When versatility is an understatement.

When the best cyclists in the world request the same set of wheels stage after stage during a Grand Tour, you know they're on to something good. This was the case during the 2011 Giro, as El Pistolero's machine was rolling on a set of Zipp's 202 wheels for nearly every stage of the race. As we all know, Contador went on to take the overall title of the race, which raised more than a few eyebrows as to the potency of Zipp's slender new all-'rounder set of hoops. Since then, the wheels have continued to dominate flat stage races, hill climbs, as well as taming the cobbles and cyclocross circuits around the world. With the results doing the talking, it's safe to say that the Zipp 202 Carbon Wheel is one of the most versatile set of wheels available today.

To make the 202 one of the most decorated climbing wheel in the world, Zipp gave it one of the most efficient strength-to-weight ratios on the planet. With an intelligent unidirectional carbon fiber layup, the 202 is rigid enough to respond directly to power. But, with a svelte overall weight that rests around 1115 grams, it's light enough to translate that power into a pure climbing prowess. Overall, the design provides a responsiveness and stiffness that's rarely accredited to 32mm deep wheelsets. However, this isn't solely attributable to carbon fiber alone. Most of this comes down to the 202's toroidal rim shape.

Here's a quick explanation of what toroidal is all about: Whereas a traditional aluminum rim follows a 'V' shape from the spokes to the rim bed, a toroidal shape follows more of a 'U' shape. It sounds elementary, and perhaps a bit fussy, but the benefits are staggering. With the 202's design, Zipp is able to tune the brake track width independently of the rim's maximum width -- that's why the 202 is touch narrower at the rim (22.56 to 22.61mm). Having the freedom to choose where the widest point on the rim needs to reside on the section allows the modifications necessary for Zipp to increase braking power, improve aerodynamics, and decrease crosswind sensitivity. Even today, this shape is the basis for the venerable Firecrest technology that's applied to Zipp's carbon lineup. Basically, all of these improvements simply make a faster, stiffer, and lighter wheel.

For the build, Zipp used its proprietary 88 hub on the front and the 188 on the rear. The wheels receive an 18/24 Sapim CX-Ray spoke configuration, and to minimized mechanical drag, each hub rolls on Zipp's proprietary steel bearings.

The Zipp 202 Carbon Tubular Wheel is available in the color Black and Falcon Grey. They also come in a 700c and with either Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo compatible freehub bodies. Zipp has also provided its new Tangente Platinum Pro Evo Brake Pads. Please consult with the official Zipp website for a list of approved brake pads.

Please note that Zipp does not recommend the 202s for riders exceeding 225lb. Also, these wheels are sold individually and are not compatible with either Shimano or SRAM 11-speed cassettes.

Share your thoughts

What do you think of the

Zipp 202 Carbon Wheel - Tubular 2012

? Share a...

Write a review

No file chosen

Rather attach a photo from another website?

Rather attach a photo from your computer?

  • Product review:
  • Share a video
  • Share a photo

How familiar are you with the product?(Optional)

Only jpg, jpeg, png, gif or bmp files please.


Here's what others have to say...

Unanswered Question

I only see options for the back wheel/ ...

I only see options for the back wheel/ don't you need one for the front, too? where are they or where are the "sets"

Unanswered Question

Looking for SRAM/Shimano compatible 202...

Looking for SRAM/Shimano compatible 202 tubulars firecrest rear and front

Unanswered Question

Do you have any for SRAM/shimano cass and...

Do you have any for SRAM/shimano cass and do you have front wheels also