Zipp is mostly known for producing high-quality wheels and components. When you own a set of Zipp aero wheels, it might be interesting to pair these with Zipp tires as they claim the aerodynamic profile of their tires is optimized for use with their wheels. Of course, when improving aerodynamic performance, we shouldn't forget about rolling resistance; you don't want to reduce aerodynamic drag at the cost of rolling resistance and end up going backward.
The Zipp Tangente Speed is Zipp's pure racing tire for time-trials in dry weather conditions. The Tangente Speed comes with an ultra-thin 220 TPI casing, no puncture protective layer under the tread, and a minimal amount of rubber on top. The Tangente Speed can best be compared to other ultra-fast racing/time-trial tires like the Continental Grand Prix SuperSonic (read review) and Pirelli P Zero Velo TT (read review).
The Tangente Speed is available in both a 23 and 25 mm wide version. If you're looking for a more all-round tire, Zipp also offers the Tangente Course (read review) that comes with a stronger 120 TPI casing, better puncture protection, and a thicker layer of rubber on top of the tire.
|Tire Type||Tubetype (clincher)|
|Supplied By||Bought in store|
|New or Used||New|
|Specified Weight||0 grams|
Size and Weight Measurements
|Size and Weight Measurements (Bike Wheel: 622x17C, Pressure: 100 psi / 6.9 bar)|
|Specified Weight||0 grams|
|Measured Weight||190 grams|
|Measured Width||26 mm|
|Measured Height||22 mm|
|Total Tire Thickness Center||2.1 mm|
|Total Tire Thickness Sidewall||0.45 mm|
Weight. Zipp doesn't appear to provide a specified weight for their tires. My sample of the 700x25C version of the Tangente Speed puts 190 grams on the scale. The Continental SuperSonic and Pirelli Velo TT are a bit lighter at 179 and 163 grams respectively.
Size. On my 17C rim, inflated to an air pressure of 100 psi / 6.9 bars, the Speed measures 26 mm wide and 22 mm high.
Tire Thickness. The Tangente Speed has a maximum thickness of 2.1 mm at the center of the tire which is slightly more than other time-trial tires that are often less than 2 mm thick. The sidewalls are extremely thin at 0.45 mm which can probably be attributed to the thin 220 TPI casing.
Rolling Resistance Test Results
|Rolling Resistance Test Results (Speed: 29 kmh / 18 mph / 8 m/s, Load: 42.5 kg / 417 N)|
|Inner Tube||Conti Race28 (100gr butyl)|
|Rolling Resistance 140 psi / 9.7 Bar||
CRR: Not Tested
|Rolling Resistance 120 psi / 8.3 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 100 PSI / 6.9 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 80 PSI / 5.5 Bar||
|Rolling Resistance 60 PSI / 4.1 Bar||
|Use the formula: RR (watts) = CRR * speed (m/s) * load (N) to calculate rolling resistance at a given speed and load|
At high air pressures, the Tangente Speed performs quite well in the rolling resistance tests. At the high air pressure of 120 psi / 8.3 bars, rolling resistance of the Tangente Speed comes in at a low 11.6 watts. At lower air pressures, rolling resistance of the Tangente Speed starts rising faster than similar tires which can be a disadvantage if you like to run your tires at lower air pressures.
I must admit that rolling resistance of the Tangente Speed is lower than I expected after testing the Zipp Tangente Course (read review) last week and finding out it has quite a high rolling resistance. Although rolling resistance of the Tangente Speed is good, it must be said that both the Conti SuperSonic (read review) and Pirelli Velo TT (read review) have less rolling resistance at all tested air pressures (see charts to compare).
Puncture Resistance Test Results
|Puncture Resistance Test Results (higher is better)|
|Puncture Resistance Tread||7|
|Puncture Resistance Sidewall||3|
Puncture resistance is low which can be expected of a time-trial tire without a layer of puncture protection material and only a thin layer of rubber applied to the tire. The sidewalls are extremely weak with a score of just 3 points which is basically the lowest possible value in this test.
I didn't expect much from the Zipp Tangente Speed because last week's test of the more all-round oriented Tangente Course (read review) proved it was severely lacking in the rolling resistance department. The Tangente Speed does come a bit closer in the rolling resistance tests when compared to the time-trial tires from the leading manufacturers. As expected from a light and thin time trial-tire, it scores extremely low in both the tread and sidewall puncture tests.
If the claimed aerodynamic advantage of pairing Zipp wheels with Zipp tires is true, the Tangente Speed might actually be the best tire when paired with Zipp wheels. Unfortunately, building a wind tunnel to test that claim is a bit out of reach at this moment.
TEST VERDICT: Recommended