88/188 Hubs

Starting in September 2013 all Firecrest Carbon Clincher and Tubular rim-brake wheelsets, as well as the 202 Tubular wheelset, will be built with the latest iteration of our 188 rear hub, the V9, and a more effective spoke-lacing pattern. The refinements result in improved torsional and lateral stiffness as well as improve durability.

Details of the 188/V9 hub:

  • Bearings: Larger Swiss steel bearings with a custom cartridge increase durability by more evenly spreading load over the axle.
  • Lacing: New “virtual 3 cross” lacing on both sides of rear wheel for improved stiffness, achieving 3 cross stiffness in a two cross pattern with a new spoke geometry.
  • Stiffness: The 188/V9 has 25 percent more torsional stiffness than a leading competitive hub. This measure of stiffness is crucial for the direct power transfer to the rear wheel for out-of-the saddle sprints and climbs. The new hub also is laterally (side-to-side) stiffer than its rival or predecessor. 


In October 2012 we released a new (V8) rear 188 hub to provide 11 speed compatibility. The rear axle strength is increased by thickening the wall, a new black non-drive end cap (without the ‘O’ ring), a completely new free hub, laser etched with 11 speed and an individual serial number, has an optional 10 speed shim, making it possible to run 11 speed drive chains with a marginal increase in wheel stiffness. The overall drop to drop (OLD) width is also increased by 0.8mm helping to accommodate the wider free hub without a large increase in bracing angles. The V8 hub set is only available in black. We offer an up-grade service for 2012 (V7) hubs (only the grey or black hubs not the silver), this includes a wheel re-dish from certified Zipp wheel builders. Note: The 2013 free hub, axle and end cap are not inter-changeable with the older silver 188 (V6) hubs 2009 – 2011 or the 2012 V8 black axle, with red or blue end cap.

It's not a stretch to say that more design, engineering, and manufacturing expertise goes into Zipp’s 88 and 188 hubs than goes into many high-end frames. The result is a set of features and a level of performance found nowhere else in the cycling industry at a weight of just 298g per pair.

Due to the force generated by modern quick-release skewers, we designed the 88 and 188 with the option to adjust bearing preload after clamping the skewer. The KammNut used to set the preload can then be rotated for an aero benefit that allows us to use an oversized 17mm axle that’s 490% stiffer than a 10mm axle with no additional drag.

V8 hubs angle photo
Wheels Utilized In:
101, 202, 303, 404, 808
Colors Beyond Black
Front Hub:
Weight 98g
Hole Counts 16, 18, 24
Rear Hub:
Weight 200g
SRAM Compatible Yes
Shimano 10 and 11
speed compatible
Compagnolo 10 and
11 speed compatible
Hole Counts 20, 24

Swiss ceramic bearings

We’ve also reduced friction by spec’ing grade 10 steel balls and ABEC 7 races in our sealed, cartridge style bearings made in Switzerland. They roll more smoothly than many after-market ceramic bearings. If you choose to upgrade, the grade 2 silicon nitride balls Ceramic Bearingspecified in our Zipp Swiss ceramic bearings vary by less than 2 millionths of an inch. On an 8% grade, the reduced friction equates to removing 340 grams from your bike compared to typical bearings. To build a lighter, stronger, more durable hub body, Zipp has partnered with the world’s leading aluminum supplier to develop a proprietary alloy called Z310.9.

This material offers nearly twice the strength of 6061 aluminum and enables our unique Spoke Hole Impact Forming Technology that minimizes the chance of cracking around the spoke hole, which is the most common mode of hub failure.

To maintain the high precision of Zipp hubs, we use electrical discharge machining, a specialized process that cuts with an extremely thin high-voltage wire submerged in water. EDM allows us to machine 50% harder materials at tolerances 20 times greater than those allowed by traditional machining and heat-treating. The use of EDM means that Zipp freehubs engage more securely than any others in the industry.

The 88 and 188 feature contact seals that are effectively water-tight when in place but can be removed to save roughly one watt. The hubs are produced in partnership with a local supplier of high-precision medical devices.

The improved 188 (V7) hub, available in October 2011, was redesigned to move out the bearings to improve durability and create a 6 percent stiffer wheel built with the same spoke tension. The 88/188 hubs are offered in two colors, “Falcon Grey” and “Beyond Black,” across the wheel line.

Falcon Gray and Beyond Black Hubs

The silver and ZedTech hub 88/188 hub versions are discontinued. Also of note, the rear 188 hub shell and axle are not compatible with the earlier silver version. The bearings (61803) end caps and seals remain unchanged.

Note: Free hubs are not inter-changeable in this model and require a purchased conversion kit with free hub, seal, spacer and hub specific end cap.