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When you’re looking for an ultra-light, aero, climbing disc-brake wheel, the one you’ll turn to is the Zipp 202 NSW Disc Tubeless Clincher. This is shallow, wide rim, that is best for those times when gravitational resistance is highest, and still has the aero advantages that will increase your speed when gravitational resistance is lowest, and all other times as well.
Zipp, when they decided to focus on building disc brake-specific wheels, looked at not only what they could do for the rim, but what they could do with the bikes the wheels go in. For the first part, they knew that without the need for a brake track, they could extend their dimpling all the way to the end of the rim, as they did. For the second, they realized that most road bikes with disc brakes come with enough clearance for 28mm tires, so they designed with those in mind.
With the dimpling they molded their SawTooth pattern into the exterior walls. As you should know by now, SawTooth is a design of indents molded into the outside rim walls that is comprised of twelve nodes. These are designed to start working for you at speeds of 20mph and then work better when faster. They essentially change the behavior of the wind around the rim to minimize side wind pressure on the rim in crosswinds, thus making the wheel more stable at high speeds.
They also tweaked the rim shape, keeping the 32mm depth the 202 is known for, but increasing the max width of the rim to 28.9mm. The result is that the tire width that is most aerodynamic is 28mm. You can go wider for rough- and off-road adventures, but probably won’t want to go narrower than 25mm.
The interior of the rim has been changed as well. the internal width is 21mm, and the side walls have ridges that help hold the tire in place when pressure is low. This is to improve the interface with tubeless tire beads. No burps when running wide tires at low pressures. Factory-applied tubeless rim tape finishes the rim package. You can run these wheels with tubed tires; you’ll just need to remove the valve stem from the rim.
Thanks to the need to make the rim sidewalls strong enough to handle the pressure of clincher tires, these carbon rims are super-strong. Stronger than aluminum rims, so worry not about their durability. They are race light, but training wheel tough.
Sapim CX-Ray J-Bend spokes are used both front and rear to lace the rim to the hub. These spokes are light, aero, and stiff. 24 spokes, two-cross, both front and rear.
These NSW wheels utilize Zipp’s Cognition hubs. The front features scalloped flanges for the spoke beds. J-bend spokes resist the twisting forces disc-braking can put on spokes. This results in less pressure on the spokes, increasing lateral stiffness and durability. The rear has a pawl design with an Axial Clutch, which reduces pawl drag by 50% when coasting, and with a 36-tooth engagement, you’re driving the wheel the moment you start pedaling.
The disc-mounting method is Centerlock only. Lock ring not included. The hubs come with Zipp’s Tangente quick release skewers as well as hand-removable end caps to fit 100x12mm and 100x15mm thru-axles in front and 142x12mm rear thru-axles.
The wheels weigh in at 1475g per set, 695g in front, 780g in back.
The wheels, sold separately as front and rear, also come with a wheel bag, a Zipp tubeless valve factory-installed, valve core removal tool, Zipp Cognition Oil, and a freehub body spacer to take the 11-speed hub down to 10-speed if you need. The single wheel bags can be secured together if you have a pair. A SRAM/Shimano 11-speed cassette body is standard, though a SRAM XD-R driver can be swapped in.
The Zipp 202 NSW Disc Tubeless Clincher is the climbing wheel that will help your disc brake bike soar like an eagle both going up and down the mountain.