The brand says its new wheels ‘epitomize’ its drive to make you ride faster. Zipp’s played the role of innovator before, and it might have just done it again.
Zipp’s new 858 NSW and 808 Firecrest double down on the brand’s previous entries. How? Zipp flexes “Total System Efficiency” (TSE) technology and hundreds of grams in weight reduction.
The SRAM subsidiary gears the tubeless wheels toward triathletes and time trial specialists but asks for a relatively modest price. Zipp’s last entry that made a big splash, the 353, cost speed-suiters dearly. But the 858 NSW and 808 Firecrest look more approachable and adhere to the same engineering philosophy.
TSE seeks to overcome the four obstacles of speed in a bike wheel: wind resistance, gravity, rolling resistance, and vibration losses.
The Zipp 858 NSW and 808 Firecrest both address all four hurdles. Both rims are tubeless and hookless, utilizing a low-pressure setup for a smoother ride. The shaping helps each wheel exhibit aero efficiency and crosswind stability.
Zipp says it adds up to better performance for triathletes or time trial specialists looking for an edge and trying to keep their legs fresher.
Zipp 858 NSW
The 858 gets a 10% weight reduction over its predecessors and clocks in at 1,530 g. It’s the speed freak between the two, but the 808 about 280 g less than its previous iteration at 1,635 g.
The 858’s Sawtooth 82-85mm undulating depth gives riders the aero benefits of a super-deep rim without a significant weight sacrifice.
The HexFin ABLC dimple pattern aims at aero and crosswind-stability performance. Its 23mm internal width helps the 858 NSW work best with 28mm tires.
Zipp 808 Firecrest
The 808 is basically the same rig, only shallower (80mm) and without the sawtooth shape. Slightly less aerodynamic than its thoroughbred cousin, it focuses on triathlon and criterium riding.
It forgoes the sawtooth shape but does onboard the dimple pattern. And a German-engineered hub with 66 points of engagement helps it spin smooth.
Availability and MSRP
Each wheel comes with an XDR or SRAM/Shimano driver body, or you can opt for a Campagnolo N3W (sold separately). Lifetime warranties apply to each wheelset sold. The 858 NSW costs $2,110-2,532 MSRP. The 808 Firecrest fetches $1,125-1,175. Get all the details at Zipp’s website.