In the not-too-distant past, the venerable Zipp 404 reigned supreme as the ultimate wheelset, dimplomatically calming the windy waters between air flow and wheel surface in all manner of race applications. Whether you were bound for tarmac sprints or bunny hopping barriers, rolling up to any start line on a set of 404s was a clear signal that you meant business. Recently though, the disc brake coup sweeping through the cyclocross ranks and a general trending towards multistrada adventuring has largely pigeon holed the former king as a road-only wheelset. With discs also seeping into the skinny tire realm, the Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Disc Brake Road Tubular Wheelset is roaring onto the scene to regain its place at the top.
While Zipp built these wheels to be exceptionally versatile, let's not forget about the aerodynamics. A 58mm deep rim features Zipp's signature Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) dimpling, which uses strategically placed and sized dimples across the rim surface to smooth airflow and reduce drag. This in turn allows the wheel to slice through the air like an arrow zooming towards its target. The big news with ABLC is that it boasts aerodynamic advantages at real-world yaw angles of ten to twenty degrees, compared to many wheels out there that feature minimum drag numbers at yaw angles of five to ten degrees that rarely occur outside of a wind tunnel. In non-techy talk, that means these wheels outperform the competition in the windy conditions you'll encounter in the saddle.
At the center, Zipp uses its 77 disc hub on the front and its 177 disc hub on the rear for a smooth ride every time you clip in. Featuring a new platform and graphics for 2016, these hubs boast increased bearing protection over their predecessors and are ready to roll without any pre-load adjustment. The rear hub is compatible with a separately sold XD driver body, allowing options for a wider cassette range of up to a 10-42 if needed. As an added bonus, driver bodies can be swapped out without having to re--dish the wheel to get back up and running. Each wheel includes an updated quick release skewer with a widened handle that provides better leverage for setting the wheel and sits close to the frame when close for cleaner lines than previous skewers.
Each the Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Disc Brake Road Tubular Wheelset comes with 12 x 100mm and 15 x 100mm end caps for the front wheel, as well as 12 x 135mm and 12 x 142mm end caps for the rear wheel. Each wheelset also includes Zipp Tangente quick release skewers, rim tap, and core valve extensions. The rear wheel is available with either a Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo 11-speed compatible freehub body.