The new graphics on the refreshed Zipp cockpit bits are obviously pleasing to the eye but the (semi) hidden gem is their new QuickView integrated stem faceplate for computers and accessories like a GoPro, or lights like a Lezyne, Light & Motion.
The $70 mount will come in two versions: Service Course SL for Service Course, Service Course SL and SL Speed stems; Plus a dedicated version for the SL Sprint stem.
Also a perfect fit, wrapped or not, under some Christmas trees. Available now.
Zipp’s 303 line has long been a hit amongst cyclists for a balance of weight and aerodynamics, along with storied wins such as Fabian Cancellara’s back to back 2010 Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix victories.
The 303 has since gone on to cement itself to be a versatile all-around wheelset, along with a few updates. The latest addition to the lineup, however, is the arrival of the most affordable 303 to date, the $1,300 303 S.
Zipp’s other affordable full carbon wheelset, the 302, has been around for a few years, and in a way, the 303 S is more of a continuation of the 302’s affordability, plus more tech one would expect from a 303.
The 303 S retains the 45mm rim height but has a new wider disc and tubeless tire only rim measuring at 27mm externally and 23mm internally. It is also hookless which Zipp claims reduces drag and is optimized to be fastest with 28mm tires, along with a max tire width of 50mm for gravel. The new rim profile allows users to run lower air pressure where Zipp actually recommends users not to inflate above 73 psi. Cosmetically, the 303 S sports a new redesigned permanent graphic under its matte clear coat, a subdued departure from its classic removable Zipp decals.
The symmetrical 303 S rim is then laced two cross with 24 Sapim CX-Sprint j-bend spokes front and rear with external brass nipples. The 303 S is thru-axle only (12 x 100 front, 12 x 142 rear) with the same durable Centerlock-only 76/176D hubsets with either SRAM XDR, or Shimano HG free hub bodies, with Campagnolo driver available as a stand-alone aftermarket option. At 1,540 grams, the 303 S is 155 grams lighter than the 302.
I take my rubber seriously. And in this case, I am talking about the rubber I ride. On my bike.
Since I converted to tubeless, I honestly haven’t looked back. I’ve also found myself paying much more attention to the tire market. Tubeless appears to be slowly gaining ground, but the choices are still limited. A quick search on Competitive Cyclist yields 18 tubeless tires in comparison to 34 clinchers.
Thus I get excited whenever I see a new offering.
Although Zipp is best known for their highend carbon hoops and sweet looking cockpit bits, they also make tires. The Zipp rubber might be a bit underrated and far less prominent than the wheels, we think they are still pretty darn good and they have a small, but loyal following.
Personally, I’ve settled on the Schwalbe Pro One for the past year or so and I honestly think the Schwalbe guys are onto something good. In fact, I love ’em so much I bought myself four pairs and they now sit next to my seldomly-used collection of tubular tires. With that said, the search for the tubeless holy grail never ends, which brings us to the Tangente RT25.
At first glance, the RT25 looks just like any other tubeless tire: All black everything (I am still hoping to see a tubeless tire with a tan sidewall, guys.) My test pair weighed in at 290 and 300 grams… very good considering Zipp listed these $74, French-made gems at 292 grams. Zipp wouldn’t divulge which manufacturer makes the tires, but there are only a handful of tubeless tire manufacturers out there, and there’s only one French tubeless road manufacturer I can think of…
The Tangente RT25 was one of the easiest tubeless tires I’ve ever installed. I guess Zipp really means it when they say “No tire levers needed or recommended for installation.” It slid onto my Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR D3 carbon clincher so effortlessly I was worried that I was going to spend some quality (read: way too much) time trying to seat a loose fitting tire. Not so. Not only did it not need sealant to help seat the tire, it popped right into the rim bed on the first try as if it had a tube in it. Zipp does recommend adding some sealant against puncture, though. So I just deflated it, injected some sealant, and inflated. I really liked the zero-mess and zero-fuss installation.
On the road, the RT25 were impressive. I’ve been running mine at around 90PSI for the past two months and they were buttery smooth and lively. The 127TPI nylon casing was supple while the 60 shore A tire compound was both grippy and durable. Granted, the RT25 is a racing tire where tire wear takes second place behind performance but the RT25 has shown little wear, even for those not particularly deep water-siping patterns on the side that I was initially skeptical about. I haven’t had a flat yet, but there’s a Polymide layer beneath the rubber should those occasions arise.
Overall, it’s hard to find any fault with the RT25. It’s fast, grippy, and durable. There are definitely lighter tubeless road tires on the market, but the durability and exceptional all-around performance of the RT25 is well worth the few extra grams. The RT25 reminded me of the crowd-favorite Continental Grand Prix 400 S II clincher in many ways. The Tangente RT25 is a tire that won’t let you down and it’s possible I just found my new favorite tubeless road tire.