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Item # ZIP0138

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Item # ZIP0138


Zipp's 808 Carbon Tubular Wheels are uniquely, remarkably fast. Tour Magazine of Germany tested the previous version 808 wheels and found them to be the fastest non-disc wheels available on the planet -- even faster than some discs from zero to 13-degrees of yaw. Zipp's latest generation 808 Carbon Tubulars employ their Firecrest rim shaping, and believe it or not, these are even faster.

Where other wheels use more traditional 'V' shaped rims, which not coincidentally Zipp abandoned years ago, the Firecrest design on the 808 wheels is wider and more oval in cross section. They have been tuned to deliver maximum performance without sacrificing rideability. The Firecrest shape is optimized to push the center of pressure towards the hub. This means that crosswinds will affect these wheels less than other designs of similar depth. You can ride with greater confidence without experiencing as much nervousness from the front wheel as gusts blow across the race course. Along with Zipp's dimpling, this new tuned shape provides massive aerodynamic advantages in comparison to what you might consider as "standard" semi-aero road wheels.

Zipp developed the 808 Carbon Tubular Wheels in the wind tunnel, long before they even thought about production. Their typical process involves building non-structural 3D prototypes, testing shape after shape, then refining them into the final design based on the wind tunnel data. It's an exhaustive development process, but it gives Zipp engineers the information they need to know about drag coefficients and also wattage required to spin the wheels in the wind.

Buyers of the 808 tubulars will benefit from Zipp's Carbon Bridge rim construction method where Kevlar thread is stitched in a co-axial helix (think round) to bind the layers of carbon fiber at the top of each rim's sidewall. What the stitched segment does is spread out the compressive load that the rim experiences as it nears and passes the ground. They call it a 'capstone.' The result is a rim that is 28% more impact resistant than earlier versions and allows Zipp to remove material from under the tire bed to keep the rims light.

Zipp uses unidirectional carbon throughout, but the braking track and outer rim wall use woven carbon as it adds the toughness needed for road racing. The wheels roll on Zipp's 88 front and 188 rear hubs.'...crosswinds will affect these wheels less than other designs of similar depth...'They both use 17mm aluminum axles for strength and supreme stiffness, and they have a preload adjustment so that you can dial them in to that bearing nirvana, just between a bit of play and slightly too tight. Speaking of bearings, Zipp's Swiss-made bearings enjoy a reputation for exceptional smoothness.

Part of their design process examines spokes, both shape and count for each wheel. Their wattage testing from the tunnel helped Zipp determine the appropriate configuration for the 808 Carbon Tubulars to combine best performance with best "feel" for the rider. To that end, they've equipped them with 16 radial spokes in the front and 20 spokes in the rear wheel, split between both sides -- crossed on the left and radial on the right. The Sapim CX-Ray stainless steel ovalized spokes are far and away the best in the industry. They're lighter than most round butted spokes, and the coining process used to produce their aerodynamic shape makes them stronger and very durable. They are anchored to the full-carbon rims with Sapim alloy nipples.

One more design aspect of note is the width of the 808 Carbon Tubulars. Using the 303 as a testbed, Zipp experienced many benefits by using a slightly wider rim. Firstly, the aero properties are best exploited when paired with a like-sized tire. And since most of us train and even race on 23 - 25mm tires, the use of a wider 22.94mm width at the braking track "fits" the tires better for optimum aerodynamics.

Zipp 808 Carbon Tubular Wheels are supremely light and are more aero than everyone else's 90mm wheels. Plus, they're easier to handle in a crosswind. They are available with Campagnolo or Shimano/SRAM compatible freehubs. The rims are Matte Clear over carbon and the spokes and hubs are Silver. A set of Zipp steel skewers is included as well as two 48mm alloy valve extenders, and Zipp Tangente cork brake pads.

Please Note: Zipp's Tangente Platinum Pro and cork brake pads are designed specifically for use with their carbon tubulars. Use of brake pads other than these is highly recommended against and will void the wheel warranty.

Tech Specs

[rim] carbon fiber
Rim Width:
22.94 mm
Rim Depth:
90 mm
Front Spoke Count:
Front Hub:
Zipp 88
Front Hub Type:
Rear Spoke Count:
Rear Hub:
Zipp 188
Rear Hub Type:
Spoke Material:
stainless steel
Spoke Nipple Material:
Axle Type:
17 mm
Brake Compatibility:
caliper brakes with Zipp approved pads
Complete Set Weight:
1519 g
Recommended Use:
road cycling
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years

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