Zipp Updates 3Zero Moto Wheels With New Hub & Lower Price - Pond Beaver 2021

Apr 8, 2021
by Seb Stott  

Zipp's 3Zero Moto wheels were released two years ago to much acclaim. Their single-wall carbon rims are designed to offer exceptional compliance by allowing the rim to twist locally along its own axis, thereby allowing the rim to deflect somewhat around bumps. Along with wide bead edges, this is claimed to reduce the risk of pinch punctures while offering more grip and less harshness.

Today, Zipp (which is part of SRAM) has updated the 3Zero MOTO. It now has a completely new hub, offering faster engagement and a stronger freehub ratchet mechanism which is rated for use with e-bikes. The Quarq TyreWhiz pressure sensor is no longer included with the wheels, but can be bought separately for $200.
Zipp 3Zero Moto Details

• Intended use: trail / enduro
• Single wall carbon fiber rim
• 32 hole, 3-cross lacing
• 37.5mm external, 30mm internal width
• New ZM2 hub: 12 pawls, 132 points of engagement
• Claimed weight, 29": 1965g, 27.5": 1875g
• Laid up and molded in Indianapolis, USA
• Lifetime warranty
• Price: $1,800 USD

Fortunately, that allows Zipp to knock $200 off the asking price, so if you can make do with a digital pressure gauge like the rest of us, you can pocket the savings. They're still not exactly cheap, though. In the US, they now cost $1,800 for a pair. Here's the full international pricing:

Zipp 3Zero Moto Front: $ 850 / € 870 / £780

Zipp 3Zero Moto Rear: $ 950 / € 970 / £865

Zipp 3Zero Moto wheels review
The flat, single-wall rim is still the talking point with these wheels. In use, a strong Kevlar rim strip sits above the exposed spoke ends to protect the rim tape.

Zipp's new ZM2 hubs


The new hubset is designed in Germany and boasts a whopping 12 pawls. These work in four groups of three pawls, which combined with the 33-tooth ratchet ring delivers 132 points of engagement. That corresponds to a very quick 2.7-degree pickup angle, up from 6.9-degrees in the outgoing ZM1 hub. Engaging three pawls at a time is enough for Zipp to recommend the hubs for ebike use. The hubs are also claimed to have an improved seal design for better durability too.

The hubs are available standalone for $190 (front) / $360 (rear).

Lapierre Team Camp 2021. Mandelieu France Photo by Matt Wragg

Pond Beaver 2021

Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
251 articles

  • 88 1
 When I saw "lower price" I was not expecting $1,800.
  • 54 2
 I like the idea behind these but I cant wrap my head around paying for a carbon wheel that is heavier than alloy competition. I guess that ankle flex if what your paying for.
  • 29 1
 Same, especially when a set of DT Swiss 1700 SPLINE cost half and weigh less.
  • 43 15
 @EKrum And they're pretty expensive for what they are too. They say single wall rims are cheaper to manufacture. How is it that a company like We Are One can manufacture a premium-quality double wall carbon rim in North America for $450 a piece, but Zipp is charging $700 for a single wall rim manufactured in Asia? Seems like a rip off to me.
  • 41 1
 @dlxah: says these are laid up and manufactured in Indianapolis, in this article.
  • 12 0
 @loamhunter08: Ah, well clearly reading comprehension isn't my strong suit hah. Thanks for pointing that out. I saw cheaper price and excitedly opened the article, and then stopped reading when I realized they were just talking about the hubs and TyreWhiz. Still seems overpriced to me especially compared to to those We Are Ones, the Enve AM30s, and a few others.
  • 14 2
 I'm realizing that ride quality is much more important than weight for rims. Why hasn't China given us an affordable knock off for these.
  • 7 0
 @dlxah: this is why WAO has the cult following they do.
  • 6 0
 @Multivac: Maybe if enough of us blow up WAO's inbox with requests, they'll look into adding a cheaper single wall rim to their line up.
  • 9 0
 @dlxah: cheaper to produce, but I assume they had to do quite a bit of testing and development to make the rims to feel like they intended to, which isn't free. I'd never spend that much on a pair of wheels, but I can see why someone would buy them.
  • 2 1
 @crashtor: As did their competitors, I presume.
  • 1 0
 Isn't one of the main selling points for these that its so much more difficult to hit your rim on a rock? I'm not saying its worth the price but for people that severely dent their rims more then once a year, maybe its something to think about.
  • 4 6
 @dlxah: They are overpriced totally because the build quality is worse then china carbon.
I am a QM guy and I had two wheelsets from them. They had defects and I never tried them. Carbon inside had many small holes/groves. Wrong tension and not centered. Not round, more shaped like an egg and sandpaper marks , some parts where more flat the round.
Horrendous is the only thing I can say about that experience. I just talked to someone on the climb and he had also the wheelset. He told me he had the same problems and the last wheelset was so bad that he had to fil it with epoxy to make it tubeless compatible.
I would not believe it if I haven't seen the quality my self.
  • 2 0
 @b45her: Sure, but that is certainly not the case for the companies I mentioned We Are One or Enve.
  • 2 0
 @dlxah: sounds like a ZIPP-Off to me!
  • 15 3
 @Multivac: I'm sorry but f#$k China we have given them the power to rule the manufacturing world. and look where that has brought us. I would rather pay extra for something manufactured in Europe or N,A,
  • 4 1
 @dlxah: I love mine, - its worth it - on bike 2 and I9 hubs this time. no cush crap
  • 3 0
 @jawright602: Weight is not really the selling-point on this wheelset.
But as the pricing is right now:
My wallet is full, but closed.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: dunno of you get the good rims and the export parts get shipped away to Europe, haha.

Na it is absolutely mind boggling that I also never heard of this form the European MTB journalists.
It can't be that everyone I aksed had the same problems.
My NEWMEN carbon Rims are almost perfect and withstand even hard rockstrikes.
  • 4 1
 @crashtor: they purchased the design IP from an Australian guy who is now working on wheels in house for industry nine... this profile and concept had years of race use under another name: must have been some pretty solid NDA’s tied in with the sale.
  • 1 0
 @dlxah: Also bear in mind, SRAM / Zipp has a big distributor network, who'll be taking a cut too which bumps up prices. Enve do as well, but their rims seem to be found discounted here and there more readily.
  • 1 1
 @knarf1: yes because your country and Europeans aren't doing the exact same thing China is doing now. How is the brainwashing comming along?
  • 1 0
 My Hunt H-impact carbons are 1850gm, come with lifetime crash replacement, have same engagement from hub, and cost $810 with the upgraded oil slick spokes.
Sorry, but if I’m in $1800 range, I’ll build my own Onyx or I9 wheels for way less $ and weight ‍♂️
  • 41 4
 12 Pawls? Is that not draggier than Ru Paul in Thailand?
  • 4 0
 Thought the same... how do they even jam 12 pawls in?!
  • 6 1
 @chuckobike: 12 tiny fragile pawls?
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: haha well that’s asking for trouble...
  • 1 0
 Makes even less sense given that DT/Hugi's original star ratchet patent expired back in 2015 too
  • 21 1
 Some of the most impressive feeling wheels I've ever ridden, especially if your riding consists of off-camber, rocks, loose fun stuff.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, i really really liked how these felt when I gave them a go a few years ago, but they're just too expensive to justify, even with the ride quality.
  • 2 0
 Just got myself a pair, worthy to drop Cushcore in?
  • 2 0
Put Tannus Tubless in and prepare to have your mind blown
  • 1 0
 @freeride-quebec: the Zipp folk reckoned it wasn't needed to protect the rim with their design. If you want it for its other properties, then fire ahead.
  • 1 0
 @freeride-quebec: I've never needed inserts with mine. I'd recommend giving them a go without first.
  • 11 0
 How well do these wheels work for rider at or above 200 lbs? I’m super interested in the design but worry the flex is tuned for lighter riders and these would feel noodley
  • 3 0
  • 3 0
 They don’t feel noodley at all. Best wheels I’ve ever had. First poster is correct in his opinion . I did have to true them once in a year, tho
  • 1 0
 @scary1: That is a good sign in my opinion
  • 1 0
 I own a pair of these, max rated weight is 265lbs (rider+bike), I weight 210lbs full kitted + my bike 38lbs, they work great, but I use them for Enduro, nothing of DH or impacts more than 3ft height.
  • 1 0
 noodley is the best word I've read all minute
  • 9 1
 Still wayyy too heavy. Check out the Ibis S35, similar concept, amazing ride quality, 7 year no questions asked warranty, 35mm inner width, you get hydras for the same price and they only weigh 1650 grams. Ibis S35 with Cush core is where it's at.
  • 3 0
 Lot's of fair points made by folks across the board here, however I will point out these rims have a lifetime warranty.
  • 1 0
 And you have to add the weight of the Cushcore. You don't need to run inserts with these rims, so if you're running double-wall carbon rims with Cushcore switching to these is pretty much a wash. Plus I think these ride better than even a nice carbon rim with Cushcore.
  • 4 0
 @PAmtbiker: Cushcore or procore's benfits go way beyond rim protection. Even beyond puncture protection. Riding with quality inserts to me is like my bike has 20mm more travel. And I mean good inserts, not this Ard or Huck Norris bollocks. Much better feel through rough corners and on off cambers. Then everything is quiter. The only pita is when you do puncture... and I puntured so bad through procore once that plug kit wouldn't seal it.
  • 1 0
 Except its not really a similar design or concept. The entire point of these zipp rims are that they are single wall, nobody else that I'm aware of is doing that.
  • 3 2
 @rustiegrizwold: It is a similar concept.

Both designs are aiming to reduce the mass moment inertia of the rim profile. They both take use an I-beam method to allow for tuning radial compliance and maintaining lateral stiffness.

The zipp concept does away with the fully boxed structure completely which greatly reduces torsional rigidity. I'm not sure if this was planned or just good marketing but that is what causes the "ankling" motion they tout. I have already heard several comments that they possibly sacrificed too much torsional rigidity.

The Ibis uses a similar concept by producing a rim that is even wider than the zipp (35mm vs 30mm IW) while reducing the rim profile height as much as possible. They are basically as shallow as they can be without the spokes and nips poking through the tape which is an issue zipp had to solve. Since a fully boxed structure is inherently stronger, they are able to achieve the same benefits of the zipp - Better radial compliance, maintained lateral rigidity, reduced torsional rigidity - AKA "compliance and ground tracking" while also using far less material which is why they weigh 315g less per set.

In my opinion, Ibis has the superior design, they just don't have as good of a marketing department as Zipp. I'm not saying one is objectively better than the other but the Zipp sacrifices weight for compliance and the Ibis sacrifices compliance for weight, choose whichever suits you better. But I think that the Ibis has more real world benefits for the everyday rider. Have you ever ridden a 1650g enduro wheelset? It is divine!
  • 4 1
 @rustiegrizwold: Bouwmeester Composites did it well before Zipp.

Mello (Bouwmeester) was subsequently hired to head the Crank Bro's wheel program, along with ENVE founder Jason Shiers. The outcome - Crank Bro's Synthesis, which I think it somewhat of an evolution of Mello's original design. They are fantastic hoops, worth a look as well if you are looking for something very compliant like these Zipp wheels.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: Thanks for the link! I assumed somebody did it first but see anything when I did a quick "single wall rim" search because of all the low price point options. Also, I've always been intrigued by those synthesis hoops and as much as Id love to get a nice set of carbon wheels, I think that would finally put my wife over the edge.
  • 1 0
 @rustiegrizwold: bouwmeester composites did it a few years before zipp.

He works at crank brothers now unfortunately
  • 1 0
 Whoops - my earlier comment was incorrect - I iLife’s that he was working for industry 9. ‍♂️@privateer-wheels:
  • 1 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: I just think it is impossible to determine without seeing an actual test which rim would deform more under which kind of load. Zipp has thicker walls than box section of Ibis. Hypothetically Zipp is more likely to deform more, the box section is just stiffer in all directions.

My criticism to Zipp is that carbon swims in sealant and I hope these aren’t alloy nipples. Galvanic corrosion is no bueno. Unless I missed something and they have a dedicated rim strip
  • 5 0
 @englertracing: What is unfortunate about working for Crank Brothers?

