The History & Legacy of ZIPP

Zipp wheels are built with total system efficiency in mind. Find the wheel that is just right for your ride, no matter what style. Shop today for ZIPP from Cycling Boutique with great confidence and technical superiority in India!


Zipp is rooted in Indy’s auto-racing scene. Motorsports engineer Leigh Sargent specialized in the repair, modification, manufacturing, and aerodynamic design of Indy 500 cars. But after examining disc wheels for bicycles in the 1980s, he saw the potential to design something better and faster. He registered Zipp as a trademark and set to work. Zipp’s first product, the disc wheel, is designed for seven-speed freewheels and is available in four colors. These carbon products were designed right alongside auto-racing parts. The goal for each the same: creating Speed Weapons.

Zipp introduced the first three-spoke carbon wheel, the Zipp 3000. Like the disc wheels, it is available in four colors. This product is dropped as Zipp found faster designs.

In 1990, just two years after our founding, Kona legend Mark Allen became the first winner to ride Zipp wheels. Zipp’s early products including the tri-spoke, Zipp 440 deep-section wheel, and the Zipp 2001 bike became aero weapons of choice in the early 1990s.

The Zipp 400 wheelset goes into production. This spoked wheel is the foundation for later innovations including the Firecrest and NSW lineups.

The two men who helped build Zipp in its first two decades pose together. Engineer Leigh Sargent with entrepreneur Andy Ording, who became the owner of Zipp Speed Weaponry in 1999.

Zipp continues market gains in triathlon and road racing by focusing on wheels. In that first decade, Zipp tapped into a motorsports mindset in developing products, helping to pioneer the use of the wind tunnel in the bicycle industry. Zipp still employs multiple motorsports veterans, including top engineers. Zipp’s iconic 2001 and 3001 framesets become iconic symbols of high-performance speed. Even after being discontinued at the end of 1997, these framesets remain highly coveted items.

Zipp moves into a dedicated climate-controlled manufacturing facility on Main Street in Speedway, Indiana, just down the street from the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Zipp signs with the Belgian Lotto-Adecco team. This is Zipp’s foray into official sponsorship of a top Tour de France-level team.

This was a big year. Zipp signs as a sponsor of the powerful CSC team. The team wins two stages and overall team classification at the Tour de France. Yet beyond results, CSC becomes a valuable partner in wheel development. This including providing Zipp engineers and master wheel builder Nic James with invaluable feedback on improving wheels to be fast and durable. What’s more, this is the year that Zipp introduced its now iconic disc wheel with dimples.

Zipp engineers worked with sponsored pros from the CSC team to test prototype carbon wheels in the Arenberg Forest, the most famous cobblestone sector of the Paris-Roubaix. Zipp’s goal was to design a carbon wheel capable of winning Paris-Roubaix. Team CSC members, from left, Lars Michaelson (Denmark), Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) and Allan Johansen (Denmark) inspect a wheel. The tests were crucial in developing the Carbon Bridge™ technology that made for carbon wheels durable enough for the Zipp 303 to win Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders.

SRAM acquires Zipp, providing Zipp with additional expertise and resources.

Carlos Sastre of Spain wins Alpe d’Huez, taking the yellow jersey and setting up his Tour de France victory. We still display his yellow jersey in our Indianapolis office.

This is one of Zipp’s most significant years. In April, Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara wins the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and Paris-Roubaix in commanding style aboard Zipp 303 wheels. This accomplishment was a monumental moment in Zipp’s history, as it marked the first time carbon wheels were ridden to victory in the two most famous cobbled Spring Classics. Late in the year, Zipp introduces its Firecrest design including the Firecrest Carbon Clinchers. Its wide rim design proves faster and more stable in crosswinds. The resin system in the carbon clinchers successfully manages heat on even the longest mountain descents. Firecrest technology would become the foundation for Zipp’s modern wheel innovations.

Zipp athletes also shine. At the Road World Championships, Zipp swept the podium in the road race with Norway's Thor Hushovd, gold; Matti Breschel (Denmark), silver; and Allan Davis (Australia) bronze. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) and Emma Pooley (Great Britain) won time trial gold medals. In triathlon, Australia’s Chris McCormack won the men’s and Mirinda Carfrae the women’s Kona World Championship.

