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Zipp has a "flagship" series of wheels designated as 353, 454 or 858 NSW which have variable (aka undulating) rim depth. I'm trying to find another manufacturer who makes similarly-shaped wheels because I remember seeing a non-Zipp wheelset of a similar shape at an event once, but so far I haven't had any luck.

Does anybody know any non-Zipp wheels of similar design?

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  • Welcome to the site - please note in the tour that product recommendations are considered off-topic because they're of short-term relevancy, and tend to have a strong locality dependence.
    – Criggie
    Dec 5, 2021 at 0:31

2 Answers 2

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SRAM owns Zipp.

SRAM has taken a company called Princeton Carbon Works to court for alleged patent infringement on the design of the scalloped inside-edge of the rim.

Therefore SRAM (or at least their lawyers) believe PCW's wheel design is infringing on SRAM's patents.

This means SRAM believe PCW's wheel is a copy or clone or otherwise duplicate of their designs.

ANSWER: PCW's wheel design is similar enough to SRAM's that legal action has begun. Thus SRAM believes PCW is another "company that makes a variable/undulating rim depth wheel" as per the title question.

More information may be found at https://www.bicycleretailer.com/industry-news/2021/03/19/sram-sues-princeton-carbon-works-patent-infringement-aero-wheels

Do be mindful of the source of news on this matter though - there appears to be bias either way in reporting.

  • This post does not imply support for either party.
  • This post does not comment on performance of a rim/wheel
  • This post is about the form of the design, and how SRAM think PCW's wheel duplicates theirs.
  • This post does not comment on the lawsuit, and simply directs the reader to another source for further information.
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  • In what way do you think the reporting is biased?
    – Paul H
    Jan 4, 2022 at 5:05
  • @PaulH there's product placement, shilling, and outright sales talk presented as "reviews" on the web and on youtube etc. So don't believe one source, try and search out more info before purchasing. Basically "do your research" and be skeptical of wild claims.
    – Criggie
    Jan 4, 2022 at 5:14
  • I guess I didn’t see any wild claims about SRAM’s lawsuit. BRAIN generally pretty straight-forward and dry with the industry news, IME. Or are you talking about claims about the performance of the wheels?
    – Paul H
    Jan 4, 2022 at 5:20
  • @PaulH comments are not for chat. OP's question is "Is Zipp the only company that makes variable/undulating rim depth wheels?" and this answer says that SRAM thinks PCW makes a wheel that infringes their patent on undulations. So SRAM claims that PCW's wheel would qualify. Discussions tend to not work well in the Stackexchange Q&A format, so if there's a clear question, post it.
    – Criggie
    Jan 4, 2022 at 5:27
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    Looks like Control Tech is making a similar wheel as well.
    – Adam Rice
    Jan 5, 2022 at 21:23
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Mavic has a sculpted rim on their XA wheelset. I’m not sure if it’s used on any of their road products.

The claim is that it removes unneeded material and reduces weight.

enter image description here

EDIT

In 2023 Mavic seems to have given up the sculpted rims. Reasons unknown.

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  • This reminds me: Mavic and Campy used to mill the space between spokes on some of their aluminum rims. Mavic did it first, I think with the Ksyriums. It saved a bit of weight, it was definitely not done for aerodynamics.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Jul 7, 2023 at 19:10

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