Get flash to see this player

Video FAQs


Rear hub received major upgrade V9, stronger hub (61903) bearings, larger non-drive flange, spoke pattern changed to 'virtual' 3 cross x 'virtual' 3 cross from radial drive and 2x non-drive in 2013, spoke retention rings dropped, on front V9 and rear hubs, spoke slots are deeper in 2014, spoke count increased for 404 and 808 models from 16/20 to 18/24. 2014 rear wheels are 6% stiffer, approx. 28g heavier and more durable. Decals are slightly smaller and without the reverse outline present in 2013. There were only small incremental improvements to the carbon lay-up. No changes to Zipp 30 and Zipp 60 wheel sets.

It’s simply a better bolt:

  • Won’t easily strip.
  • Provide more accurate torque readers.
  • Are durable.

It comes down to the way the tool head interacts with the bolt. Common hex tools tend to strip the bolt head if the bolt is over torqued. This is especially true with lightweight bolts. Zipp wanted to be able to use a lightweight bolt with reliable performance. Bolts on stems and aero bars are critical to safety – having a reliable bolt is crucial.

The Torx® head is more robust that hex-head bolts and will not easily strip. Torx® fasteners also were designed for use with a torque-limiting wrench (torque wrench), which is needed to achieve the precise torque reading for proper installation.

We chose a bolt size – T25 – for that was best suited for our stems. The standard Torx tool head for an M5 bolt is a T25, although sometimes a T20 or T27 is used. The T25 is becoming a go-to bolt in the bicycle industry. It’s been used on disc brakes for years and also is in use on chainring bolts, derailleurs and shifters. What’s more, the T25 tool is a common in bike shops or hardware stores and is readily available alone or in multi-tool sets. For your convenience, Zipp includes a T25 wrench with all stems and aero bars.

For road hub conversion please refer to this web page. No Shimano road discs can be converted as the dish changes – you will have to buy a new disc to run Shimano 11 speed. For older discs, you can run Campy 11 speed by adding a second 0.25mm washer between the drive side bearing and the Campy free hub.

Note: 2013 discs with 11 speed compatibility will be released in January 2013.

Please see this web page for confirmation.

Zipp’s rider weight guidelines vary for different wheels. To find out the recommended maximum weight for a specific wheel, please click on the “Specs” tab on that wheel’s product information page.

Note: Zipp wheels, rims, and hubs are NOT warranted for use on tandem bikes carts or buggies.

  • If you have a aluminum clincher - then no.
  • If you have an all carbon 202/303/404 or 808 clincher – then yes, (we only make these in Firecrest).
  • If your tubular is 202/303 or 1080, has woven carbon at the spoke bed, centerline drilled spoke holes, max rim width 1/3 from the rim edge - then no.
  • If your tubular has the max rim width 1/3 up from the spoke bed is a 303/404/808, spoke bed is wide, spoke holes are staggered and there is no woven carbon at the spoke bed – then yes
    (See image below – Firecrest on top – older toroidal (non-Firecrest) rim below)

Rim ID Comparison 400

The carbon dust caps are held in place on the axle cap by a couple of rubber grommets. The reason they are making a racket is that this grommet has come unseated and is allowing the cap to move freely. To fix find a couple of 5 mm allen keys and insert one into each axle cap on the hub (where the quick release runs through). Work these wrenches against each other (standard right hand thread) to loosen one end cap. Remove the axle and reseat the grommet against the back of the dust cap. You may even want to put down a bead of super glue or quick set epoxy behind the grommet to ensure that it does not move again. Allow glue to dry fully, reinstall axle, torque end caps to 55 in lb (88 in lb rear) and go ride.

The 2002-2008 Zipp hubs are different from most hubs in that they do not side load the bearings to remove play in the hub (think traditional cup and cone set-up). Our hub is designed such that the bearing race on the axle is aligned with the sealed bearing when the end caps on the axle are properly torqued. Since the axle is not press fit into place it will have some lateral movement when the wheel is unweighted. Once a rider's weight is added to the system, the bearing becomes loaded vertically and the play then disappears. By designing the hub this way, it is possible to extend bearing life and make a hub that will turn much smoother leading to a faster wheel.

We started moving in this direction in 2008 starting with the 202 and 1080 wheels. Common sense told us that by hiding the nipple, we would be making a wheel with less drag. We then built prototypes for testing. Surprisingly, in our testing we found that hiding the nipple on our rims makes no less drag than having the nipple exposed at all wind angles. This, as it turns out, is due to the unique cross section of our rim. Our 360 rim makes the wind think that it is 70mm deep. Therefore, the final 12mm of spoke is shielded, allowing us to keep the nipples exposed for ease of wheel maintenance while not increasing drag. During 2009 we will be converting back to external nipples across our wheel range responding to customer feedback.

The '06 track axle is a composite part of aluminum and stainless steel, and gives the optical illusion of being bent.

Often it seems there is a very tight fit. Here is the work around:

  1. Must use the Zipp Campy brake blocks (yellow sticker)
  2. Take an exacto knife and shave away at the grove along the side
  3. Put a few drops of tri-flow on the groves to assist with friction - wipe excess off afterwards
  4. Use a large screw driver to push the brake blocks into the holders

Use play dough or plasticine to find the ideal weight by adding and subtracting material placed opposite to the valve hole. Do this with tire and valve extenders installed. Mix epoxy and sand, equivalent in weight to a lump of plasticine, required to balance the wheel (with a tire and valve extender) and place this opposite the valve hole through adjacent tire bed spoke holes - allowing the epoxy to settle and dry between the spoke holes on the inside of the rim.

This is not easy and entirely foolproof as the laser etching is only on one side of the bearing casing and this may be mounted so it is impossible to read unless you remove the bearings from their bore.

We only stock these ceramic bearing sizes: 61802, 61803, 61806 and 61902. Check the inner casing for the letter 'X' at the start of the bearing number e.g. X61802 or X61803.

If your decals are adhesive and not molded in, you can use a hair dryer to soften the glue, grab a corner and gently pull off, scrape the remainder off with your nails or a blunt popsicle stick, clean well with acetone or white spirits, allow to evaporate and apply the new decals.

If the original decals are molded in, (use the thumbnail test to feel for an edge) you will have to purchase a set of decals and apply them over the top. Molded in decals cannot be removed without structural damage to the rim.

Application: Peal or gently scrap off all parts of the old decal. Clean the rim well with soap and water and then use rubbing alcohol or acetone to remove any residual adhesive, grime or grease. Slowly peal the backing off the decal, position the new decal over the rim and apply starting in the center. Lay the decal down lightly, so you can lift and reposition, if the orientation is wrong. Work the air bubbles from the center towards the outside. Use a squeegee applicator (PA-1 from 3M) to work the decal into the dimples.

Orientation: Start 1/4 inch from the spoke bed. Place the first decal centered and opposite the valve hole. The center of the 2 remaining decals on that rim side will be 120 degrees from the first. The smaller valve hole decal is then placed in the center of the rim directly below the valve hole. No part of the decals should cover the brake tracks. Turn the rim over and repeat on the other rim side.

Zipp stopped manufacturing the Zipp frame at the end of 1997. We do not have any frames available for sale. We no longer have any parts for the frames, manuals or the tools to work on them. However, all frame questions can be answered by Dave Hill via email at

The 188 hubs require a conversion kit with end caps, washers and free hub body which must be purchased. Please follow these instructions.

Firecrest wheels with wider tire beds
The best aero and lowest rolling resistance is obtained with front 23mm and rear 25mm width tires running at the recommended tire pressures.

Older narrow rims - pre-Firecrest
Tire choice depends highly on user preference and conditions. To summarize, a 21mm has superior aerodynamics with our rims; a 23mm is larger and subsequently has better ride quality and rim protection, but at a slight aero penalty. Here are some questions you can ask that will help guide your decision:


Triathlon/Time trial? In general – 21mm.
Road racing? In general – 23mm.
Training and/or daily riding? 23mm+

Dry? 21mm at normal recommended pressure.
Wet? 23mm at a slightly lower pressure.

Smooth roads? 21mm at normal recommended pressure.
Rough roads? 23mm at a slightly lower pressure.

User prefers slight aero benefit of 21's at the expense of a little ride comfort, rim protection, and rolling resistance? Use 21mm.
User prefers slightly better ride comfort, rim protection, and rolling resistance of 23's at the expense of a little aero? Use 23mm.

Rider weighs less? 21mm.
Rider weighs more? 23mm.

Warning signs a wheel may be counterfeit:

  • No dimples (Zipp’s ABLC™ technology). However, some counterfeit versions do have dimples and at a cursory glance may appear authentic.
  • White or other colors of spokes or hubs. Zipp uses black Sapim C X-Ray spokes from Belgium. Zipp’s proprietary hubs are embossed with the oval “Z” logo.
  • Prices appearing too good to be true. Simply put, they usually are.
  • Uneven brake tracks or carbon surface. Sometimes, things just don’t look quite right. Watch for logos that look suspicious or contain misspellings.

What to look for in authentic Zipp wheelsets:

  • First and foremost, shop for wheels at an authorized Zipp dealer. This is the only way to ensure you are purchasing the quality, service and warranty that come with Zipp Speed Weaponry.
  • Current model Zipp wheels have two decal options, Beyond Black and Classic White. Zipp Firecrest wheels have black spokes and hubs.
  • Zipp Firecrest rims are embossed with Zipp’s oval “Z” logo.
  • The carbon on the inner diameter of most all Zipp rims is embossed with “Handmade in Speedway, Indiana” or “Handmade in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.”

Warning signs handlebars may be counterfeit:

  • Buyer beware: Prices that seem too good to be true probably are.
  • Odd or uneven logo placement.
  • Multiple cable holes for routing instead of precisely placed and molded cable ports used by genuine Zipp bars.
  • Bars may be heavier than advertised.

What to look for in authentic Zipp handlebars:

  • On the VukaSprint, there is a Zipp band on either side of clamp area wrapping around circumference of bar.
  • Precisely placed oval “Z” logs on either side of clamp area.
  • Zipp logo on bar drop on right-hand side near bar end.
  • Laser engraved serial number (#).

How to spot counterfeit stems

Warning signs stems may be counterfeit:

  • Different looking faceplate or older oval Z logo.
  • An unusual surface such as a carbon weave. Service Course and Service Course SL stems are aluminum.
  • No TORX® head bolts.
  • Surprisingly low prices.

What to look for in authentic Zipp Service Course stems

  • TORX® head bolts.
  • Service Course SL stems have either a gloss black with white logos or a Beyond Black color scheme with laser-etched black logos. Service Course stems are Bead Blast Black with white Z logos.
  • Made from 7075 series aluminum. Service Course SL stems come with titanium bolts, and Service Course stems with stainless steel bolts.