Road cycling is evolving, so we keep innovating. The pursuit of AeroBalance™ defines Zipp’s approach to wheel design. Combining low drag performance with stable handling is our mission, because speed without control, is useless. Zipp’s NSW Series, since its inception in 2015, has been the launching pad for Zipp’s most relevant innovations. To that end, the Zipp 303 NSW Carbon Clincher features an entirely redesigned rim shape that aerodynamically integrates wider tubeless tires for enhanced ride quality and performance.
The 303 NSW Carbon Clincher Tubeless features a wider 19mm internal rim width and corresponding outer rim shape for aerodynamic optimization with 25mm tires. This wheelset allows you to run tubeless or traditional clinchers. The benefits of tubeless include superior flat protection, the ability to run lower pressures, and a smoother ride with high cornering grip and low rolling resistance.
Like its siblings -- the 404, and 808 NSW Carbon Clinchers Tubeless --our top engineers in Indy incorporated tubeless compatibility optimized for 25mm tires with aero efficiency, industry leading braking performance, and reduced rolling friction to produce something special. Light enough to fly up climbs, tough enough to excel in the cobbled classics, and with the industry's best available braking performance for the most technical descents, the 45mm deep 303 NSW is built for a singular purpose: To be fast, everywhere.
But the 303 NSW is no 'race day only' wheelset to be tucked away in a wheel bag until a race number is pinned to the rider's jersey. It's built to take the abuse of everyday training rides. Zipp has achieved this reliability at a lighter weight with a revised carbon fiber layup developed through testing on the famed cobbles of the Forest of Arenberg with the world's fastest riders.
Because the toughest roads often experience the toughest weather conditions, we've included Zipp's Showstopper™ brake track for braking performance that delivers the best modulation and shortest stopping distances in wet and dry conditions. And we've improved aerodynamics with our ABLC Sawtooth™ technology and Impress™ graphics to produce a rim that is as fast as it is stealthy.
At the center of the 303 NSW wheelset is our Cognition hubset. Built to provide the lowest rolling friction possible without compromising sealing, the hub's Swiss-made bearings work in tandem with our Axial Clutch™ technology to dramatically cut rolling friction when compared with conventional freehub systems. Bottom line: Cognition hubs make the 303 NSW fast, even when you aren't pedaling.
All of these technologies combine to build a wheelset that only NSW can produce, a wheelset with unrivaled performance. Wherever the road may take you, get there faster on Zipp 303 NSW wheels.
Every time a conventional hubset starts to coast, friction within the freehub ratchet mechanism works like a drum brake to slow the rider down. With the Cognition hubset's Axial Clutch™ technology, we've reduced this drag by disengaging the ratchet mechanism when coasting. Our testing shows that the best traditional three-pawl hub designs have twice the rotating friction as our Axial Clutch equipped Cognition rear hub, and the most popular hubsets using a similar drive mechanism as Axial Clutch were found to produce four times the rotating friction.
With less internal hub drag a rider can pedal less when riding through rolling hills or drafting in a headwind. Or achieve higher speeds when coasting in an aero tuck, or opt to stop pedaling a moment sooner before entering a corner and bank that wattage for use exiting the corner. Axial Clutch technology also allows riders to maintain speed through corners that don't require braking input, thereby increasing corner exit speeds.
Inside the Axial Clutch mechanism we use magnets, rather than steel springs, to move and engage our light weight Metal injection Molded (MIM) ratchet rings for the most reliable and consistent operation possible. With 36 points of engagement that all interlock simultaneously, there isn't a more secure freehub mechanism on the market.
Our Axial Clutch freehub mechanism is also compatible with XDR drivers. This gives riders the option to select a 10-42 cassette to assemble a 1x11 drivetrain with an equivalent range to either a compact or standard road double drivetrain. In fact, for those looking for a wider gear range, or tackling especially extreme terrain, we now offer our Zipp NSW Carbon Clincher Tubeless wheels with a XDR driver body allowing for more cassette options including a 10-42.
A star-flanged straight-pull hubshell design on the rear hub distributes the load placed on the hub angle away from the bearings. We’ve also developed a unique scalloped edge hubshell design for our front hub. This scalloped design maintains the bearing bore diameter when high radial spoke tension is applied. Both of these hubshell design elements ensure that bearings quietly stay in place, roll faster, last longer, and provide a laterally stiffer hub. About those bearings, we’ve chosen Swiss stainless steel bearings specially made to our specs to provide the longest lasting, lowest friction performance available. Tires such as the Zipp Tangente RT25 Road Tubeless are a perfect match for this wheelset to deliver exceptionally low rolling resistance and high cornering grip.
BORN OF SCIENCE. REALIZED BY HAND.
Zipp NSW wheels were developed using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) post-processing software and months in the wind tunnel, including the Aerodynamic Bike Testing Facility at the ARC Wind Tunnel, a short drive from Zipp’s Indianapolis facility. We do this because, as one of our advanced development engineers, Dave Morse, is fond of saying, “The wind tunnel will never be replaced as the gut check for wheel design.” The advanced development engineers at The Nest took that data and created the rim shapes that became the 303 NSW.
All Zipp NSW rims are laid up, molded, drilled, and built in Indianapolis by Zipp technicians. Our expert wheel builders then hand lace the rims to our European-made Cognition hubset using Belgian Sapim CX-Ray spokes and Secure-Lock nipples to ensure precision alignment and even spoke tension. The end result is a handcrafted wheelset that stays fast and true for years to come.
Heavy continuous braking on carbon surfaces can cause spikes in rim temperature and tire pressure that impact performance and handling – especially with clincher tires. To solve this challenge, our composites supplier created a heat-resistant resin exclusively for Zipp. This technology improves heat dissipation so substantially that our Carbon Clinchers have never had a heat-related failure.
Each Wheel Includes:
- Zipp Tangente Quick Release Skewer
- Zipp individual wheel bag
- Zipp Tubeless valve – factory installed
- Tubeless rim tape – factory installed
- Valve core removal tool
- Zipp Cognition thru-axle caps to fit 12x100, 15x100 and 12x142 dropouts
- Zipp Cognition oil – for rear hub service
- Freehub body spacer – 11 to 10 speed