Zipp 101 Clincher Wheelset

zipp 101 Zipp 101 Clincher Wheelset

Zipp 101 Wheels

When most serious bike riders start to think about getting a proper set of race wheels, they usually get distracted by the beauty of deep section rims and forget about what a really good shallow profile wheelset can do for them. Remember, fast wheels are a combination of three things – aerodymanics, sure, but also light weight and stiffness. The best way to lose grams is to lose material, and that’s where low profile rims can really excel. Zipp is a well known world leader in making fast wheels – they don’t make much else, so their wheels have to be fast. Let’s see what they can do with shallow profile wheelset in the Zipp 101 clincher wheels.

The best of low profile rims

Okay, the Zipp 101 wheelset isn’t carbon, it’s aluminum. Think that makes them heavy? Think again. At around 1530g for the pair, they compete with just about any other wheelset on the market. Of course, you can get deeper section rims for the same weight and get a bit more aerodynamic, but you’ll spend a whole load more money. The $1300 price tag for the Zipp 101 wheelset screams quality, but it’s at least a grand less than you’d pay for a deep section wheelset that tipped the scales just as gently. That means these wheels might just serve more riders. Not only are they a super choice for a keen amateur looking to upgrade their stock bike, but they are also for a wheelset that can go from training ride to race efforts without flipping a quick release. They are perfect for triathletes that want to save their pricey aero wheels for the ideal conditions, and have a set better for windy days or hilly courses. And, if you are a real aficionado or just have to be the first to the coffee shop on your team rides, these makes a very classy set of training wheels.

The Zipp 101 are ideal for just about any conditions. If you hit a hefty crosswind, the low profile will keep you upright. The clincher bead means you can ride miles from home with confidence that you wouldn’t have on tubulars. And performance? Well, here’s where the aluminum comes into its own. The Zipp 101 wheels may be light, but they are certainly stiff. Get out of the saddle and power up a hill or pound down in a sprint; these wheels will transfer every watt of power straight to the road. A decent wide-stance hub makes sure your drive train gets its due in power transfer too.

But wait, they’re aero, too?

Zipp loves their wind tunnels, and while their 101 clincher wheelset may not be all about the aerodynamics like the Zipp 808 wheelset, don’t think it didn’t spend plenty of time in the wind tunnel. Zipp’s ambition with the 101 wheelset is clear – they’ve taken every bit of research and technology from their deeper section pure aero wheelsets and looked for what would work on the Zipp 101 wheels. Notice the toroidal rim with a sneaky little bulge along the braking surface that smooths air flow and leaves traditional V-shaped aluminum rims in the dust. How far behind are those other wheels? Zipp estimates about 42 seconds behind on a 25 mile time trial. That bulge also allows a slightly narrower clincher bed, which lets you use standard road tires but shaves off a bit of weight.

So, whether you are looking for a first time upgrade, a training wheelset just like the pros use, or a versatile all-conditions race wheel, the Zipp 101 clincher wheelset is a perfect choice. It’s light, it’s responsive, it’s versatile, and yes, it’s even aerodynamic. Best of all, as far as top end wheelsets go, it’s not even expensive.

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