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Tour Tech Spy: Tomorrow’s Tech Today…
Just in from the depths (bowels?) of Zipp’s R&D complex, Pez get a quick leak-peek at what will be on a few select Tour TT bikes that the other journo’s will be snapping pics of tomorrow…

Known for producing dimples in your cheeks and already rolling out dimples on their 303-404-808 etc wheel sets, Zip have gone one better and taken a stab at increased aero efficiency in one place that has, to date been very difficult to improve upon. Zero yaw (dead ahead) wind resistance is a tough nut to crack. Zipp’s shaped rim profile, with or without dimples, is pretty much the top dog where wheel shape is concerned. But they also show the greatest benefits compared to non-shaped or less deep sections, in situations where there is a cross wind. That sorted, they took on the frontal assault.

Generally speaking, dead on resistance where the wind comes right at you ( or + / – a few degrees) has pretty much been a lost cause. A few special tires and tire width’s have addressed that (Zipp’s own Tubular tires also take tire to rim transition into account) but for the most part, nothing really quantifiably helped in spoked wheel designs much beyond what they had already done with rim depth or a disk…

Zipp decided to take a stab at seeing if the bits of hub that take a little wind could help with that and bingo… They got it…

Lots of techno crap could spew fourth, but that would just have some of you thinking that I actually have half a brain. So, put quite simply, The hub dimples save you what would be the equivalent of a few spokes wind resistance.

Doesn’t sound like much? Well, dead ahead, at 30 mph (strangely close to tour TT speed) this knocks out some place near 2 watts. That could equal some place near 4-6 seconds in 40k (and that’s using an already deep and very aero Zipp 808), and that’s not unsubstantial when you get paid to go quickly with the world watching…

Zipp also give the treatment to the hubs of their TT wheels…

And the new part that will be most evident on the bikes of a couple green and yellow guys and a few Red and Black guys will also mean that none of the other teams will be taking kit from them and saying “piss off Bjarne, how do you know I took this out your truck…”

Must be nice to be an insanely talented tour team, as tooling for carbon disk covers doesn’t come cheap…

But I can already hear the excuse if Zabriskie and Floyd get into an argument over who beat who… The “your team name was more aero than mine” will surely come up.

Don’t look for the Hubs to grow on trees or be standard stock any time soon, as the two tone finish and dimples cost more than most hubs do. Maybe they become a Z series treat or option (that I will shamelessly try and steal), and for now they’re Pure Tour.

You can (or can’t) see more about this by hitting up Zipp’s Web Site

Have fun watching!
Charles Manantan

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