To cap off this amazing year, Zipp (along with key SRAM functions) moved into a purpose-built new facility at 5315 Walt Place in Indianapolis, about 5 miles northwest of our old Speedway factory.

Tom Boonen of Omega Pharma-Quick-Stepp enjoys one of the most successful Spring Classic seasons of the era, winning the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix on back-to-back Sundays aboard Zipp 303s.

Dutchman Niki Terpstra launched his ultimately successful solo attack with about 6km remaining in the 2014 Paris-Roubaix.

American Evelyn Stevens of Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team sets the women’s UCI World Hour Record, covering 47.980km in 60 minutes aboard a front Zipp 900 disc and rear Super-9 track disc.

Zipp introduces the 454 NSW Carbon Clincher, the cycling industry’s first major product to be designed using biomimicry. The 454 NSW’s undulating fin-shaped HyperFoil™ nodes are developed in part by studying the fins of humpback whales.

Belgian Wout van Aert wins his third straight UCI Elite Men’s Cyclocross World Champion, all riding Zipp wheels, in the Netherlands.

Ted King puts Zipp atop gravel’s biggest event with his victory in Kansas’ Dirty Kanza 200. He rode the Zipp 303, making this wheelset a winner on pavement, cobbles, mud, and (now) gravel.

Zipp offers its first mountain bike wheel in more than two decades. The 3ZERO MOTO carbon 27.5 and 29 enduro/trail wheelset, is inspired by moto to provide riders with the control and durability required for pure speed. The single-wall approach, Zipp’s Moto Technology™, allows the rims to “pivot” from either side of the spoke bed while traversing rough terrain. This effect became known as “Ankle Compliance,” an analogy to how a runner’s ankle pivots to keep the foot on the ground as the runner rounds a corner.

Zipp’s history goes on into its fourth decade with our sole mission unchanged: Making You Faster

A HISTORY OF INNOVATION - SRAM: The parent company of ZIPP

SRAM’s founding was based on one man’s dream to create a more fun, efficient, and faster experience on a bicycle. Today, SRAM is a global team of people delivering that same passion for improving the experience as well as expanding the potential of cycling.

SRAM was founded on a single product in 1987 and introduced the Grip Shift (or twist shift) shifter to the road bike market in 1988. In 1991 that technology was adapted for mountain bikes, and SRAM quickly grew. 

In 1995, eager to expand, SRAM introduced their first mountain bike rear derailleur, dubbed ESP, that featured a new and unique 1:1 cable actuation ratio that was more tolerant of cable contamination and easier to set than the competitors. The new derailleur was designed to pair perfectly with SRAM’s ESP Grip Shifters, and this was a critical first step for SRAM toward producing a complete shifting system.  

SRAM was eager to grow, both by acquisition and product development. By 1997, SRAM purchased Sachs, a legendary German manufacturer with expertise in chains and gearing. Sachs provided SRAM with a group of experienced metallurgists and engineers as well as a successful chain and internally geared hub production line. 

SRAM’s released its first XO rear derailleur in 2001. It was a complete redesign of SRAM’s existing ESP derailleurs, and the goal was to be undeniably best in class. The introduction of SRAM’s first high-end derailleur marked a turning point for the company’s mountain bike groups.  

In 2002, SRAM acquired suspension manufacturer, RockShox. RockShox was one of the most recognizable brands in cycling and an industry innovator who introduced suspension and reshaped mountain biking for the entire world.  

Avid was SRAM’s next acquisition in the spring of 2004. Avid produced popular hydraulic disc brakes and gave SRAM more means to compete in the component market. Later that same year SRAM purchased Truvativ, a crank, bottom bracket, and chainring manufacturer. With Truvativ as part of the SRAM family, the company could finally sell a complete drivetrain.  

Although SRAM began as a manufacturer of road bike shifters, in 1993, the company mainly served the rapidly growing mountain bike market. By 2004, SRAM planned a return to the road and began the development of two new road groupsets. SRAM brought Force and Rival to market in 2006 and Force was raced in the Tour de France the following year. The group used a new proprietary shifting technology known as DoubleTap. The technology allows the rider to shift a derailleur in both directions using a single shifter paddle.  

In 2007, SRAM acquired leading wheel manufacturer Zipp. In 2008, SRAM introduced a new premium road groupset, SRAM RED. 

SRAM acquired power meter crank manufacturer Quarq in 2011. By 2012, SRAM had incorporated power meters into its high-end RED road group.  

Also in 2012, SRAM introduced wide range 1x11 mountain bike shifting with its XX1 groupset. The new groupset made use of a 10-42 cassette and a patented single front chainring that made use of both narrow and specially shaped wide teeth to retain the chain without a chain guide. By 2014, this technology premiered on cyclocross bikes with the introduction of SRAM Force 1 (originally CX1). The group expanded into other applications, including time-trial, triathlon, road, and fitness bikes.  

In August 2015, SRAM announced the release of its 11-speed wireless electronic road groupset, SRAM RED eTap. The group utilized derailleurs with self-contained batteries to shift using wireless signals sent from the shift levers. Benefits of the system include more precise shifting, faster setup, and lower maintenance.  

Soon after SRAM announced a hydraulic disc brake version of its wireless road group called SRAM RED eTap HRD. SRAM’s HRD technology made use of a hydraulic lever design with both reach adjustment and lever contact point adjustment. In May 2016, SRAM also released the new 1x12 drivetrain technology dubbed Eagle in the XX1 and X01 variants. The new 1x12 drivetrain has a 500% gear range that is comparable to many 2x drivetrains on the market today. In October 2016, SRAM released the WiFLi (Wider, Faster, Lighter) version of its eTap rear derailleur is compatible with a wider range of gears than a standard rear derailleur.  

In 2017, SRAM launched the 1x12 GX Eagle drivetrain, the same technology as Eagle XX1 and X01 drivetrains at a more affordable price point. 

February 6, 2019, SRAM released three new wireless electronic groupsets. This release included one road groupset, RED eTap AXS, and two mountain bike groupsets, XX1 Eagle AXS and X01 Eagle AXS. All of the AXS groups have BLE connectivity and an optional free mobile app called AXS that offers users the ability to reassign and customize button functions. 

The new RED groupset features a 12-speed cassette with wider gear range and smaller steps between gears in addition to many other innovations such as chainrings with power meter integration, a fluid damper for the rear derailleur pulley cage, and both 2x and 1x chainring drivetrain variants.  

For the new mountain bike groups, in addition to their wireless electronic operation, they can also connect with RockShox’ Reverb AXS dropper post. SRAM’s AXS app makes this possible by enabling users to reassign button functions between the Reverb seat post and the XX1 or X01 derailleur controller. The same AXS app also opens the option of using RED eTap AXS drop bar levers with an Eagle AXS drivetrain and a Reverb AXS dropper post. Conversely, drop bar bikes can be easily retrofitted with mountain bike handlebars using the Eagle AXS derailleur controller with RED eTap AXS drivetrain. 

SRAM launched a Force version of its AXS groupset, introduced as SRAM Force eTap AXS. The Force version provided all of the same features and benefits as RED, but at a lower price point. SRAM Force eTap AXS has found specification on nearly all of the leading bike manufacturer’s bikes.  


SRAM’s global footprint helps us bring cycling to every corner of the globe, including your local roads and trails.



Started by one of our founders, World Bicycle Relief is a global charity mobilizing people in developing countries with life-changing bicycles, providing access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity.



    Cycling Boutique and ZIPP in India: 

    Cycling Boutique is the authorised sales, service and support channel for all ZIPP products in India and you can really feel them in their true glory at Cycling Boutique Experience Center, Bengaluru, India. Cycling Boutique is the most reputed place to buy a ZIPP bicycle accessories and tools in India. A large number of serious cyclists and aspiring cyclists depends on Cycling Boutique for their passion, throughout their cycling journeys. Our comprehensive experience in all styles of cycling is a valuable addition for all cyclists around in India with our various technical services. Our cycling tools collection is the best in the country too.