightest carbon clincher wheelset, the 202 Firecrest, while also improving rolling friction, aerodynamics, and braking, it was a very tall order. When we asked them to do all of this without sacrificing durability, it looked like an impossibility. But the NSW advanced development team delivered on every request and built the ultimate climbing wheelset, a climbing wheelset strong enough to use on every ride.
Engineered to be the fastest accelerating carbon clincher Zipp has ever made, 202 NSW flies up the toughest climbs, and then shaves even more time off of the descents to follow. And because extracting greater speed on the mountain is only half the battle, we built 202 NSW to deliver the lowest aerodynamic drag available for a rim of this depth for speed everywhere else.
In order for a climbing wheelset to be world beating it has to do more than simply deliver low weight; it has to deliver uncompromising performance on every level. This is why Zipp engineers in The Nest chose to enhance the world’s fastest climbing carbon clincher, the 202 Firecrest.
With a new lighter carbon fiber layup for the 32mm deep 202 NSW they’ve dropped weight where it matters most, at the outer edge of the wheel, while maintaining the durability and lateral stiffness that Firecrest is famous for. Then they reduced aerodynamic drag with ABLC Sawtooth™ technology and used ImPress™ graphics to ensure that nothing stood between the air flowing over the rim and the dimples made to smooth that flow. Knowing that there is no benefit to a wheelset that climbs fast and descends slow, NSW engineers incorporated our Showstopper™ brake track for the most confidence inspiring rim braking performance available, whether the road is wet or dry.
To further improve the wheelset’s rolling efficiency, the 202 NSW rim is laced to our groundbreaking Cognition™ hubset. Built around our Axial Clutch™ freehub technology, the Cognition rear hub is engineered to maintain speed when coasting by disengaging the ratchet mechanism. This technology enables the Cognition rear hub to deliver far less rolling friction than wheels using conventional freehubs – a real advantage when fighting through rolling foothills or when spun out on long descents.
Engineered for speed when approaching, ascending, traversing, and descending the world’s toughest mountain roads, Zipp 202 NSW is a wheelset that can only come from one place, The Nest, where the world’s fastest wheels are made.
Every time a conventional hubset starts to coast, friction within the freehub ratchet mechanism works like a drum brake to slow the rider down. With the Cognition hubset’s Axial Clutch technology, we’ve reduced this drag by disengaging the ratchet mechanism when coasting. Our testing shows that the best traditional three-pawl hub designs have twice the rotating friction as our Axial Clutch equipped Cognition rear hub, and the most popular hubsets using a similar drive mechanism as Axial Clutch were found to produce four times the rotating friction.
With less internal hub drag a rider can pedal less when riding through rolling hills or drafting in a headwind. Or achieve higher speeds when coasting in an aero tuck, or opt to stop pedaling a moment sooner before entering a corner and bank that wattage for use exiting the corner. Axial Clutch technology also allows riders to maintain speed through corners that don’t require braking input, thereby increasing corner exit speeds.
Inside the Axial Clutch mechanism we use magnets, rather than steel springs, to move and engage our light weight Metal injection Molded (MIM) ratchet rings for unrivaled reliability and consistent operation. With 36 points of engagement that all interlock simultaneously, there isn’t a more secure freehub mechanism on the market.
Our Axial Clutch freehub mechanism is also compatible with XDR drivers. This gives riders the option to select a 10-42 cassette to assemble a 1×11 drivetrain with an equivalent range to either a compact or standard road double drivetrain.
A star-flanged straight-pull hubshell design on the rear hub distributes the load placed on the hub angle away from the bearings. We’ve also developed a unique scalloped edge hubshell design for our front hub. This scalloped design maintains the bearing bore diameter when high radial spoke tension is applied. Both of these hubshell design elements ensure that bearings quietly stay in place, roll faster, last longer, and provide a laterally stiffer hub. About those bearings, we’ve chosen Swiss stainless steel bearings specially made to our specs to provide the longest lasting, lowest friction performance available.
ABLC SAWTOOTH™ TECHNOLOGY
Our new Sawtooth dimple design consists of 12 nodes that are precisely clocked to start aerodynamic shearing at a rate of 50hz at a rider speed of 20mph. Sawtooth accomplishes this by inducing small sheet vortices that shed at a low magnitude, but at a higher natural frequency, thus decreasing the laminar bubble effect on the aerodynamically shielded side of the rim’s profile to further reduce high yaw drag and improve crosswind stability. That crosswind stability then imparts peace of mind in gusty wind conditions while saving watts that would have been expended while attempting to hold your line.
We’ve employed Zipp’s ImPress™ graphics technology, which prints graphics directly on the wheel, to help allow the dimples to do what they were designed to do – control vortex shedding, the rate at which air sheds off the wheel. Managing this is crucial to stability. Like the 303, 404, and 808 NSW, ImPress graphics also give the 202 NSW a distinctive stealthy look while keeping the rim as light as possible.
When it comes to braking, “good for a carbon rim” wasn’t good enough for the 202 NSW. We wanted braking performance that was better than aluminum rims and any other carbon rim, and we’ve achieved that goal. Our industry leading silicon carbide Showstopper™ brake track delivers unmatched stopping power and modulation regardless of weather conditions or the length of the descent. With Showstopper braking performance, you’ll need to find another excuse not to ride on rainy days.
BORN OF SCIENCE. REALIZED BY HAND.
Zipp 202 NSW was developed using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) post-processing software and months in the wind tunnel, including the Aerodynamic Bike Testing Facility at the ARC Wind Tunnel, a short drive from Zipp’s Indianapolis facility. We do this because, as one of our advanced development engineers, Dave Morse, is fond of saying, “The wind tunnel will never be replaced as the gut check for wheel design.” The advanced development engineers at The Nest took that data and created the rim shape that became the 202 NSW.
Zipp 202 NSW rims are laid up, molded, drilled, and built in Indianapolis, USA, by Zipp technicians. Our expert wheel builders then hand lace the rims to our European-made Cognition hubset using Belgian Sapim CX-Ray spokes and Secure-Lock nipples to ensure precision alignment and even spoke tension. The end result is a handcrafted wheelset that stays fast and true for years to come.