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Old 07-04-05, 08:26 PM   #1
newbietrichic
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zipps or hed wheels

I'm thinking about upgrading to race wheels and I was wondering which wheel set everyone preferred: Hed or Zipps. Also, which model do you like, not like, etc. I'm looking at wheels as if money was no issue (although it is) and I'll either save up longer and get more expensive ones or if cheaper ones would work just as well I'd get those. Thanks in advance for your help.

Katie
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Old 07-04-05, 10:55 PM   #2
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Zipp! IMHO HED wheels do not have the same quality level, also Zipp are the most used wheel at IM Hawaii - so given the choice the "best of the best" at the World Championships choose Zipp.
Clinchers are easier to use for those just getting into Tri's, although tubulars are faster and lighter in weight. One thing to consider the deeper the dish on the front the harder it will be to handle the bike when the winds kick up - thus the attraction to a Tri-spoke wheel in the front and the reason Lance rides a Tri-spoke in the front.
Although Zipp claims that the 808 is equal to or better than a Tri-spoke in the front and very close to pure "Disk performance" without the handling issues.
I have 2-sets of 404's (clincher) for both of my Tri bikes and used them in Hawaii at Ironman. But when it comes to all out speed in a TT or in a Tri with light winds I use my Zipp "Z-series 999's" (808 in the front, a disk in the rear and tubular in design). The deeper dish in the front allows for a damn fast ride but when a gust of wind comes up from the side.....hang on for a white knuckle ride and point the bike. Disk's are not allowed in Kona at Ironman for the simple reason many have been blowen over in the sometimes difficult winds. Many in Kona will ride a 303 in the front and a 404 in the rear for increased handling.
If you are trying to save $$$ you may just upgrade to a higher quality road wheel
(pssssst) I have a set of Bontrager Race-X wheels (Never used or ridden) that came on my "Madone 5.9" 4-sale...you may look for a deal like that as they will be 1/2 the price of a set of Zipp wheels. A set of Zipp 404's will go for about $1350.00 or so new.

Last edited by MHR; 07-05-05 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 07-05-05, 08:33 AM   #3
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I would say HED, I dont know about the quality issue, but Zipp is much more expensive then HED, and i dont think that there is much better then a Disk/tri spoke combo on a bike.

I have a RENN disk(price) but I want a Hed tri spoke for the front, i have only heard good things about both wheel companies, but Zipp costs more....atleast up in Canada
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Old 07-05-05, 12:06 PM   #4
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Zipps, for sure. Just compare the two models (404 v V60 & 900 V Hed Disc). There is a HUGE weight difference. Just pick up the Zipps. This was the first thing I noticed immediately. There is a huge quality difference. Heds are good; I feel when I take them out, I DO notice a big difference between them and training wheelsets. Money no issue, get Zipp 909s with Tufo S3s (700 x 21). You will be so happy!
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Old 07-06-05, 03:35 PM   #5
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Sounds like a Campy vs Shimano discussion, he he. I don't have an opinion but I saw more HED's while watching the first two TDF time trials.
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Old 07-06-05, 06:10 PM   #6
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WHat kind of racing are you looking to do? Sprints, Ironmans? What kind of courses? Do you think you'll go disc in the rear or just two deep rims, or maybe trispokes? Do you plan on doing any road riding/racing with these?
If you can answer all these questions you'll probably have an answer for yourself.

If you want these for purely tri racing, I've heard a Disc in the back is best and it doesn't really matter if it is a $70 CH Aero cover, a RENN disc(around $400, probably best bang for the buck) or a $1000 Zipp, a disc is a disc, dimples or not. If you plan on doing the Hawaii Ironman, no disc I'm guessing.
Front wheel is debatable between Hed's trispoke and a Zipp 808. Really though, if you're a smaller rider neither of these are great all around options for a front wheel. You want to look in the 40-60 mm rim depth range. There you have an amazing amount of options.
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Old 07-07-05, 10:21 AM   #7
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Is there any data to say one wheel company is better then the other? or are most opinions on what is better based on what you use/friends have/pros have
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Old 07-08-05, 04:18 AM   #8
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You should read some of the reviews on both sets so you can make an educated decision. http://roadbikereview.com/reviewscrx.aspx
I just ordered a new wheelset. I was considering Zipp 404's, Mavic Ksyrium Elites and then Easton Ascents. I went the Easton route b/c of what I was looking for in particular.

If you're really great on the bike & crosswinds don't sway you, then a rear disc is probably just fine, but if you're small like me & don't have tons of power on the bike, a disc is probably going to complicate matters. Same with tri spokes. The Eastons have very thin, titanium spokes - which for me is better for less lateral air resistance.

Zipp has been having a little bit of quality control issues that you should check up on to make sure that you're willing to accept the risk for. Easton is made by Velomax, and has good, strong reviews. Another thing is are you riding 650's or 700's? 650's are a bit harder to come by, but narrows your choices automatically.

A wheelset that suits one may not suit another, so I'm not trying to push Easton on you. I just know what I was looking for and they were the ones that suited me best. It's probably the biggest upgrade you'll do for your bike, so go into it with all the info you can.
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