Zipp 188 V9 Hub
Zipp 188 V9 Hub
Mark Cavendish has helped develop a new Zipp 188 V9 Hub via in-race testing, including during his two Grand Tours this year.
Zipp has started to build all of its Firecrest Carbon Clincher and Tubular rim-brake wheelsets and 202 Tubular wheelsets using a new 188 rear hub, called the V9, and what they describe as ‘a more effective spoke-lacing pattern’ to improve stiffness and durability.
If you ever wondered what went into developing modern cycling kit at the top level, then you’ll be very pleased to hear that Cavendish, of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, received early hub prototypes in January and logged 13,000 kilometers (8,078 miles) on continually refined variants. He rode these to stage victories at the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. Such valuable feedback helped Zipp optimise the hub’s flange geometry, stiffness and weight.
Later in the season Team Saxo-Tinkoff raced the final production model of the 188/V9 hub at the Vuelta a España.
So if you were considering investing in a pair of Zipp’s then knowing that such a development process takes place should play easy on your mind.
The 188/V9 hub weights are impressive: front is 100g and rear is 245g. They use larger Swiss steel bearings with a custom cartridge to increase durability by more evenly spreading the load over the axle.
The wheels then use a new two cross pattern, that Zipp have dubbed a ‘virtual 3 cross’ lacing pattern, on both sides of the rear wheel for improved stiffness. They claim to have achieved 3 cross stiffness in a two cross pattern with a new spoke geometry…
The 188/V9 hub is also said to be stiffer laterally, crucial for the direct power transfer to the rear wheel and for out-of-the saddle sprints or climbs.
The 202 Tubular and all Firecrest road wheels have 18 spoke fronts and 24 spokes in the rear for greater stiffness (though this does not include track wheels or 303 Firecrest Disc-brake wheelsets), and now have borderless, thinner and lighter, fully die cut ‘Classic White’ and ‘Beyond Black’ rim decals. All are 10/11 speed compatible and are available with either a SRAM/Shimano or a Campagnolo cassette body. There’s a great little article here on the Zipp Website which offers more detail.
Zipp have also just released a new video detailing the Firecrest rim technology that ‘rewrote the fundamentals of wheel making’, resulting in improved aerodynamics, ride quality, wheel strength and stability in even the strongest of crosswinds. Since launching the 404 Firecrest three years ago, Zipp have employed the Firecrest technology for all of their carbon wheels, from the 32mm deep 202 Firecrest to the 82mm deep 808 Firecrest.
They have dubbed this ‘the Firecrest Difference, an empowering feeling of speed, stability and responsiveness’ which Zipp are keen to point out is not just subjective but is science, helping to combat the biggest thing that slows you down on a bike – wind resistance.
Using computer animation and images from their Computational Fluid Dynamics software, here’s the Firecrest Difference video providing the basics of the bike science behind Firecrest…
Look out for a Zipp wheels review soon…