Even though I’m on vacation, for you 17 faithful readers I’ll do a product review. Getting away from running shoes, for now, it’s onto wheels. More precisely the Zipp 1080. The deepest front wheel you can own other then a disc.
Until Zipp released their 808 Fircrest, the 1080 was one of their fastest front wheels. About :06 faster then their often praised 808 over 40km. But that speed came with a price. In anything other then mild to moderate cross winds this wheel is a bitch to handle. It’ll cause you to pucker faster then a prisoner who has dropped soap in the shower. The outcome of this wrestling match is often a question. Will you end rubber side up or rubber side down? I know I’ve been a bit worried on two occasions. More often then not though, I’ve ridden this wheel with nary a thought to handling. It’s when the wind grips it from the side and you start doing the swervy wervy that you notice it.
On courses without heavy winds this wheel rocks. It corners well, climbs well and tracks straight. It’s a no fuss stick it in the dropouts and go fast wheel unless it’s very windy. Best of all it makes that whump whump disc sound. If you want to go fast, and it’s not going to be extremely windy this is a wheel to think about sticking on your bike.
If you are a one front race wheel type of person, this isn’t your all purpose every race race wheel. With it’s stability problems in heavy crosswinds, I feel this wheel cost me more time then something with a smaller profile, like a Hed 60 or Zipp 404 or 808, would have. If you have a few different front race wheels and want something faster for those days with no to moderate winds, this wheel will help you get to the front faster.
My final verdict: A very fast wheel that will see use this next season. But I’ll also bring a smaller profile front wheel to races as security blanket should the forecast call for windy conditions. Or maybe I’ll bring the 1080 as the back up to whatever else I have for front race wheels. Either way, it’ll get raced on…selectively.