Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Tubular Wheelset
- Item: ZIP0210 Claimed Weight:"Claimed Weight" is an unconfirmed weight provided by the manufacturer. 1355 g
When it comes to aerodynamic wheels, there aren't many companies that can even come close to competing with Zipp in terms of vision, speed, and pure aesthetics. Zipp's dedication to creating the best product wheels in the world has resulted in wins everywhere from Roubaix to Alpe d'Huez to Kona -- multiple times, in fact. And though it's easy to become a jaded when listening to the marketing speak about wheels, there's no ignoring Zipp when it says that the Firecrest shape is the best advancement in wheel design that it's ever made. The Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Tubular Wheelset will blow your mind with not only its speed, but also its predictability in all wind conditions.
With a 58mm-deep rim, the 404s have long been the go-to wheels for riders that need an aero rim that they don't have to wrestle with as soon as the wind picks up. That's why Zipp uses them to test its newest rim shape. The new design comes from Zipp's knowledge that the back half of the rim can become a second leading edge to improve aerodynamics. With Zipp being Zipp, this meant that it went through numerous iterations before finalizing the Firecrest shape. And though its profile may appear a little bland, it's anything but. The complexity of the rim shape performed so well in the wind tunnel that the Firecrest 404s returned better numbers than the 808s used in the 2010 Tour. In fact, they performed exponentially well across the board, regardless of tire width or wind direction.
Not only were the aero benefits off the charts, it became clear that at critical yaw angles, the handling became more stable than any Zipp wheel, or for that matter, any competitor's wheel. For example, the 404s are now easier to handle in cross winds than the 303s. By optimizing the back half of the rim, the center of pressure caused by the wind is pulled back behind the hub so that the crosswind becomes much more predictable. Essentially, the wind hits the wheel on the steering axis, taking away the lever effect that happens when the wind catches the front half of the rim. This makes the wheel feel like it self-corrects with little need for input from the operator. Saxo Bank's Baden Cooke said that it felt like the wheel rode within the wind and not against it.
Aside from these advancements, the Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Tubular Wheelset also offers the VCLC vibration-dampening properties that give you as soft a ride as possible. Combined with the aero dimpling, you'll be saving so much energy that by the end of a five hour ride over rough roads, you'll still have enough snap in your legs to take the final sprint.
For the build, Zipp laced the 404 rims to its own proprietary hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes. The front uses 16, radially laced to a Zipp 88 front hub. For the rear, 20 are laced radially on the drive-side, cross on non-drive, to a Zipp 188 rear hub.
The Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Tubular Wheelset comes in color Black with either Black or White Zipp decals. It's also available with either Shimano or Campagnolo compatible freehub body, and the Shimano body is compatible with the new Shimano Dura Ace 11-speed shift system.
Please Note: Zipp's Tangente Platinum Pro and cork brake pads are designed specifically for use with their carbon tubulars. Use of brake pads other than these is highly recommended against and will void the wheel warranty.