Zipp just announced NSW, a new series of the highest performance and most technologically advanced products to come from their engineers. Nest Speed Weaponry gets its name from The Nest, the high-security advanced Research and Development that Zipp runs in the back of their factory, where all their new ideas are hatched.

The first product in the new series is a new 808 NSW Carbon Clincher that utilizes a new rim shape with improved aerodynamics and a reduced impact from cross winds.  It also gets a new hubset with better durability and even less drag. The 82mm deep 808 NSW is designed for triathlons, time trials, and any other race against the clock. Check out the details after the break…


The new Zipp NSW series is a project to design and produce the the fastest and highest performance components ever made, and to get them out to consumers who demand the best. The NSW line will always showcase Zipp’s newest and most innovative ideas at the forefront of their engineering development. The new 808 NSW offers a 3-4 watt savings, over the well-regarded 808 Firecrest which translates to an estimated 90 seconds at 40km/hr over the 180.25km/112 mile Ironman distance. At the same time it reduces cross wind side force by 8-10% vs. the 808 Firecrest.


The new wheels have a new Cognition Hubset that uses what Zipp calls Axial Clutch technology that  disengaging the ratcheting pawls inside the hub when coasting to prevent that constant clicking and engaging from adding drag. Then when you pedal again, the hub quickly reengages the pawls.

Zipp_Rear-Cognition-Hub-w-Axial-Clutch-Technology Zipp_Front-Cognition-Hub

The rear hub use star-shaped flanges with  straight-pull spokes for optimal spoke angles and to reduce the stress impact of the bearings. The front hub gets a scalloped edge design that claims to better maintain the diameter of the bearing seat at very high radial spoke tensions for smoother, faster, long lasting rolling.

Zipp-808-NSW-dimlpes_showstopper-braking Zipp-808-NSW-dimlpes

The NSW wheels also get printed on graphics that don’t detract from the vortex shedding performance of the wheel dimples. The dimples even get a new design with an ABLC Sawtooth pattern with some solid sounding tech jargon behind them. “The new Sawtooth dimple design consists of 12 nodes that are specifically clocked to start aerodynamic shearing at a rate of 50hz at a rider speed of 20mph. Sawtooth accomplishes this by inducing small sheet vortices that shed at a low magnitude, but at a higher natural frequency, thus decreasing the laminar bubble effect on the aerodynamically shielded side of the rim’s profile to further reduce high yaw drag and improve crosswind stability.” Only Zipp can talk about dimples like that.

For braking performance Zipp continues to develop their  silicon carbide Showstopper brake track for excellent carbon braking power and modulation in any weather.


Zipp_808-NSW-rear-wheel Zipp_808-NSW_front-wheel_Tangente-Speed-25

The new 808 NSW wheels have also already been ridden to two world championship wins. German triathlete Jan Frodeno won the 70.3 World Champs in Austria, while the elite women of Velocio-SRAM Pro Cycling road the wheels to the win in the Team Time Trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond.


Zipp 808 NSW Carbon Clincher details:

• 1810g total (830g front, 980g rear)
• 82mm deep rim by 27.8mm max width, with a 17.25mm internal width and 26.44mm brake track
• 18 front x 24 rear spokes
• Sapim CX-Ray spokes and secure-lock nipple
• new Cognition hubset with Axial Clutch tech (110g front, 225g rear)
• includes ti skewers, Silca valve extenders, wheel bags, brake pads, and a Zipp tube and rim tape
• retail price of $3400/€3000/£2350, with December 2015 availability


  1. ZIPP seems to be trying to make people forget about that nasty recall earlier this year. Their products were mediocre before the SRAM acquisition, and worse after. They have a long history of blahzay wheels, but great brand recognition through sponsorship. Shame the two can’t get along.

  2. I love Zipp 404 FC tubs. Show me the data that shows other wheels in the same class are faster. Enve is no better no worse. I also have a really hard time with that corny brand name “gee they must really ENVE me for these cool wheels”. Lightweights cost twice as much and have a horrible outdated rim design. Don’t complain about the zipp hubs if you don’t have latest version or know how to adjust the preload caps in the dropouts. These comments about Zipp are utter BS. I could give a sh*t less about any brand loyalty, I hate that cr*p. But I know when a wheel performs and recent Zipps do very well.

