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Now that triathlon and time trial bikes are built around disc brake wheels, Zipp knew they needed to optimize their 808 wheelset for the benefits and rigors of disc braking. The result is the 808 NSW Disc Tubeless Clincher.
The 808 wheelset is super speedy. Many prefer an 808 back to a disc wheel, as it’s lighter and easier to control in crosswinds. Some folks like to run double 808’s, while other run an 808 in back with a shallower front wheel, like a Zipp 404. Either way, you’re getting a wheel that is best on flat roads and constant speeds, though strong road racers might also find it a great wheel for flattish road races and crits.
This 404’s depth is 82mm, which has been the depth of the 404 for years. The width has changed for these wheels, with a max width of 26.4mm, an internal width of 19mm, and optimized for 25mm tires. They figure the bike you put these wheels on will probably be ridden almost entirely on pavement, and thus the benefits of a narrower tire come into play. It’s lighter and since you don’t need the same air cushion, there’s no reason to carry around the wide tire carcass. You can go wider if you want, but probably go no narrower than 23mm.
But the change in width also comes with a second change. The extending of the SawTooth dimpling pattern all the way to the rim edge. 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.
The interior of the rim has been changed as well. There is not only a bead hook at the end of the rim, but a ridge running below it, to better hold the bead of tubeless tires. This is to improve the interface with tubeless tire beads. This improves the sealing of the tire to the rim, which is a plus for safety and security. Factory-applied tubeless rim tape finishes the rim package.
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 1860g per set, 910g in front, 950g 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. SRAM/Shimano and Campagnolo 11-speed cassette bodies are standard; a SRAM XD-R driver can be swapped in as well.
In case you’re wondering, yes, you can use standard clincher tires and tubes. You’ll just need to remove the tubeless valve.
The Zipp 808 NSW Disc Tubeless Clincher is the wheel that meshes perfectly with the latest generation of disc brake triathlon and time trial bikes.