Zipp 202 Carbon Road Wheel - Tubular $1,314.95
We all know that a race can't be won without climbing. And when your turn comes to break off the front on a nine-percent grade, we hope that your wheels are cut out it for it. By this, we mean that your 60mm dish race wheels aren't particularly well suited for the endeavor at hand. Instead, you need low-weight, all-encompassing rigidity, and responsiveness. Basically, you need the Zipp 202 Tubular. For years, the 202 Tubular has been the wheel of choice on nearly every crucial Grand Tour climbing stage. From Huez, and even to Roubaix, the 202 has delivered podium results for those with true grit and determination. And for the latest iteration of the 202, Zipp's refined 188/V9 rear hub and more efficient spoke lacing pattern have been employed. Basically, this means the best just got even better.
To make the 202 the most decorated climbing wheel in the world, Zipp gave it one of the most efficient strength-to-weight ratios on the planet. With an intelligent unidirectional, carbon fiber layup, the 202 is rigid enough to respond directly to power. But, at a svelte 1140g set weight, they're light enough to translate that power to pure climbing prowess. Overall, the design provides responsiveness and stiffness rarely accredited to a 32mm deep wheelset. However, this isn't solely attributable to carbon fiber alone. It all comes down to the 202's toroidal rim shape.
Don't worry if you don't know what a "toroidal rim shape" is — it's been a while since our last geometry class, too. Here's an easy explanation. Whereas a traditional aluminum rim follows a "V" shape from the spokes to the rim bed, a toroidal shape follows more of a "U" shape. It sounds elementary, and perhaps a bit fussy, but the benefits are staggering. With the 202's design, Zipp is able to tune the brake track width independently of the rim's maximum width — that's why the 101 is touch narrower at the rim (22.56 to 22.61mm). Having the freedom to choose where the widest point on the rim needs to reside on the section allows the modifications necessary for Zipp to increase braking power, improve aerodynamics, and decrease crosswind sensitivity. Even today, this shape is the basis for the venerable Firecrest crest technology that's applied to Zipp's carbon lineup. Basically, all of these improvements simply make a faster, stiffer, and lighter wheel.
For the build, Zipp used its proprietary 88 hub on the front and the new 188/V9 on the rear. This new hub design has larger precision Swiss steel bearings for increased durability, and it provides an increase in lateral stiffness over its predecessor by more evenly spreading load over the axle. According to Zipp, this new bearing/cartridge system also delivers a 25% increase in torsional stiffness compared to the leading competitive hubs currently available. The wheels still receive an 18/24 Sapim X-Ray spoke configuration, but on the rear wheel, Zipp moved from a radial non-drive side and two-cross lacing drive side pattern to its new "virtual three cross" lacing configuration on both sides. Zipp uses the word "virtual" here to describe the manner in which one spoke doesn't actually contact the other two spokes it crosses. The result is a stiffer overall construction that more effectively transfers power directly to the rear wheel, which is crucial for those out-of-the-saddle sprints and climbs.
The Zipp 202 Carbon Tubular Road Wheel is available in the color Black. It's a 700c size, and it ships with your choice of a Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo 11-speed compatible freehub body. Zipp has also provided its new Tangente Platinum Pro Evo Brake Pads. Please consult with the official Zipp website for a list of approved brake pads.
Please note that these wheels are sold individually, and that Zipp does not recommend the 202s for riders exceeding 225lb.