First Look: The New Zipp 454 NSW
Zipp announced a totally new and radical design for a new line of aerodynamic wheels, with nodes called Hyperfoils, inspired by the whale flippers.
According to the manufacturer, the new model reduces aerodynamic drag and crosswind forces. Visually interesting, and at $4,000, they’re also Zipp’s most expensive wheelset, offered only in a carbon clincher and only for rim brakes only, for now.
Another innovation that claims to make triathletes and cyclists faster. However, the average times and records remain quite stable. So either the athletes are getting worse (while improving equipment); or equipment do not generate as many benefits as promised. Seeing is believing. A few more pictures and the launch video:
From Zipp website:
The most visually striking and functionally important innovation in the handcrafted 454 NSW is Sawtooth™. This patented new biomimetic 53/58mm-deep rim shape achieves something conventional aero wheels cannot; it simultaneously reduces both aerodynamic drag andside force for the ultimate in AeroBalance™. Sawtooth™ accomplishes this with a series of patented fin-shaped Hyperfoil™nodes along the inner diameter of the rim that work together with our new HexFin™ ABLC dimples for improved airflow. The result is Zipp’s highest performing wheelset ever realized with wind tunnel proven aero-drag reduction and reduced side force at all wind yaw angles. This is important because higher wind yaw angles are where bike handling is most affected by the wind.
The 454 NSW’s undulating Sawtooth™ rim architecture with HyperFoils™ represents the next evolution of the Sawtooth™ ABLC dimple technology found on all of Zipp’s NSW wheels. The HyperFoils™ and HexFin™ ABLC dimples help to stabilize handling in gusting wind by increasing wind vortex shedding frequency. Lower frequency shedding produces larger, more powerful vortices. In cycling terms, this unstable situation is often referred to as “buffeting.” The higher frequency vortex shedding produced by Sawtooth™ creates a greater number of smaller, less powerful, yet more predictable vortices leading to greater wheel stability.
This added stability translates into greater rider control, thereby saving energy that is typically expended trying to hold a line in gusting wind. The result is a faster, more confident riding experience whether you are laying down power or descending sinuous mountain roads. Providing extra confidence, Zipp’s industry leading Carbon Clincher technology is durable and reliable, with no heat-related failures.
The 454 NSW also features our industry leading silicon carbide Showstopper™ brake track that allows you to brake later with more stopping power and greater control regardless of weather conditions or the length of the descent. Zipp’s ImPress™ NSW graphics technology, which prints graphics directly onto the rim, reduces weight and helps the HexFin™ ABLC dimples to do their aerodynamic job while elevating the wheel’s visual allure to new heights.
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