Zipp

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Zipp Speed Weaponry, generally known to its many fans as Zipp, was founded in 1988 in Speedway, Indiana, the location of the famous “Indianapolis 500”, one of the most famous and prestigious motor races in the world.  The company is still based in Indianapolis, although it has now moved to larger facilities in a different part of the town.

Its founder, Leigh Sargent, was a former Formula 1 engineer with the Williams team and his first love was motor-sports, but in 1988 he had a chance meeting with a keen cyclist who proudly showed Sargent his Mavic disc wheel.  At the time, this was the cutting edge of wheel technology, but it weighed in at a hefty 3KG, which left the motor-sports-orientated Sargent less than impressed. 

To show that he could do it better, Sargent produced his own, alternative version, which weighed in at a mere 1.4KG and took it to a trade show to see if anyone would be interested.  They were, and Zipp was born.

True to his motor-sports background, Sargent tested his bike wheel in a wind tunnel.  This led to a series of improvements, which made the original wheel both lighter and more aerodynamic.  It also led to the wind tunnel being adopted by the cycling community, which was a major step forward in the development of cycling technology.

In 2001, Zipp produced the aero beam frame-set, which was so different from what was accepted at the time that it was widely shunned by road riders. However, it was enthusiastically adopted by athletes in the up-and-coming disciplines of triathlon and ironman – and the results proved Zipp right.

Zipp has continued on much the same trajectory, which can essentially be summarised as obsessive perfectionism and complete fearlessness with regard to innovation.  In addition to the bicycle wheels for which it is best known, it also offers a range of other components such as cycle bars, stems and seat-posts as well as accessories.  Discover what Zipp can offer you on BikeZaar.com.