Four years after rolling into the mountain bike world with their 3Zero Moto carbon wheels, Zipp is back with a new set of wheels aimed at the cross-country crowd. The 1Zero HiTop wheels have a unique rim profile that was designed with compliance in mind, in order to create a quick and comfortable wheelset for XC racing or general lighter-duty trail riding.
There are two versions, the HiTop SW and the HiTop S. Both use the same rim, but the SW model has lighter hubs and spokes, and it comes with the TyreWiz 2.0 tire pressure monitoring system. Claimed weight for the SW is 1325 grams, and the S is reported to weigh in at 1495 grams, although on my scale the SW wheels came in at 1361 grams, and that's without the TyreWiz valves or Centerlock lockring installed.
The wheels are light in the grand scheme of things, but for an XC wheelset they're not that light – for comparison, Roval's Control SL wheels are 1240 grams, and Bontrager's Kovee wheels are 1199 grams.
The carbon rim's shape doesn't look as out-there as the very low profile of the single-wall 3Zero Moto rims due to the use of a more typical box-style construction. The top of the rim does flare out slightly, a shape that's intended to help prevent pinch flats, since there's less of an edge for the tire to get folded over during an impact. Each rim wall is 3.85mm wide at the top, and the inner rim width is 30mm. The rim depth is 21.2mm.
As for pricing, the SW wheels are $1,925 USD for the set, or $1,025 for the rear wheel and $925 for the front. The S wheels are $1,350, $725 for the rear wheel and $625 for the front. Both wheelsets are made in Taiwan, and are covered by a lifetime warranty.
The ZM2 SL hub uses six spring-loaded pawls.
The hubs on the SW wheels are Centerlock-only, while the S wheels use a 6-bolt hub.
TyreWiz 2.0 allows riders to check tire pressure from their phone, or by looking at the device's blinking green or red light that indicates if the tires are at the desired pressure.
A look at the inner rim profile, complete with a fancy laser beam just because.
I've only been able to squeeze in a handful of rides in on the HiTop wheels so far, so a longer term durability assessment will have to wait. On the trail, they feel decidedly like an XC wheelset – there's a zippiness to them (no pun intended) that you won't find from a heavier set of trail or enduro wheels. They're certainly not uncomfortably stiff, although they also aren't as soft-feeling as those 3Zero Moto wheels were. I did get a few twangs out of the spokes when pushing hard into corners, and I'd recommend abiding by Zipp's recommendation that these are best suited to bikes with 130mm of travel or less. Those 24 spokes can only do so much, and when things get really fast and rough the wheels can start to feel undergunned.
If I was trying to decide between the SW or the S wheels I'd likely go with the S version. Yes, they're heavier, but they also have 6-bolt hubs instead of Centerlock, and they don't come with TyreWiz 2.0. I know, I know, someone spent a lot of time developing that tire pressure monitoring system, I just still can't get behind adding another battery powered gadget to a bike when I already check my tire pressure before every ride.
Look for a follow-up report once we get some more miles in on these wheels, including some back-to-back laps in against other competitors in this category.