Don't get us wrong -- Firecrest technology is awesome. But, if you're purchasing you're own wheels, you're probably not racing at the Giro tomorrow. For us mere mortals, the tried-and-true Zipp 404 Carbon Tubular Front Wheel is more wheel than we can even handle. In fact, the standard 404 has such a storied career, that we still ride them and can't stand anyone referring to them as 'dated.' From Tour wins to victories at Kona, the 404 Tubular has proved itself to be an indispensable addition to your arsenal of speed weaponry.A host of technologies go into making the 404 the most versatile wheel in the Zipp arsenal. First, visco-elastic material is inserted between carbon laminates in the rim to reduce road vibration. This results in a rim that can withstand the torment of everything from choppy descents to the rutted straightaways of cyclocross. Even further, the 404 uses Zipp's own Carbon Bridge design for more strength and heightened rigidity. With Carbon Bridge, Zipp stitches Kevlar into a six-bundle thread at the rim's edge. This helps to evenly distribute load, it greatly increases the resistance to impact, and it adds stiffness with only a marginal weight penalty.A distinguishing feature of the 404 are its subtle dimples -- a result of the Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control (ABLC). The 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 58mm rim depth 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.The Zipp 404 Carbon Tubluar Front Wheel uses a Zipp 88 front hub, and is hand-built in the USA. Please note that this is being sold as a front only. Please visit the official Zipp website for a list of approved brake pads.
Wondering what your opinion is when comparing Zipp Firecrest Carbon Clinchers to Enve SMART Clinchers. Basic specs using DT240 hubs on Enve:
Zipp 303: 1498g
Zipp 404: 1557g
Enve 3.4: 1426g
Enve 6.7: 1566g
Depth / Width:
Zipp 303: 45mm(depth of both), 25.14mm-27.17mm(Brake track t ... Read More »
So the big question with the new Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher is it really true that they can withstand the heat on mountain descents? With all the actual stories of all carbon clinchers melting, warping and what not, has Zipp produced a wheelset that can handle the heat?
I have not seen any ... Read More »