  3. Pit:
    HEDs beating Zipps quite handedly. I hope someone does another category comparison with all of the new wheel designs, but that’s one of the more recent tests I’ve seen on-bike and with a (half) mannequin.

    I think it’s entirely fair to criticize Zipp’s hubs, which simply do not have a great reputation. Along with the recall and past problems, they’ve made a series of questionable design decisions which have been remedied in later versions, which has resulted in 3? 4? new hub designs since they moved to 11 speed in late 2012. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that they’re not just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. You telling people to only consider wheels 2 years or newer doesn’t speak well to the longevity of their designs considering the company has been around for 27 years.

    All that being said, there are obviously a lot of Zipps out there, and the hubs are generally fine, if not a bit finicky. I never experienced issues, flexing or otherwise, and thought the bearing pre-load was easy enough to manage, but there are a lot of other hubs out there that seem to have gotten it right without having to muck around with the design every year or so.

    I also have some criticisms of my HED Jets, and most other wheels I’ve had, it doesn’t mean they suck, it just means that there can and should be improvements made, you know, progress!

    I do wonder where their claimed savings comes from. They downgraded the specs on the 808 Firecrest

    CX-Rays: 2.0 – (0.9×2.2) – 2.0 mm
    CX-Sprints: 2.0 – (1.25×2.25) – 2.0 mm

    Josh (former Zipp engineer, now Silca owner) mentioned an 8W penalty when using round vs CX-Rays on 404s, the sprints aren’t as bad as round spokes, but also aren’t as narrow as CX-Rays (and slightly shorter in length due to the 808 depth), so how much of this gain, if any, is from them comparing their now downgraded wheels to this new wheel?

    Are these using their ceramic bearings? If so, how much of the savings come from that? If not, why not, considering they’ve claimed 1.5-9W of savings depending on the condition of your current bearings.

    Anyways, can’t wait for some of this stuff to eventually trickle down!

  4. @Pit: Enve became Enve because their original name, Edge, had to be changed because that name was owned by another company. Of course, it’s important to be upset about brand names.

  5. @MaraudingWalrus & @PsiSquared: This is my funny story about ENVE. Prior to a race that I was doing a few weeks ago, a rider that was currently on ENVE’s went storming to the Zipp tent trying to get some wheels for the race. Turns out his beautiful carbon brake track de-laminated while braking through a descent on the course he was about to race the next day. Good thing Zipp was there to help out. It was actually pretty entertaining watching this. So you keep trusting your ENVE’s, I’ll stick with my Zipps.

  6. Not much there to back up your blind devotion to a brand there, Ale. I’ve seen roasted carbon brake tracks from every manufacturer on the planet, including your beloved ZIPP. One thing I’ve never seen happen to an ENVE rim is a ruptured spoke hole, ZIPP is notorious for this. Your sample group is one, mine is about 20-30 every Spring.

  7. @Brad: It’s hard to draw any conclusions about the Hed Jet 6 compared to the Zipp 404 other than it came out ahead on one bike.

    @Ale: yeah that one observation you made is obviously evidence of……….only what happened on one occasion. You’re going to need to go back to school if you think an N=1 observation is proof of anything. Kernel Flickitov has it right: any CF wheel will fail under the right conditions. You have no idea what abuse that Enve wheel had seen before that failure, just as you likely don’t know what abuse any given CF wheel has seen before failure, except in the case of your own wheels.

  8. @Kernel, it doesn’t seem Ale has blinde devotion. He has seen first hand an issue with ENVE’s that he assumingly has not had with Zipps. I have seen many sets up ruptured spoke holes on ENVE’s and also worked in a shop through the brass/alloy nipple exchange and dealt with a lot of unhappy customers who could not have their wheels trued until they were rebuilt.

    Personally I have dealt with a number of Zipp hub issues through customers but I have also owned 2 different pair with Zero issues. I prefer Zipp because I do not want to remove my tire if/when I have to true a wheel.

    @Brad – the new NSW wheels are not using a ceramic bearing. The Firestrike previously used CeramicSpeed bearings until they wanted to drop the price due to lack of sales.

What do you think?