Zipp 454 NSW

We recently attended the launch of the new Zipp 454 NSW Carbon Clincher, a star studded affair taking place on the River Thames. After much talk of biomimicry, vortex creation and the nodes on the flippers of the humpbacked whale, the assembled Zipp technicians unveiled these startling new wheels.

Described as a "game changer", the 454 doesn't look like other wheels. Eschewing the perfect geometric simplicity of the circle for an organic saw tooth pattern based on observation of the humpbacked whale, it's clear that the 454 is bringing something new to the wheel market.

There was much talk of the new hexagonal dimples, the importance of air vortices, the speed with which air is dumped and drag efficiency. Let us be clear that smarter, more scientifically minded people than us have worked for many years developing these. They went through 36 concepts of designs and spent 252 hours of development in the wind tunnel. Zipp clearly think they are onto something here. The important thing is: how do they ride?

Zipp claim that handling is vastly superior and pressure from side winds is significantly reduced. With the same braking technology as the rest of the NSW line, you know that stopping is top notch too. You get a wheel as deep as the 404, but with increased speed and improved handling. The saw tooth pattern means the actual depth of the rim varies from 58mm to 53mm. They recommend a 23 or 25mm tyre.

With new techniques, new ideas, comes a cost. In the case of the 454, Zipp had to develop a whole new way of manufacturing the rims. Once you see one, you realise the sculptural, fluid form. This means that each wheel takes 12 hours to make.

The Zipp 454 NSW is clincher only, not available for disc, and priced at £3,500.00 a pair. They are in short supply, but are available now. Call us on 020 7796 1263 to get yours.