Zipp Speed Weaponry 303 Clincher wheelsets - clincher

3.15/5 (20 Reviews)
MSRP : $1035.00


  • Store Price

Product Description

Climbing, descending, sprinting, crosswinds, rough roads, and anything else you might encounter on a ride are no sweat for the Zipp 303 Clincher. This wheelset has it all: the convenience and braking performance of an aluminum clincher rim, the durability

Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Pro Review

Road bikers and triathletes looking to improve performance typically choose two paths; lighter weight or better aerodynamics. Until recently, getting both in a reliable clincher configuration has been challenging. Light weight clincher wheels typically have a short profile which reduces weight, but this low profile isn’t as aerodynamic. Aerodynamic rims are typically taller and thus require more mass to build so they are heavier. Continue reading →



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Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by hoiminglee a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2011

Strengths:    Quite light for the tubular wheels

Weaknesses:    Expensive
Poor workmanship
Fundamental flaw with nipple design around carbon rim which is prone to defects
Don't look that nice with their ancient carbon patch work lay up design


Bottom Line:   
Purchased these wheels new, the rear wheel I purchased just the 303 clincher rim to go with my Powertap SL+. I've recently had a baby so haven't had much time to ride but I do manage to get out once a week, maybe twice a week.

This is my second set of zipps, my first set was a pair of 404 tubulars which I used for a few months. I thought I couldn't go wrong since every one uses them it seems (more on this later). I got a bit of a rude shock one day when a mechanic asked me why I purchased Zipps, he told me they had poor construction, something to do with the basic structure of the carbon since they glue them together to form a single hoop which if you look carefully it does look that way, they have seams across the rim. Well I shrugged off that remark and was a bit offended since I paid quite a buck for the 404's. Anyhow, I got rid of the 404 tubulars because I kept getting flats and the tubulars tires were not cheap... so I'll never go back to tubulars.

So I picked up a set of Zipp 303 clinchers, as mentioned I don't have that much time to ride lately and after a ride this past Sunday I noticed a bulge near 1 of the nipples, when I got home and after closer examination it's definitely a stress fracture in the nipple area. Well how annoying is that after spending again good money on a set of wheels.

It looks like I'm going to have to take it back for warranty replacement, if you read through some of the reviews from this site for Zipps stress fractures are a common theme around the nipple area. In addition I believe that Zipp spoke tensions are relatively low due to their inherent weakness.

So here is the kicker, why oh why do so many shops sell Zipps and at such high prices, the competition is getting stiffer thats for sure. If you look at even some good wheel builder websites that tout great products they inevitably stock Zipps, it must be the great marketing that is driving sales, unfortunately it's my fault since I should have done my homework, which I'll do this time around for the replacement rim.

With annoyed customers like me I'm not sure how long Zipp is going to last. Consumers are not ignorant, they need to go back to the drawing board.

I'm looking to do some more research and find me a set of stronger carbon rims for my powertap. Looking at Enve, Reynolds etc..

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Singapore

Similar Products Used:   Zipp 404
Shimano C50


Bike Setup:   Cervelo SLC-SL


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:5
Submitted by killerrabbitt a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: August 8, 2008

Strengths:    Don't get me wrong, their light, fast, smooth, and ride great.

Weaknesses:    Their not strong enough for a 170 pound rider doing road races or crits.

Bottom Line:   
I got these Zipp 303 clinchers brand new in the box for a steal of a price and only used them on race days, (never trained on them). After 60+/- miles I noticed a crack arching over the carbon rim at one of the nipples on the front wheel, (It looked like the spoke was trying to pull through the carbon). The guy I bought them from was nice enough to return them to the company for a replacement, which I got. a month later, I found a similar crack in the rear wheel, and then a developing crack in the replacment front wheel. This common defect has made me give up on Zipp. For what these things cost (even with my deal) it's not worth the headache of getting a replacement every few months. I'll be replacing them with a new set of Mavic Cosmic's, they sound more reliable.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   ebay store

Similar Products Used:   N/A

Bike Setup:   Ti bike w/ carbon seat stays, 10 speed Ultegra group. Total bike weight = 17lbs


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Steve a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2007

Strengths:    Very light, true right out of the box to good specs. These wheels climb like a champ, and descend like a hawk after prey. They look great with my Roubaix, which is flat black carbon.