I've spoken with Mello privately, who has nothing but good things to say about CB as an employer.

Did you know the entire company including the CEO turned over in the last few years? They literally have 2 people working there that were there when CB was producing product with spotty reliability. They have totally turned direction, and their Synthesis hoops are just one tangible outcome from that. CB is on point and the Synthesis hoops are damn good.
  • 3 0
 @privateer-wheels: It all looks good from CB now. Mallets DH hold up, Synthesis alloy wheels are the most comfortable wheels I have ever ridden and by a good margin.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: oh I didn't mean it that way.
I meant that it is unfortunate he is noo still doing his own wheels.
  • 2 0
 @englertracing: I suppose that's a matter of perspective. While Synthesis have a CB logo, they are definitely Melllo's wheels. He's still doing the engineering/design work, just with more resources behind him now I think.
  • 1 0
 @justwaki: But are they $600 more expensive, better?
  • 6 0
 Been riding the previous version for about 8 months now. Some serious pros to them depending on your riding style and was truly shocked at how noticeable the ankle tech was (for better or worse). They have remained straight and tight the entire time, while receiving some serious abuse. Just don't use them as a park wheel as the roll is too much in the high G berms.
  • 2 0
 Same! I totally agree about the ankle compliance being noticable on berms too. I think if you spend > 50% of your time in the park the benefits elsewhere are worth it.
  • 2 0
 Have you had any trouble running these tubeless? The rim strip set-up sounds finicky.
  • 1 0
 @Paddock22: Yeah. Interested in how they get around the exposed spokes.
  • 2 0
 @Paddock22: No issues at all with tubeless. That Kevlar strip sets up above the spokes and you put tape on top of that. I've had them over 1K and no leaks.
I actually kinda like the very slight roll on high G berms, gives a little more feel. It just feels like you're running lower pressures. Plus, you can always bump up tire pressure a bit to counter it if you don't like it.
  • 10 2
 I'll stick to my(same weight) DT 350/comp /ex471 at one third of the price..
  • 2 0
 I'm all on your side but these do look interesting compared to other expensive wheels that are just lighter.
  • 5 1
 So much focus on weight... These rims ride incredibly well, are very strong, have a lifetime warranty, and look awesome. They are expensive, but comparing them to a cheaper AL rim is silly. If you ride in chunky, off camber, rocky, rooty, rutty, messy trails, they are very much worth it.
  • 1 0
 As a hardtail rider, wheel stiffness VERY noticeable. To date, I haven't found anything else that feels like these. They're my #1 favorite wheelset. I'm glad to hear the hub got some better engagement, because that was my only complaint with them.

Riding these back to back with the SC reserve wheels is night and day.
  • 2 1
 Can you get a Microspline driver for the new hub? Also why don’t they offer the Torque end caps for the front wheel seeing as how Roxshox is part of the same parent company?
  • 2 0
 No way you can get Microspline driver for this one. Like you said Zipp is owned by the Sram conglomerate. XD and HG are your only options. Also torque caps are available for the front hub.
  • 3 0
 If they could make a lighter XC version of these rims I'd totally get them...
  • 1 0
 I own a set of these and love em, I would be first in line for another set if they would make a lightweight xc version.
  • 1 0
 Could have been a better market position to stay with... @Steve471:
  • 3 0
 Why is a mtb company using the word "Moto" ?
  • 7 1
 because the rim design is derived from single wall aluminum moto rim technology.
  • 5 4
 @chiefsasquatch: "technology"
  • 4 1
 @freetors: what else are you supposed to call it?
  • 2 1
 Because it is rated for "E"-bikes
  • 1 0
 12? Can't wait til my customer takes the freehub off by accident and loses at least half the pawls on their dusty garage floor.
  • 2 0 long as these wheels don't share any of the same parts as their droppers.
  • 2 2
 or you could just buy some DT swiss 1501's and have cheaper wheels that are better in every conceivable way for half the price.
  • 1 0
 No better pic of the hub? As it looks from those pics, there are zero pawls and zero teeth.
  • 1 0
 @Fauxreal I don't think Shimano is going to give Sram a license to manufacture their microspline freehub body
  • 4 3
 Not having a MS driver option is a big miss IMHO.
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