Saturday, September 01, 2007

Product review - 2008 Zipp 999 wheelset

It has been a while since my last product review (see Powertap SL last spring) but this one was worth the wait. I was looking for a disc wheel for the longer distance triathlons next year. I have used the Renn 575 disc, waiting for a Hed disc and still on the waiting list for a Bontrager Aeolus disc. The Renn and the Hed offer a clincher version of the disc, the Bontrager and the Zipp do not.....or so I thought. I went looking at the Zipp website and noticed for 2008 they now offer a clincher version! No more gluing tubbies for B-!!

I contacted the rep at Zipp about demoing a clincher disc. They sent one out to the local bike dealer for me to try. It was a very pleasant experience. They were easy to deal with and helpful in setting it up with the dealer. I find it odd that I work at a place that makes the Bontrager discs and I can't even demo one, I can't even buy one as they keep them on such a limited inventory that professionals get them and not the general public. Not real good for getting your product out there isn't it?

The first week I had the disc I was not able to use it. We had major flooding from the torrential rains coming down for 7 days straight and we were even declared a federal disaster area because of all the flooding. The second week was much different. We had sunny and pleasant weather. Perfect for riding and riding fast! I took the bike to work with the Zipp proudly displayed at my desk. It sure did get lots of looks and comments. Mind you, all positive. The first ride was a 20 mile loop of gently rolling hills. The disc was smooth and responsive. They made me ride harder to keep up with the wheels. I ride a TTX 9.9 and these wheels were made for it. The clinchers are a bit heavier than their tubular counterparts, but the familarity with the clinchers edges the weight differential. If I am that concerned with a few hundred grams, I will skip that last twinkie! It makes more sense to lose a thousand grams off of me than to purchase the wheels that save those grams. The familiarity of the clinchers is a big seller for me. Discs were once resreved for those who ride tubulars but not anymore. I could change this tire and tube no problem out on the course without having to worry about carrying a bulky tubular out there on the course.

Overall impressions are very favorable of Zipp, and the product speaks for itself. The disc is very solid and it felt natural under the TTX. It accelerated smoothly and rolled effoertlessly on the flats as well as the rollers. I would recommend this disc to anybody who wants to ride the best. You will race harder just riding the wheel. This disc is truly the best you can buy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How was the Renn?

6:45 AM  
Blogger bbieberitz said...

I didn't mind the Renn. It was light but not as responsive for some reason. I am a larger rider and it felt like the back tire was going flat in the corners. It was my first ride on tubeulars. IT was not as "loud" as the Zipp either. It was kinda cool announcing I was coming when on the Zipp but it also felt pretty good blowing by people on the Renn silently :)

8:19 PM  

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