Zipp engineers have optimized the biomimicry-derived 454 NSW for the ultimate in all conditions braking control—disc brakes. This marks the first NSW wheelset available for disc brakes, offering cyclists the greatest AeroBalance with the superior modulation and stopping power of disc brakes.
Zipp engineers studied the environment around them for instances of how nature solved similar problems of speed, control, and efficiency for the next generation of Zipp wheels. Think of a humpback whale’s fast but graceful movements thanks to the special features on the leading edge of its pectoral fins, or the unique micro texture of a shark’s skin, which gives it the ability to glide effortlessly through the water.
These structures inspired Zipp advanced development engineers to systematically apply biomimicry to solve the complex challenge of designing a wheel that reduces both aerodynamic drag and side force.
Using nature as a roadmap, Zipp began the rigorous aero development process of the 454 NSW Disc-brake utilizing the wind tunnel, CFD, and real-world testing. The result is an undulating 53/58mm-deep rim shape that takes nature’s most elegant design solutions and combines engineering precision to deliver a wheel that performs unlike any made before.
The most visually striking and functionally important biomimicry-derived innovation in the handcrafted 454 NSW Disc-brake is Sawtooth™. This patented rim shape achieves something conventional aero wheels cannot; it simultaneously reduces both aerodynamic drag and side force for the ultimate in AeroBalance. Sawtooth™ accomplishes this with a series of patented fin-shaped Hyperfoil™ nodes along the inner diameter of the rim that work together with our HexFin™ ABLC dimples for improved airflow.
Without the need for a brake track on the 454 NSW Disc-brake Zipp was able to extend the HexFin ABLC dimples from the rim’s Hyperfoil nodes all the way to the outer edge of the rim.
This design reduces aerodynamic drag while simultaneously improving crosswind control through higher frequency wind vortex shedding. By generating a greater number of smaller, less powerful, yet more predictable vortices Zipp has engineered a wheel with superior stability. To visually compliment the rim’s aerodynamic structure without interfering with its function, our Impress™ printed graphics are applied from edge to edge.
The result is Zipp’s highest performing disc-brake wheelset ever realized with both aero-drag reduction and reduced side force at all wind yaw angles. This is important because higher wind yaw angles are where bike handling is most affected by the wind. This added stability translates into greater rider control, thereby saving energy that is typically expended trying to hold a line in gusting wind. The result is a faster, more confident riding experience whether you are laying down power or descending sinuous mountain roads.