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Back 5.30.2017

Speedy Debut for Zipp 454 NSW in Pro Peloton

All photos © BrakeThrough Media

Zipp’s 454 NSW’s pro cycling debut ended with the same result as its debut in pro triathlon—victory.

Megan Guarnier of Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team accelerated to a Stage 1 win at Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race empowered with SRAM in May. Teammate Anna van der Breggen, also on 454 NSWs, took second. Van der Breggen would go on to win the general classification as well.

Those results came just weeks after Sebastian Kienle rode the wheelset to victory in the Cannes International Triathlon.

At the men’s and women’s races in California, riders from Team KATUSHA Alpecin, Boels-Dolmans, CANYON//SRAM Racing, and Sho-Air Twenty20 rode 454 NSWs for all or parts of the Tour of California.

For Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team mechanic Richard Steege, no feedback from the riders after Stage 1 was a good sign. With most of the team’s riders considering the 303 to be their default wheelset, he said “we were at first worried that the 454 would feel heavy. But it is in fact very light.” Hannah Barnes of CANYON//SRAM Racing, typically a 404 rider, noted “they don’t catch the wind as much, and it was quite windy on the descents [in Stage 1].” The wheels made their mark on the result sheet, with Megan Guarnier and Anna Van Der Breggen taking 1st and 2nd on Stage 1. The entire Boels-Dolmans team rolled out for Stage 2 on 454s as well, clearly confident of the handling in the winds and long climbs that lied ahead.

The 454 NSW wheels immediately became the go-to wheelset for KATUSHA Alpecin. “With the 454 now, we try with the crosswinds to go without hands and it was really much more stable and a big advantage. It also felt at least as fast as the 404, maybe faster,” said Alexander Kristoff, who also rode the 454 NSW Disc-brake wheelset.

Added teammate Michael Mørkøv, “I immediately feel it’s a faster wheel. It’s feeling also more light, faster acceleration. I believe it’s a revolutionary wheel from Zipp.”

The stability and aerodynamics of the 454 NSW may be the top story, but many of the racers discovered that the benefits of the wheelset go deeper than that. Sprinter Barbara Guarischi of CANYON//SRAM noted how stiff the wheels felt under her, a sentiment echoed by her teammate Barnes. Barnes mentioned that “they felt a lot different, actually! They’re a lot stiffer…it’ll be really good for sprinting.”

This is the first time the teams have used wheels with the Showstopper™ brake track, and riders immediately noticed. The textured brake track provides stopping power equal to or better than an aluminum rim, even in wet weather. Barnes noted “you brake, and you stop! It took a little bit of getting used to at the start.” Jasmin Duehring of Sho-Air Twenty20 Cycling had a similar reaction after her recon ride: “I really noticed the new brake surface; it’s so cool!”

The Zipp NSW line exists at the absolute forefront of wheel technology, and the radically shaped 454 NSW is the ultimate expression of our innovation. The Hyperfoil™ nodes and Sawtooth™ rim bed that make up the distinctive rim shape bring unparalleled stability compared to other 60mm deep rims, ensuring that the 454 is the best choice in a wide variety of terrains and wind conditions.

Not only faster and more stable than any wheel of its depth, the 454 NSW combines a revolutionary rim shape with Showstopper braking and the low drag Cognition™ rear hub to create the ultimate racing wheel.

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