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Gear From The Future: Carbon Clincher Proliferation

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Aug 30, 2012
  • Updated Feb 19, 2013 at 11:31 AM UTC
Zipp is calling the Super-9 Carbon Clincher "the fastest wheel."


Zipp Super-9 Carbon Clincher

The Sub-9 disc based on Zipp’s old clincher rims has been replaced with a disc Zipp engineers are calling, “the fastest wheel ever.”

The Super-9 Carbon Clincher has the same shape as the tubular version—extra broad (27.5mm) with tapered brake tracks and straight, parallel walls.

Tires are what make this wheel fractionally faster than the tubular alternative even though wheel shape is identical.

“Clinchers are significantly faster than tubulars, aerodynamically speaking,” said Zipp wheel design engineer Dave Morse. Zipp compared clincher and tubular versions of the same tires on identically shaped clincher and tubular wheels and found the clinchers to be more aerodynamic. Tubular casings are round when inflated (although tread isn’t always), but clincher tires pinch inward at the bead, creating a tire that is taller than wide. This shape influences wind drag, and makes the Super-9 Carbon Clincher even more aerodynamic than the tubular alternative.

Because of its position at the rear of the bike, Zipp engineer Michael Hall calls the wheel “agnostic to tire size,” saying there is almost no aero penalty to running a 25c tire on the wheel, a definite upgrade to comfort.

Zipp also calls this wheel the stiffest they’ve ever made, both laterally and vertically.

The wheel weighs 1175 grams and will cost $2,375 when it is released in November.

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Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at Ahersh@competitorgroup.com.

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