Zipp Speed Weaponry 303 Clincher wheelsets - clincher

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303 Clincher

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

User Reviews (20)

Showing 1-10 of 20  
hoiminglee   Road Racer [May 16, 2011]
Strength:

Quite light for the tubular wheels

Weakness:

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

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..

Similar Products Used: Zipp 404
Shimano C50
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Available At:
killerrabbitt   Road Racer [Aug 08, 2008]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: N/A
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve   Recreational Rider [Sep 24, 2007]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: Shimano 7800, Mavic ES, Flashpoint 40s, Rolf Vector Pro.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Kevin   Road Racer [Apr 25, 2007]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

Price

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.

Similar Products Used: Bontrager Race Lites, Mavic Carbones, Reynolds Mid-v Cirro.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Greg   Road Racer [Apr 11, 2007]
Strength:

Look good

Weakness:

See above.

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.

Similar Products Used: Kysrium SL
Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLs
Spinergy Stealth PBO
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Available At:
Edsel Falconer   Triathlete [Feb 08, 2007]
Strength:

Magnificent hubs, I can outcoast just about anyone, means a lot as you get older. Just there general "Feel" on the road lets you know you're riding something special. Less prone to cross winds than 404's. Great looks especially the dimpled surface. Not bad value when you consider Boras for example.

Weakness:

None of the complaints that other reviewers describe only that you are concerned about the cost every time you hit a bump, but they take it in there stride.

I had a set of 404's that I loved but felt they were really a special race day wheel, had a look around and came back to these as I can use these in unison with the 404's. 303 front,404 Rear.

Similar Products Used: Rolf Vector Comps, 404's.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Joe McColl   Triathlete [Nov 27, 2006]
Strength:

Fast-Good looking wheelset for the first 2000 miles.

Weakness:

Poor warranty and not durable enough for the cost.

I got a pretty good deal on them new from my local bike shop so I decided to give them a try. Had good results with them for about 5000 miles and then got multiple cracks and splits in the rear rim at the spoke holes. The rear hub also had severe discoloring and corrosion although it was well taken care of. Stickers peel off etc. Zipp said the wheel was out of warranty and it was $700.00 to replace. If you pay $1000 for a set of wheels and they develop cracks after 5000 miles, they should be replaced in my book. I am done with Zipps and just spent $2000 on a pair of Carbon Bontragers with a 5 year warranty.

Similar Products Used: Vector Pro's, Bontrager Carbon Aeolus, Bontrager Race Lites.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Available At:
jeffblau   Road Racer [Sep 05, 2006]
Strength:

They're really stiff compared to other wheels i've ridden; feel fast, durable

Weakness:

Holy expensive !!! The '05s don't have milliwatt-saving dimples.

I bought a set of '05 non-dimpled 303's with a Powertap SL hub. These wheels make a huge difference from traditional non-aero clinchers. They spin up great and have little to no noticable drag from crosswinds.

Similar Products Used: Mavic SSC SL, Carbones
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
R. Miller   Road Racer [Jul 25, 2006]
Strength:

Very smooth and so far seem fairly tough.

Weakness:

Little tough to mount tires. Mounting tires on my Eastons is much easier. Insanely expensive.

Purchased '06 version with dimples. Extremely smooth and seem to spin up quickly. Very comfortable wheels. Chose over the 404's because I thought they would be better all purpose wheels.

Similar Products Used: Mavic SSL's, Bontrager x lights, Easton Accents.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
president   Road Racer [Sep 30, 2003]

where do i start, i have been so dissatisfied with the treatment i've received from zipp. spring for the cassette body broke the first week, took more than a week to get another, rendered useless,missed two races, aero spokes will not stay aligned on the nondrive side of rear wheel,wheels sent back to co. on oct.15 received oct.19 today oct.30 and still they have not been taken care of. of the 6 weeks that i have owned these wheels they have been in my possession and rideable a total of a week and a half. light wheels but the company doesn't appear to care. if i knew then what i know now, i would have gotten the slightly heavier ksyriums,

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 20  
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