Is It Too Windy for a Disk?

posted Feb 22, 2010, 6:49 AM by Donald Vescio   [ updated Sep 12, 2011, 8:10 AM ]
I currently race on a pair of Zipp 404 tubulars and am contemplating getting a faster wheel in the back. I can afford to get 1 rear wheel and I'm deciding between the Zipp 808, the 1080, and the Super 9. To me, the Super 9 is going to be the fastest wheel, except I'm not sure how much of a benefit that is given the windy nature of pretty much every triathlon event I go to. If I go with a full disc in the rear, it seems like I'll get blown about quite a bit when riding near the shore. I weigh 173lbs and while I usually never have had an issue with the 404s, I am concerned with a full disc in the rear. Is the 1080 a good compromise? The 808 seems to be the choice only if I want to use it on my road bike as well. Curious what others think. Should I just save my money and stick with the 404s? 


I would never worry about a rear disk and both my wife and I have used them w/out any problems on days when wind gusts regularly exceeded 40 mph. 

Think about it: unlike your front wheel, your rear wheel does not pivot side to side; it only rotates around its axle. A rear disc will not impact steering. This said, if you use a rear disc, you'll be able to run a deeper front wheel than you currently have, making for an even faster setup. 

Always use a rear disc--if it's too windy to use a rear disc, then it's too windy to drive your car. It's the winds that make discs and deep wheels useful.