We put Zipp's entry-level disc brake wheels to the test
The Zipp 30 Course disc brake wheels are the least expensive disc brake wheels in Zipp’s ever-growing range. Ok, least expensive doesn’t equal cheap, but even at £800 these wheels offer impressive performance for the price.
Zipp has always been known as a very forward-looking company, so it’s no surprise that the Zipp 30 Course disc brake wheels have been future-proofed to deal with all conceivable axle standards covered off to allow you to fit them to whatever disc brake bike you want. Out of the box they’re designed to work with quick release skewers, but there are also thru-axles end cap adaptors supplied (front: 12x100mm & 15x100mm, rear: 12x135mm & 12x142mm) that should cover all eventualities.
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As you would also expect, the Zipp 30 Course wheels are also tubeless-ready and there is also a tubular version available at the same cost. Zipp also supplies everything else you need like skewers and rim tape so you can begin to use these wheels straight out of the box.
With an RRP of £800, the Zipp 30 Course wheels can’t stretch as far as carbon rims, but don’t let that put you off as the new aluminium rims that Zipp has given this wheelset do a great job.
Like everything else with these wheels, the rims are bang up to date, coming with a wide 21mm external and 21mm internal rim width that means that they work perfectly with wider tyres, meaning a more comfortable and supposedly aerodynamic ride. The only issue you might find is with a lack of tyre clearance. I used tested the Zipp 30 Course wheels with a 30mm tyre, which when combined with the wide rim caused an issue on some framesets with minimal space under the fork and between the chainstays, even on certain Road+ style bikes.
Performance-wise the Zipp 30 Course disc brake wheels also impress. With claimed rim weight of 500g per wheel is not super-light compared to some of the carbon-rimmed wheels out there, but certainly isn’t bad, so they’re nice and easy to spin up to speeds and always felt lively on the climbs. This makes them a great addition to heavier adventure style road bikes that aren’t always at their best going uphill.
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But even with this light rim weight, the Zipp 30 Course wheels are stiff too. Even with minimal clearance between the tyre and the chainstay and the the rim and the brake pads I never had problems with the wheels flexing even when hammering out a full-gas sprint.
Finally we must come to the hubs, which have historically been a sticking point with Zipp wheels. However, all of the company’s latest hoops, the Zipp 30 Course disc brake wheels come with its new 77/177D hub, which comes with better bearing protection and sealant, and ditches user-adjustable pre-load tension in favour of factory set pre-load.
Thankfully I’ve been using the Zipp 30 Course disc brake wheels all the way through the British winter — often in atrociously wet and gritty conditions — with no problems whatsoever. The bearings are still running smoothly and quietly and these wheels are still a joy to ride.
For more details visit the Zipp website.
The Zipp 30 Course disc brake wheels are seriously impressive wheels. Even with an aluminium rim they're light and agile enough to enliven even the dullest adventure bike, and have all axle standards covered with they're quick release and thru-axle compatibility.