2013 Zipp Wheels Will Be 11-Speed, Retrofit Upgrade to be Available

2013 zipp wheels get 11-speed freehub bodiesStarting October, Zipp will be shipping all 2013 wheels with 11-speed compatible freehub bodies.

Around the same time, they’ll offer a retrofit service and/or parts kit to upgrade 2012 Beyond Black and Falcon Gray 188 hubs to 11-speed, too. Those hubs have already been able to convert to 11-speed Campy freehub bodies.

Zipp’s technical PR director David Ripley told us they’ll stop the backward compatibility with the colored hubs mentioned, which actually drops slightly back into 2011. Those products were version 7 of those hubs, which introduced a modified non-drive flange angle and moved it outward slightly. That design accommodates the additional spacing necessary, but they’re not comfortable doing it with older hubs.

The retrofit service will require the wheels to be sent in because it requires a complete re-dish (rebuild) of the wheel, plus new freehub body and an internal spacer. Basically, they need to reposition the hub slightly inboard of the wheel’s centerline. Pricing and more details to be announced in a couple weeks. Look for the complete 2013 Zipp wheel line introduction next week!

Comments

Louis - 08/22/12 - 11:10am

I’m incredibly not excited about this 11-speed transition. 8-9-10 was so much easier.

WhatsThat - 08/22/12 - 12:17pm

ugh. I’m all for progress, but the headaches with 11 speed upgrades don’t seem worth it. 10 is such a nice round number. I was hoping SRAM would stick to their guns and stay with 10 speed, but with an 11 speed mtn group in the works it isn’t likely.

Psi Squared - 08/22/12 - 1:19pm

I’m so not excited about 8-9-10. 5-6-7 was so much easier.

Robert - 08/22/12 - 1:34pm

i say we do away with all of these gears, and we reinvent a bike that has no drivetrain… something where we can push along with our feet…. retro is the trend these days.

Roger - 08/22/12 - 2:21pm

I planned on making a snarky comment about how 11-speed is no upgrade but then I read the other comments.

Tom - 08/22/12 - 2:25pm

Sending in wheels seems overkill? Can local shops not do this? Since when does re-dishing = re-building. You can dish a wheel in 10 minutes and save on the costly shipping of wheels.

Will - 08/22/12 - 4:32pm

Maybe I will get a discount on some of the current 10speed wheelsets out there to go with my current 10 speed gearing.

ianunderhill - 08/22/12 - 4:53pm

Tom: You’re forgetting that you might not be able to hit manufacturer spoke tension specifications by redishing a wheel to the extent that the hub gets moved several millimeters. It’s extremely likely that different spoke lengths will be required to accommodate the change in dish alluded to above, which *does* constitute rebuilding the wheel. For shops that don’t build wheels all day but do carry Zipp (read: a lot), this is a time-consuming and thus expensive prospect on top of a pricey sale. Zipp/SRAM are likely doing this to cut down on concerns about profits at the shop level as much as they are quality control.

bc - 08/24/12 - 10:35pm

@ianunderhill – Exactly right. Further, Zipp would rather do it themselves than handle the enormous volume of warranty repair that will roll in when people neglect to tension-balance the wheel when dishing (assuming the spoke length remains the same).

loudmouth - 09/17/12 - 11:11pm

Easy solution- don’t sell a wheel you aren’t capable of fixing. But that borders on basic business ethics

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