Zipp News

Back 6.1.2017

New on ZippCast - Meet Josh Johnson, Zipp Test Rider

How does the human element fit into Zipp’s science and data-driven process of designing high performance wheelsets? Rest assured, the rider out on the road pushing his or her limits is and will always be central to any Zipp innovation.
In this Zippcast, we find out how… Meet Josh Johnson.


Josh is part of the customer service team at SRAM and Zipp in Indianapolis. He’s also a pro cyclocross racer and elite road racer. But he has one other highly coveted title – new product test rider for Zipp. In that role, he weaves intuitive feel for what works best out on the racecourse with the technical knowledge he’s gained as a bike shop mechanic and technical expert for Zipp and SRAM.

In this Zippcast, we talk bike racing – you’ll learn what “breathing with your eyes” means – and how Josh takes the same approach to evaluating prototype Zipp wheels as he does in reading a road race.



Reading the race

“One thing I’ve learned is cycling rewards those who’ve put in the hard work and once it comes time to race, to take the risks…. There have been races where it’s counterintuitive to attack. I’m basically breathing through my eyes. The lactic acid is building up but I look around and everyone else is right there with me. But then it goes back to that confidence I have in my training and my preparation and knowing that, OK, this is where I am. Everyone else is hurting. I’m at a good level. I’m just going to give it another dig, another attack. A lot of times, you’ll see that that can break the other riders.”

Being an intuitive cyclist

“For me, being a more intuitive cyclist, logging hours on the bike and spending the time training. You spend a lot of time on how to prepare the body, how to prepare the mind. There’s the flip side of that – how do you work on your position? How do you take that equipment and leverage your physical ability…? I’m a fan of training on a lot of the equipment I race on. That way I have a good sense of what the equipment does for me.”

Being a test rider

“Typically when I’m riding a product for the first time, I’m trying to be as objective and unbiased as possible. Our engineers and our product teams, they don’t want a sugarcoated answer… They really rely on us to give them honest and open feedback… This is what we’re looking for in the product; does it do that? Is it fast? How does it handle in the crosswinds? How does the new 454, the 53/58 undulating profile, compare to the 58mm 404 or even the 303 that people might drop down to instead of riding a deeper section in the wind. The comfort levels – at what level do you feel uncomfortable?”


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