There are very few products in the world of cycling that instil the kind of emotions that Zipp Speed Weaponry do. Zipp was created by Leigh Sargent a former motorsports engineer for the sole purpose of making riders faster by using state of the art technology.
Over the last twenty years Zipp has introduced a number of key innovations in the design and construction of carbon wheels. They were the first company to create a carbon disc wheel and followed this up with the first carbon crank.
These were followed by a number of aerodynamic innovations, including the dimpled wheels for which Zipp have become famous. Zipp were also the first company to build a wheel that was able to achieve negative drag in the wind tunnel.
It’s these innovations and more that have given Zipp their legendary status amongst professional riders and amateurs alike.
The Birth of a Legend
Leigh actually entered the world of cycle racing by accident; he was in the process of designing a new carbon wheelchair for competitive wheelchair hoops. These lightweight chairs never came to pass however, the cost proved to be prohibitive and the project was cancelled. It’s this attention to detail that has seen them create the Zipp speed weaponary.
But in the process of designing the wheelchair, Sargent learnt a thing or two about bicycle wheels. He combined this knowledge with his carbon fibre expertise to create a carbon wheel that weighed in at just 1400lbs. That doesn’t sound like much of saving by today’s standards, but back then the lightest wheel on the market came in at just over 2000lbs.
A legend was born, but it was just the beginning, over the next few years Sargent launched a number of key innovations that would cement his place in history. First there was the Tri Spoke wheel, and then came the Zipp frame and Zipp beam as well as the first deep section wheel for which they’ve become synonymous. This is the beginning of wheels such as the Zipp speed weaponary.
The company has gone from strength to strength since those early days; they were bought out by components firm SRAM in 2007, but have continued to produce product innovations. Their product range now includes bars, stems and seat posts, all made of carbon of course.
It’s safe to say there isn’t a company in the world of cycling that pushes the technical envelope as far as Zipp do. So it’s little wonder they’re known as Zipp Speed Weaponry.