Zipp 302 carbon clincher
Zipp’s new 302 wheels are a big step for the brand. With both rim and disc brake versions coming in at under £1,300 a pair, the company has ventured firmly into the world of mid-priced carbon wheels.
To hit the cheaper price point, Zipp hasn’t just outsourced to the Far East. It continues to hand-craft the carbon rims entirely in-house at its Indianapolis facility, and claims the aerodynamics and ride quality are based on its top-end Firecrest range, where prices can top £2,000. The cost savings come from the fact that the 302 rim is smooth, missing Zipp’s trademark dimples, making it easier to manufacture. Other than that, the profile is similar to the much pricier 303 Firecrest, with an external width of 26.5mm and internal width of 16.25mm.
Zipp has opted for a 45mm rim height to achieve a good balance of aerodynamic performance and all-round usability in a variety of conditions, and it hasn’t skimped on build quality, retaining Sapim spokes and using its own hubs, just as it does in all its premium offerings.
Claimed weights are very competitive at this price point: the rim brake version is 1,645g (740g front/905g rear) and the disc version 1,695g (785g front/910g rear).