Zipp 404 FireStrike Carbon Road Wheelset - Clincher $3,600.00
Zipp strikes again.
When Zipp first introduced the 404, they were quickly adopted by the most demanding cyclists due to their exceptional aerodynamics and stable, predictable ride quality in a variety of conditions. It was, after all, the new standard for the manufacturer, standing in as its most ambitious design to date. Well, the next chapter in the 404 just gapped its older sibling, claiming the new top spot on the Zipp block. It's called the 404 Firestrike, and while it draws heavily on the Firecrest platform, it also brings a host of technological advancements all its own. Revisions to the rim itself, a refined set of hubs, and a new brake track are just part of what redefines Zipp's standard in carbon wheel development.
The Firestrike 404, like the Firecrest, is designed to bridge the gap between tubulars and clinchers. It retains the 58mm depth, but bumps the brake track width from 26.53mm (external) to 27.5mm. Zipp found that the new design creates a more stable structure, and offers greater vertical and lateral compliance with increased control, comfort, and rigidity. While the 404 benefits from these welcomed additions, to achieve the Zipp-standard of strength and rigidity, the 404 utilizes unidirectional fibers to handle the tensile and comprehensive loading within the rim, and woven fibers in the spoke-hole areas. The Multi-Material Co-Molding process permanently fuses a sub-200-gram aluminum hoop to a dimpled carbon structure that acts as a leaf spring for road vibration and impact. Next, visco-elastic material is inserted between carbon laminate in the rim to reduce road vibration by around 10 percent. Lastly, the revised dimples of the Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) on the curved rim section work to create a slight turbulence directly above the rim surface, smoothing airflow through more frequent and smaller vortices to provide exceptional control and stability — even on the windiest days.
The brake track was also an area of the new 404s that received a significant overhaul, as Zipp's engineers wanted to make the new wheels' braking as predictable in wet weather as in dry. The result is what Zipp calls its Showstopper technology, which introduces a Silicon Carbide (SiC) textured surface that boosts stopping power in wet conditions.
For the build, Zipp used a refined version of its proprietary 88 hub on the front and the new 188 on the rear, called the v10. This new hub design increases torsional rigidity, and it's also stiffer laterally than the last iteration of the 188. Additionally, it features silky-smooth ceramic bearings that distribute load more evenly across the axle. It maintains the "virtual three-cross" lacing pattern, which delivers three-cross durability with a two-cross build. Lastly, preload is now factory-set, and the wheels receive an 18/24 CX-Ray spoke configuration, with Sapim's secure-lock nipples.
The Zipp 404 Firestrike Carbon Road Wheelset - Clincher comes in the color Black with Zipp's new contrasting Impress graphics. The rear wheel is available with either Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo 11-speed compatible freehub bodies. The wheelset includes rim tape, titanium skewers, valve extensions, 700c x 23mm tubes, individual wheel bags, and Zipp's Platinum Pro Evo Brake Pads. Please note that these wheels are limited to U.S. shipping only.