Zipp charges into XC and downcountry with two new 1ZERO HITOP wheelsets

Man rapidly riding a mountain bike on a trail
(Image credit: Zipp / SRAM)

Zipp’s latest 1ZERO HITOP wheelsets bridge the gap between their radically articulated gravel XPLR 101 and 3ZeroMoto enduro wheels with a lighter, faster feel but shades of the same impact smoothing, speed sustaining feel. The top spec $1,950 / £2,000 / €2,250 SW wheels get ultralight hubs and Bluetooth pressure measuring valves as standard too.

All new design

Rather than just splitting the difference on dimensions and calling it done, the new 1ZERO HITOP rim is actually very different to the XPLR 101 and 3ZeroMoto hoops. Instead of a thick single wall design it uses a conventional box section but with a low 21.2mm deep, 30mm internal width asymmetric shape and broad topped ‘winged’ sidewalls. This “provides a smooth resting surface for the tire, reducing the chance of pinch flats after a rock hit” – says Zipp. And if you’ve watched the result changing puncture fest at recent XCO World Cups, you’ll realize how important this is on a wheelset intended for XC use with lightweight, unreinforced tires.

Zipp also use “proprietary HITOP Technology” carbon layups to help terrain compliance, with a superlight blend for the 1ZERO HITOP SW wheelset and a slightly heavier but more affordable mix for the $1,350 / £1,400 / €1,600 1ZERO HITOP S wheel. Both come covered by a lifetime warranty though.

Zipp 1Zero HITOP wheel pairing

Zipp 1Zero HITOP SW is XC light but tough enough for fast trail and has a lifetime warranty to match (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

1ZERO HITOP SW

The top spec SW wheel not only gets the lightest rim, it also gets the superlight ZM2 SL hubset with 66-point freehub engagement for a minimal 5.45 degree maximum lag in either SRAM XD or Shimano MicroSpline formats. The hubs use conventional J bend spokes and a Centerlock splined rotor mount for easy maintenance. You can also get front hub Torque Caps to improve RockShox fork connection but the wheels are only available in 29in. 

You also get ZIPP’s TyreWiz 2.0 Bluetooth valves, which let you set an operating pressure bandwidth with a claimed resolution of 0.1psi and +/- 2 percent accuracy using the SRAM AXS smartphone app. This also translates into a green LED flash (or a red one if you’re out of the range) on the valve for instant reference on the trail. It only adds 10g to each wheel, it’s fully IXP67 waterproof and gives 300 hours of ride life from a CR2032 battery and can even be switched between wheels if you change the valve stems.

Claimed wheel weight is 1,325g but I weighed ‘my’ pre-release test set at 1,400g complete with the TyreWiz and pre installed rim tape, so Zipp are being a bit optimistic. That 1,400g weight makes it over 100g heavier than obvious competition from Bontrager’s Kovee RSL and Roval’s Control SL, but it still feels a very responsive and prompt wheelset. While there’s some smoothing element to the ride, it’s definitely not as slurred and slow in feel as the radical 'ankle compliant' tech used in the XPLR 101 and 3ZeroMoto hoops. 

That's the short synopsis, but there's also a full Zipp 1ZERO HITOP review written after several months of riding – including the miles put in on them during a super brutal, childhood cancer charity fundraising Everest mission (aka riding to a height of 29,032ft / 8,849m) at the notoriously janky Stainburn trail centre by test team member Ryan Stockton. Ryan completed his challenge in 27 grueling hours.

Zipp 1Zero HITOP TireWiz valve

Zipp 1Zero HITOP SW wheels come with Bluetooth/ANT+ TireWiz pressure communicating valves as standard (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

1ZERO HITOP S

The more affordable wheel the same low, winged, hookless rim as the SW but with the previously proven, 6.5-degree engagement ZM900 hubset. This has 6 bolt rotor mounts, XD or Microspline driver-body rear hub and Torque Cap front hub options. It’s 29er only again though and TyreWiz is an optional extra $30 / £30 / €35. You do get conventional tubeless valves and tape pre-fitted for easy tire install and at a claimed weight of just under 1,500g and the same lifetime warranty it looks competitive with other big brands for the cash.

Zipp 1Zero HITOP on Everest Cervelo

We've been testing the Zipp 1Zero HITOP SW wheels extensively for several months, including a brutal 27 hour, 30,000ft Everesting mission (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Tech specs: 1ZERO HITOP SW wheels

  • Price: $1,950 / £2,000 / €2,250 
  • Sizes: 29er Boost only
  • Options: Torque Cap front hub adaptors, XD or Microspline freehub 
  • Weight: 630g front, 770g rear, 1,400g pair
Guy Kesteven
Technical-Editor-at-Large

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since launch in 2019. He started writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.

Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg