Zipp’s trail-smoothing 3ZERO MOTO single-wall wheelset is back with a totally redesigned hub

The redesigned ZM2 hub is suitable for electric mountain biking

Zipp WH 3Zero Moto wheelset

Zipp’s 3ZERO MOTO carbon mountain bike wheelset claims to help smooth out rough terrain, limit rim-smashing impacts, reduce pinch punctures and increase cornering grip through its built-in rim compliance.

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A new second-generation hub also improves claimed durability and further opens the wheels up to the electric mountain bike market.

The 3ZERO MOTO uses a single-wall construction. In this arrangement, there is only one layer of material, as opposed to the box-section structure of most rims (this is inspired by motocross wheels, hence the name)

This setup is built to allow ‘local flex’ in the rim, as SRAM (Zipp’s parent company) puts it.

The single wall rim has a flat cross-section. The rim on the left is an early prototype, while the right is the final rim shape.
The single-wall rim has a flat cross-section. The rim on the left is an early prototype, while the right is the final rim shape as used on the previous generation wheel (though little has changed with this new wheel).
Rupert Fowler/SRAM

What that actually means is, if you were to look at a cross-section of the rim while going around a turn or riding over uneven terrain, there would be a greater lateral twisting of the rim itself compared with a stiffer option, allowing the 3ZERO’s rim to stay more parallel to the ground or obstacle surface.

You can read our test of the previous 3ZERO MOTO wheelset for more about the design theory and to find out how they performed. It’s also worth noting they’ve been ridden to multiple Enduro World Series victories under the Lapierre-Zipp Collective team.

Zipp WH 3Zero Moto wheelset hub
The hub has been totally redesigned.
Zipp

While little has changed in the rim construction, the new ZM2 hub has been built to be more robust than its predecessor.

There are now 12 pawls (four groups of three pawls) and 132 points of engagement, plus improved bearing seal design, according to SRAM.

This means greater durability and faster engagement. A higher load transmission capability results in a hub and wheelset that is built for the rigours of ebike riding and the extra force it puts through components.

Lapierre Team Camp 2021. Mandelieu, France Photo by Matt Wragg
The previous generation wheelset has been ridden to a number of EWS wins.
Matt Wragg

The Zipp 3ZERO MOTO wheels come in a range of colour options (via the racing stripe Line Graphic around the rim). They are available in 27.5in or 29in sizing, with Boost spacing (15 x 110mm front, 12 x 148mm rear) and 32 spokes front and rear.

The price of the wheelset has come down slightly since the first incarnation – it’s now £780 for a front wheel and £865 for a rear wheel – although they no longer come with a 3ZERO-specific Quarq TyreWiz pressure gauge fitted (it is still optional at extra cost).

These are high-performance wheels with a premium price tag, but you’ll be glad to hear they come with a lifetime warranty.

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2021 Zipp 3ZERO MOTO mountain bike wheelset key specs

  • Wheel size: 27.5in or 29in
  • Rims: Zipp 3ZERO MOTO, 30mm internal width
  • Hubs: Zipp ZM2, 15 x 110mm front spacing, 12 x 148mm rear spacing; XD or SRAM 11-/12-speed
  • Weight (claimed, per pair): 27.5in – 1,875g; 29in – 1,965g
  • Colour: Various logo and line graphic colour options available
  • Price(front): £780.00 / $850.00 / €870.00
  • Price (rear): £865.00 / $950.00 / €970.00