Abby says, “Forget the college fund, Dad, buy some Zipps!”
Today I rode Zipp 404 wheels on loan from Fort Worth Cycling & Fitness (via the Lawman). Aside from the fact that they look awesome (and are as expensive as they look), they’re designed to be significantly more aerodynamic than other wheelsets. A rule of thumb in cycling is that 80% of your power goes into fighting wind resistance, so even small aerodynamic improvements result in faster riding. [Side Note: These wheels are for tubular tires and this is the first time I’ve ridden tubulars.]
It was a pretty windy today, which made it a bit hard to evaluate the Zipps but I’m pretty sure they’re faster. You start to notice the difference above 20 mph. I felt like I was able to sustain higher speeds for longer periods of time. It seemed like I was rolling about one mph faster on the flats — and in cycling one mph is huge.
And even if I wasn’t going faster, the sound these wheels make — like the whine of a turbine engine — made me feel like I was going faster. And isn’t that what it’s really all about?