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3ZERO MOTO 29in Carbon Boost Wheel
When we think of Zipp, we think of gram-obsessed, aerodynamic components for road cycling. The speed-focused company has recently shifted their focus to the mountain bike world, however, with the release of the 3ZERO MOTO 29in Carbon Boost Wheel. These innovative MTB wheels draw inspiration from motocross bikes, employing a single-wall rim designed to provide aggressive trail riders and enduro racers with newfound levels of speed and control. It's called Moto Technology, and it essentially allows the rim to be more compliant in rough terrain, providing a level of traction unmatched by any wheels currently on the market, without making any compromises to lateral stiffness. Furthermore, Zipp claims the wheel can sustain impacts that would destroy competitor's alloy wheels, and that the risk of pinch flats is decreased—all good things for the discerning rider and racer.
There's a good chance you're wondering what makes these wheels any better than existing designs, and why Zipp would spend over three years developing and testing with some of the fastest riders in the world to bring us a non-conventional rim shape. Well, the vast majority of carbon mountain bike rims use a box-section design with a hollow D-shaped cross section. It's an effective way to make a stiff and strong rim, but with carbon fiber it often results in a rim that's too stiff, which can feel harsh on the trail and potentially increase your risk of pinch flats. Aluminum rims add some compliance, but the softer material is more susceptible to dents or even flat spots that can eventually render it unrideable.
Zipp's Moto Technology addresses these concerns with a single-wall rim profile that allows for more radial compression, resulting in a more compliant and comfortable ride that Zipp feels makes you faster on the trail. Additionally, like motocross wheels, the 3ZERO MOTO rim can pivot from either side of the spoke bed while traversing rough terrain. Zipp calls it "ankle compliance" because the rim behaves like a human ankle, allowing a bit of local flex so the rim can stay more parallel to the ground in corners to improve traction, and also deflect in the right direction during single-bead impacts to prevent the rider from getting bounced off line. On the trail, Moto Technology feels a bit like extra suspension travel, making it easier to hold a line over chundery rocks and roots while improving your overall traction. As for pinch flats and rim damage, Zipp claims that Moto Technology decreases the likelihood of both, due to the subtle flex that spreads impact energy over a larger area. Zipp also claims that Moto Technology lets you run lower tire pressure for better grip, and that it reduces rider fatigue by absorbing vibration and trail chatter. And thanks to a 32-spoke design, the wheel remains laterally stiff during hard cornering and provides efficient power transfer when accelerating.
As an added bonus, the 3ZERO MOTO Carbon Boost Wheels come with TyreWiz pre-installed to the valve stem area. TyreWiz allows you to set your preferred tire pressure on the TyreWiz smartphone app, and then a light on the device blinks red or green to show you if the pressure is correct, even if you don't have your phone with you. It's especially useful for enduro racing situations, when a couple of psi can make a huge difference with traction, speed, and performance. If your tire pressure is off or you have a slow leak, TyreWiz lets you know right away so you can fix it before your next stage.
- Boost traction and performance with these moto-inspired carbon wheels
- Single-wall rim offers a more compliant ride than conventional rims
- Moto Technology improves traction and pinch-flat resistance
- Design also increases impact resistance and reduces rider fatigue
- Integrated TyreWiz gives you precise control over tire pressure
- ZM1 hubs deliver a responsive 6.9-degrees between engagement points
- 32-spoke design ensures support for hard cornering and accelerating
- Backed by a lifetime limited warranty for peace of mind on the trail
- Item #ZIP007S
- Q & A
Stiff Yet Compliant
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This wheelset is amazing! It's stiff when you want it to be (like cornering), yet not too stiff that it feels harsh. I was skeptical the flex in the rim might feel squirrely, however it's very consistent and provides a good amount of compliance. I felt like these wheels glided through rock gardens when other wheels might have you feel like a pinball. The built in Tyrewiz may seem like a bit over kill but is actually pretty nice. It enables you to easily check your front and rear tire pressure, and flashes red if you get outside your preset PSI parameters. Overall this is an awesome wheelset that can take a beating and rides amazing!
What is this wizardry?
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I rode these wheels on my Yeti SB130 without reading any reviews or knowing much about them at all.
First ride out and I could tell something was going on. Not in a bad way, not at all, but something was for sure different about the way they rode and I could't quite put my finger on it.
Second ride and I feel like I was getting better grip in corners and I was carrying more speed through the rocks.
Third ride confirmed my thoughts with a couple of PR's on trails I have ridden quite frequently, and one particular section of trail that is a steep garden of baby heads (a PR that I had on my Downhill bike). Yeah, for sure carrying more speed through the rough stuff, and still felt like cornering traction was better than before.
I read a review to see if my feelings were in line with others and sure enough they were.
Went for another ride and felt like everything was even more pronounced.
These wheels are magical!
As far as ride quality goes, I don't know if you will find another wheelset that will change the feel of your bike more.
Now for the reasons I knocked a star off.
Engagement. 7 degrees of engagement isn't bad, but in a time where Instant, 1/2 a degree or 3 degrees is possible, 7 just doesn't seem fast enough. Not only that, but the hub is sort of loud, which I feel further alerts the rider to how slow it is. I am on a DT hub right now with a 36t star ratchet and that is 10 degrees of engagement, so slower than the Zipp. But for some reason, the very pronounced sound of the Zipp hub seems so much slower than my DT hub, at least in my head. I would have liked to see a faster hub. I am docking it 1/4 of a star because I have succumbed to the industry requirement for faster engagement. It's probably just in my head.
Lastly is the weight. This is not a lightweight option at 1910g so 3/4 of a star for the fact that they are heavier than comparable wheels that are less expensive.
At the end of my time with these wheels, I found brainstorming ways to pick up a set of these hoops. Even with the slower than currently popular engagement and heavier weight, they just rode so nice over nasty terrain. Of all of the wheelsets I have ridden recently, these have made the biggest change to the way my bike handled and I loved it. Yeah, I give em 4 stars, if you are concerned about dropping grams, or you have to have the fastest engagement, then look elsewhere, but if you want a wheel that truly changes the way your bike handles (for the better) then these are a fantastic option.
They roll smooth and fast
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Very unique carbon wheelset that is snappy, malleable, and durable all at the same time. I rode these for a week on some pretty fast and rough tracks and found the wheel's ability to roll through chunks and chunder 2nd to none. It did require more pressure at the top of the turn in corners to stay on line vs. something like a Santa Cruz Reserve but once I got the timing dialed, it was easier to consistently carry speed through an entire run. It's a pretty awesome concept and definitely worth strong consideration if you're in the market for a carbon wheelset.