Zipp 454 Wheelset – First Look Pictures & Specs
Would you believe me if I told you that Zipp have developed a revolutionary wheel inspired by a whale’s fin? Probably not. But it’s actually true. Today marks the end of an embargo that’s had these top secret wheels underwraps and yesterday evening we were lucky enough to attend the global press launch in London where the new 454’s were unveiled.
In a nutshell, Zipp wanted to make a wheel that had the side force stability of the 303 and the aero performance of the 404. After 4 years of development and a combination of biomimicry and CFP (computational fluid dynamics) they’ve done just that. This is Zipp’s most expensive wheel set at RRP £3,500 BUT – you have to appreciate the sheer amount of technological, scientific and engineering know-how that’s gone into making these.
- 4 years in development
- 36 prototypes
- 252 hours in the wind tunnel
- 6000 CPU hours per CFD simulation
Developed at Zipp HQ in Indianapolis their NEST facility – this is the nickname given to the advanced development lab where top secret ideas are made into fully functioning prototypes in a matter of months not years.
Key Features of this super wheel
Hyperfoils™ (nodes) – these stabilize handling in gusting wind conditions by increasing vortex shedding frequency.
Zipp’s proprietary braking surface called ‘Showstopper’ is a molded textured brake track combined with Silicon Carbide (SiC) that provides better braking power in wet conditions than any other carbon wheel. Impress™ graphics are printed directly onto the carbon. They are virtually weightless and perfectly conform to the dimpled surface allowing the hyperfoils to work as designed.
454 NSW Carbon Clincher Specs
- 1,525g (for both wheels)
- 690g front / 835g rear
- 53 and 58mm wheel depth
- 27.8mm max width
- 17mm internal width
- 26.4mm brake track width
- 18 front / 24 rear spoke count
- Sapim secure-lock nipples
- Sapim CX-Ray spokes
- Cognition hubset
- Impress graphics
- RRP £3,500