Arecent addition to the Zipp line-up of wheels, the 30s are being touted as the entry-level option. On its launch, Cycling Weekly got a chance to test a set.
You may already be aware that Zipp launched the 30 and the 60 at the same time and that it sees both wheels as a new string to its bow – an effort to bring Zipp products to a new audience rather than appeal to the same audience as the already established offerings.
On the face of it, the Zipp line-up can be quite daunting, with various depths of wheel all basically offering the same advantages, namely better aerodynamics. While the 30 also boasts aerodynamic features, unlike with the established range, it’s not its most prominent feature.
At the launch, we were lucky enough to get some serious miles in on the wheels and see just how they performed. With a weight listed at 1,655g they are at least 100g heavier than the main competition and more expensive too. So are they worth the investment?
Zipp tells us the 30s are all about reaching the perfect balance of weight, longevity, aerodynamics and ride. Having completed around four hours on the wheels, we obviously can’t objectively comment on the durability but what did stand out were the aerodynamics and the ride. Ignoring the weight, the ride performance was very good; they certainly felt like a wheel worth £675, offering stability, rigidity and a good road feel.
Your choice of alternative will depend on your priorities. At £749.99, the Fulcrum Racing 1s are about 10 per cent more expensive but have a weight that’s under 1,500g; the Racing 3 has a list weight of 1,550g and a price of £450 so is quite a bit cheaper. Mavic offers the Ksyrium Elite S, which cost £525 and weigh 1,520g. Finally, the winners of our recent wheel test, the ?Cero AR30s, sneak in under 1,400g and have a list price of £449.99
The trump card has got to be the aerodynamics. With a hybrid toroidal rim shape, wind resistance at all yaw angles is less than a box-section rim and they don't get pushed around badly in crosswinds. If you've got to have an aerodynamic shallow-section wheel, then nothing we know of will perform better, but only you can decide if it's worth the extra weight and cost.