Zipp News

Back 10.16.2012

The story behind Jacobs' winning wheel choice

Pete Jacobs knew the Zipp 808 Firecrest – with its 82 mm rim depth – would be an ultra fast wheel for last weekend’s Ironman® World Championship in Kona.

But he had a lingering question: “Will it be too much to handle in tough crosswinds?”

Jacobs got his answer from fellow Australian Chris “Macca” McCormack. “Macca said the 808 Firecrests were no different in a crosswind than the (more shallow) 404s, so I was confident that it was going to ride well,” Jacobs said. “The crosswinds were never blowing me across the road. I always felt in control. During the race I was thinking, “Wow, these 808s feel great.”

Indeed. Jacobs, riding Zipp 808 Firecrest® Tubulars, looked strong throughout the 112-mile cycling leg. He was second off the bike and went on to capture his first Kona title. Jacobs became the second pro to win the Ironman® World Championship while riding 808 Firecrest wheels. Macca debuted the 808 Firecrest with a Kona victory in 2010.

Jacobs also stayed aero and comfortable for his 4:35:15 bike split (24.2 mph average) while riding the Zipp® VukaBull basebar along with a Zipp Service Course SL stem and Zipp carbon extensions.

Jacobs uses the VukaBull with the 40 mm drop because he finds it stretches his wrists less. “It’s all about comfort,” he said, adding: “I run my pads wide… for comfort and to breathe easier so I’m not cramped.”

In Kona, Jacobs also rode a SRAM RED - 2012 drivetrain and used the SRAM RED Quarq power meter.

Also of note:

  • Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker – riding 808 Firecrest Carbon Clincher wheels – scorched the course to finish the bike leg with an 8-minute lead, although he’d later be forced to abandon the race.
  • In the women’s race, 2010 Kona champ Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae put up a valiant fight to place third with a time of 9:21:41. She rode Zipp 404 (650c) wheels.
  • Age-group athletes again picked Zipp wheels over all others combined. An astounding 58 percent of those competing did so with Zipp wheels, according to Lava Magazine’s 2012 Kona Bike Count.