I have hopes they will continue to perform with little upkeep; however, I will let you know how things progress.


Weaknesses:    Tires must be stretched before installing, and don't make the mistake I did of using a cloth rim tape; it is just too big to get a tube and tire to seat properly. I have ordered some Zipp tape and may try the new Velo plugs if they will fit.

Bottom Line:   
So far, this wheelset has been very impressive. It climbs very well, descends even better, but I notice the biggest difference on Flats and rollers. I seem to be able to hold speed longer with less effort. To you that have experienced this effect, you can identify.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Roadie

Price Paid:    $1950.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Shimano 7800, Mavic ES, Flashpoint 40s, Rolf Vector Pro.

Bike Setup:   Specialized Roubaix Pro


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Kevin a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2007

Strengths:    Excellent overall wheel that performs both on race day and everyday training rides.

Weaknesses:    Price

Bottom Line:   
2006 Zipp 303s with powertap SL hub. Very good set of wheels, 2000 miles and not a single problem. These were built up by the guys at Competitive Cyclist, who were extremely helpful. Overall ride quality is very good, road vibration is kept to a minimum, but not as dampening as my Reynolds carbon mid-vs, to be expected. Very stable at high speeds and the tires hold speed extremely well. Very satisfied with purchase. Wish more manufacturers would incorporate Powertaps into their line-ups.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Any Ride

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Competitive Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Bontrager Race Lites, Mavic Carbones, Reynolds Mid-v Cirro.

Bike Setup:   Scott CR1 Team Equipe with Shimano Dura-ace setup.


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Greg a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2007

Strengths:    Look good

Weaknesses:    See above.

Bottom Line:   
Beware! Had the clincher 303 (non dimpled) - they cost a bomb. Only ever managed to get one training ride and one race in (total 200km) before wheels completely out of true (both). Took it back to shop and they sent it off to the distributor. After a week, it was reported there were cracks in BOTH front AND back wheels.

These wheels are a joke. I wonder how badly made they are to last such little distance. Totally unreliable.

I have replaced them with Mavic Cosmic Carbones SLs, which have stayed true and problem free for thousands of kms.

I also run Spinergy Stealth PBOs, which are full carbon 45mm which are just as fast - these have done thousands of kms, I commute on them too - and have never needed so much as a twist of a spoke wrench.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   going fast

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Sydney Australia

Similar Products Used:   Kysrium SL
Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLs
Spinergy Stealth PBO


Bike Setup:   TCR advanced 2007



Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 5

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Wheel stiffness - ENVE 3.4 vs Zipp 303? Carbon clincher

Time for some new rollers and I am looking for [B]stiff[/B] rims - the lighter the better but some aero would be nice too. Will most likely go custom-built but could be convinced to buy standard pre-built from either company. ENVE SES 3.4 Clincher = 885g/pr Zipp 303 FC Clincher = 1000g/pr ... Read More »

Zipp 2011 303 Clincher

Hi, Did anyone have an experience with Zipp 2011 303 clincher? How the Al’ with the Carbon work…rolling, stiffness ....all the regular aspects Thanks in advance, IlanRead More »

Zipp 303 clincher pricing and history, I need a wheel guru

I'm in the market for some Zipp 303 Clincher wheels as an everyday training wheel. In season, I do alot of climbing and descents as steep as 17-20% and must have an alumnum brake surface. I'm looking to buy used and I don't care if it is dimpled or non-dimpled, I won't feel the difference. What ... Read More »

Zipp 303 tubes vs clincher

If someone has rode these, is there much difference. I am looking to smooth out my S-works Tarmac. I would prefer clincher but I remember riding tubular sprinters and how nice they were, just a hassle dealing with em. I plan on setting up a set with powertap.Any commentsRead More »

Zipp 303 clincher vs. tubular

anybody ridden both? Just borrowed a set of the tubulars, and they feel amazing. My regular set is Fulcrum Racing 1s, and the difference in feel is substantial. How would the Zipp clinchers compare? Do you lose a lot of the "smooth" feeling because it has the aluminum rim? Also, if anyone wan ... Read More »

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