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Item # ZIP0005

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Item # ZIP0005


Faster than you.

Our mind was blown when we heard that Zipp was about to debut a disc that produced negative drag -- aka lift. All our experience tells us that drag should go up as wind whooshes by a product. There are definitely ways to minimize drag. Maybe, maybe, there is a way to flatten the drag curve. But turn it the other way and get lift? That's for planes and shows in Vegas.

Until now. This Zipp disc actually reduces drag as it moves. The Zipp Sub-9 is the kind of wheel we want under us all the time -- and hope that our competition doesn't find out about it. The Sub-9 is substantially faster than the next-fastest disc wheel available, the Zipp 900 disc.

The shape, the dimples, the spinning, it all works in your favor when it's on your bike. It doesn't look like a flat disc or a lenticular disc. It looks like a deep dish Zipp rim with a disc in the middle. Zipp has tested this wheel to have an 80 gram drag reduction at 15 degrees of yaw. That means you gain 11 watts of forward power. It's like your threshold power just got dramatically better, because… well, because it did. Zipp has determined that 75% of real-world riding conditions occur where the wind is at a 10-20 degree yaw angle. As a result, they design for this range and the middle of the sweet spot is 15 degrees,

One concern we had is that if lift were produced, then the rear wheel might not be on the ground as firmly. Zipp's technical people assure us that doesn't happen.

There is one catch to these stupendous numbers. Use of Zipp's Tangente Tire. Zipp optimized the shape to work with a specific tire, and naturally they chose their own, which they also optimized to be faster in the wind. Put on another tire, and you gain 5 watts of forward power. Still pretty nice, but not 11 watts.

The funky shape takes another design element from Zipp's deep dish rims. The Carbon Bridge construction that has lightened up all their tubular rims. Here, the advantage of the design isn't so much the weight savings, but both the strength of the rim and the comfort of riding the wheel. Paradoxically, the wheel is both more compliant to ride and harder at the top of the sidewall. Harder at the sidewall thanks to Kevlar stitching and more compliant because the slightly bulbous end of the wheel, flexes to absorb shock better than a traditional disc. Not only does this add a degree of comfort to riding a disc, but it also makes it faster on pavement because it rolls over uneven pavement better.

The Zipp Sub-9 is available in 700c only. The disc gets as wide as 28mm in the deep dish segment of the wheel. The cassette body can come with Campagnolo splines or Shimano/SRAM splines for the appropriate cassettes. The hub bearings can be upgraded to ceramic. The disc comes with an angled valve adapter so that the tire can be pumped up and six Zipp "jersey" patches for covering the valve cutout. The weight is 1000g. A skewer is not included.

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.

  • Toroidal bulge also increases vertical compliance, providing a softer, smoother ride—ideal for long-course triathlons
  • Vibration-absorbing material is sandwiched between carbon layers to increase ride comfort
  • The 17-millimeter-thick axle is incredibly stiff for maximum power transfer
  • Fatter toroidal rim section may cause compatibility issues with the chainstays on the following bikes and frames: Cervelo P3 and P4, Ridley Dean and Noah, Scott Plasma, Giant Trinity Alliance, and the Argon 18 E-114; this is more common with heavier and stronger riders over 170 pounds

Tech Specs

Rim Width:
[internal] 18 mm, (external, at thickest point) 28.46 mm
Rear Hub:
Rear Hub Type:
not included
Axle Type:
Brake Compatibility:
(carbon-specific pads required) rim brake
Rear Weight:
998 g
Recommended Use:
long-course triathlon, time trials
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years

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Zipp SUB-9 Disc Wheel - Tubular

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Get Learn'd

don't know OREC?! sounds like you're the icelandic mother-flower.

Also, this disc is the cherriest. Me and teammates got to use three of them for collegiate nationals ttt and we sounded like an squadron of apache helicopters. choog! choog! choog! whoosh! whoosh! whoosh! go the wheels and yo go so golden fast.

5 5


OREC is the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission. They are very strict in these matters.

5 5

What is the OREC?

Who is the OREC? I go by the rules at or the USCF/UCI rule book. Where are you racing Iceland?

5 5

Poseurs only need apply

Nice wheels, too bad only poseurs and grad students use them as OREC rules officially state that Zipp's are suitable for training purposes only.