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Zipp 404 Firecrest Track Tubular - 2013

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Item # ZIP0197

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Item # ZIP0197


We don't have to tell you that every effort counts on the track. In a world of quad'zillas and power outputs that dwarf any final sprint on the road circuit, your wheels need to be stiff, aerodynamic, and to the point. That's where the new Zipp 404 Firecrest Track Tubular comes in. With drag minimization on lock down, ridiculously stiff hubs, and carbon fiber rims that eat up the banks, the 404 Firecrest Track Tubular is the natural selection for your next points match or keirin bout.

New to 2013, the 404 Track Tubular receives Zipp's outrageously aerodynamic technology, Firecrest. If you've been living on the velodrome for the past couple of years, Firecrest is Zipp's most ambitious rim shape to date. Designed to maximize speed by minimizing drag, when Firecrest is applied to the 404 Track Tubular, the rim maintains a depth of 58.0mm and a maximum width of 26.9mm. Zipp found that the 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 additions, to achieve the Zipp-standard of strength and rigidity, the 404 utilizes uni-directional fibers to handle the tensile and comprehensive loading within the rim, and woven fibers in the spoke-hole areas. A woven silica-ceramic fabric and a woven carbon fabric encapsulate the upper rim and tire-mounting surfaces. The combination of fiber patterns creates a high stiffness-to-weight ratio.

A number of Zipp technologies went into making the 404 Firecrest one of the most powerful wheels in the Zipp arsenal. First, 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 vibration and impact. Spokes laced directly to the carbon body give you the benefit of a carbon feel and aluminum braking. Next, visco-elastic material is inserted between carbon laminates in the rim to reduce vibration by ten percent. Lastly, the dimples of the Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) on the curved rim section work to create a slight turbulence directly above the rim surface. This creates an artificial boundary layer that forces the laminar boundary layer towards the forward part of the rim to become turbulent. This process enables airflow to remain attached over more of the rim for a longer period of time, providing a lower level of integrated drag. The drag that ABLC creates is called skin friction drag; although it's greatly increased, pressure drag (which is ten times higher than skin friction) is decreased to make the 404 wheels faster than the competition in a wide range of conditions, not just the wind tunnel. While most wheels only enjoy minimum drag at rarely occurring yaw angles of five and ten degrees, the 404 experiences it at the real-world conditions of 10 to 20 degrees.

And knowing that life on the track is tantamount to bigger bodies performing bigger wattage efforts, Zipp outfitted the 404s with its exclusive Track Hubs. The flanges are well oversized to maximize torsional and lateral rigidity, and additionally, this idea is reinforced by 60mm spoke hole circle diameter. Each hub rolls on 15mm, stainless steel solid axles with Zipp's proprietary steel bearings. The hubs themselves are formed from Zipp's Z310.9 aluminum alloy that's used in its venerable 88/188 road hubs. Both wheels feature 28 Sapim CX-Ray spokes, with the front using a radial lace, and the rear utilizing a two-cross lacing pattern.

The Zipp 404 Firecrest Track Tubular is available as an individual wheel. The front is 100mm spaced with a 15mm axle, and the rear is 120mm spaced with a 15mm axle. Please note that these are track wheels and are not road convertible. The rear wheel accepts a standard cog and lockring (1.37x24tpi).

Tech Specs

[rim] carbon fiber
Rim Width:
[maximum] 26.9 mm
Rim Depth:
58 mm
Front Hub:
Zipp Track
Front Hub Type:
Rear Hub:
Zipp Track Hub Rear
Rear Hub Type:
stainless steel
Spoke Nipple Material:
Front Spoke Count:
28 Sapim CX-Ray
Rear Spoke Count:
28 Sapim CX-Ray
Axle Type:
15 mm stainless steel
Rotor Compatibility:
Front Weight:
895 g
Rear Weight:
1000 g
Complete Set Weight:
1895 g
Recommended Use:
track cycling
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years

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