In its neverending quest to further increase its aerodynamics while maintaining crosswind stability, we've seen Zipp go to some great lengths that sometimes become the industry's norm. We've seen evolutions in its designs from broader, rounded blunt-nosed rims designs to its ABLC dimpling. But with its latest design, Zipp is heading out to uncharted waters, so to speak. The Zipp 454 NSW Carbon Tubular Wheel features a unique and variable rim design inspired by that of a humpback whale. It's a bold move, but the brand did its research and looked to nature to draw inspiration from the tubercles found on the edges of humpback whale fins for a rim profile that oscillates its depth, creating a striking shape that Zipp claims increases aerodynamic benefits and boosts the brand's already notable crosswind stability. The most obvious difference between the 454 and any other wheel is in the rim shape, whose depth varies between 58mm at its deepest point and 53mm at its shallowest in a series of wavy swells Zipp refers to as Hyperfoils. The overall design is known as SawTooth, which takes on a shape not dissimilar to the ABLC SawTooth dimple patterning found on the 404 NSW. These bumps, designated as Hyperfoils, are meant to mimic the nodes or tubercles found on the fins of humpback whales that manage water resistance and contribute to the massive animals' ability to swiftly maneuver despite their size. Compared to standard, consistent depth rims, Zipp claims that wind tunnel testing shows that this SawTooth design significantly reduces both side force and aerodynamic drag, which in combination should translate to more confident handling when riding on exposed roads in variable winds and an easier time pushing the pedals at any given speed compared to even the 404 NSW. The 454 NSW also marks a departure from Zipp's signature dimpling, upgrading the ABLC design to HexFin ABLC. The HexFin ABLC dimples take inspiration from their round predecessors' claimed ability to bette...
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Zipp 454 NSW Carbon Wheel - Tubular
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