Zipp has launched a new 303 S wheelset, incorporating all the latest trends in width and tubeless road tyre profiling.
The American cycling composites brand has changed the profile and dimensions of its 303. With the 303 S, Zipp has engineered a wheel to gain from the low-rolling resistance and ride quality benefits offered by wider tyres.
Zipp’s 303 S has the same rim depth as its predecessor, at 45mm. The company’s aerodynamicists calculated and tested various rim profiles, finding 45mm of depth being the optimal blend of aerodynamic efficiency and spoke tension.
The 303 S has a hookless bead shape, which should mount tubeless tyres with ease. Zipp is aware that many road and gravel riders are now accepting that wider tyres roll better, especially on imperfect real-world roads.
Subscribing to this new rim engineering trend the 303 S is much larger than previous 303 models, with an internal width of 23mm. Zipp recommends ideal tyre widths of 28mm for road tyres and 50mm for gravel rubber.
Wider rims allow for lower inflation pressures, without sacrificing a tyre’s shape or structure. Running your road or gravel tyres at lower pressure, on a secure wider rim profile, increasing the contact patch, delivering superior braking and cornering performance.
Data harvesting by Zipp indicates that compared to its previous 303, the new 303 S can save 10w per wheel, at 40kph on a flat road.
With a total spoke count of 24, Zipp’s 303 S wheels spin on 76/176 DB specification hubs, sized 100x12mm front and 142x12mm rear. Zipp’s 303 S rear hub internals are comprised of three leaf-sprung actuated pawls.
The 303 S features centre locking disc brake mounts, instead of the more conventional six-bolt arrangement, and includes lock rings.
Zipp will be marketing the 303 S at £470 for a front wheel and £515 for a rear. Wheelset weight is 1540g.
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Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.
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