Pros Find New Training Partner in Zipp Carbon Clinchers
Show up for a local training ride with deep-section carbon wheels and you may still raise a few eyebrows. Yet that’s just what the riders on three of the world’s top pro cycling teams will do as they make the switch to the Zipp® 404 Firecrest® Carbon Clincher as their primary training wheel.
The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, Team Tinkoff-Saxo and Team MTN-Qhubeka are making the transition to use the popular Zipp Carbon Clincher wheelset for training. Pros traditionally train on aluminum wheels, switching to lighter and more aerodynamically efficient carbon wheels for races.
Zipp’s Firecrest and Carbon Clincher technologies give teams the confidence to depart conventional wisdom. The 58-mm deep 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher was a natural choice.
Training on the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher puts riders in an aero mindset all the time, not just on race day. The teams wanted riders to be comfortable riding deep-section rims on race day, and the 404 Firecrest accomplishes that, said Rolf Aldag, sport and development manager for the winningest pro team of the past two years, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step. “It’s a lot easier to adjust to a lower rim in the race than to go on the higher rim,” he said.
The added performance, and even the fun-factor, of the 404 Firecrest also can liven up long days in the saddle. “It’s nice to have the speed,” Aldag said. “It just feels nice. The sound… nice.”
What’s more, Zipp worked with the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step and its superstar sprinter, Cavendish, to develop the new 188/V9 hub and new spoke-lacing pattern that provides even greater stiffness and durability for Zipp’s model year 2014 Firecrest wheels. “The durability is not an issue,” Aldag said.
As you watch Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, Tinkoff-Saxo and Team MTN-Qhubeka at upcoming races, know that the Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers is their new training partner.
Photo: Omega Pharma - Quick-Step at recent training camp. ©TDWSport.com