Zipp Speed Weaponry 303 Tubular wheelsets - tubular

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Zipp Speed Weaponry 303 Tubular wheelsets - tubular 

DESCRIPTION

Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular(0xa3bc8200)

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 32  
[Nov 01, 2013]
alanw2007

Strength:

Light and reasonable aerodynamic. Stable at speed; not affected too badly by crosswinds.

Weakness:

Braking is weak and uneven using recommended Swiss Stop Yellow pads. Wet weather braking performance is truly frightening. Dry weather braking grabby and juddery at low speed.
Poor tolerance on rear axle causes bearings to fit loosely, leading to lateral play at the rim. Not convertible to 11-speed Shimano, even though an 11-speed Campagnolo freehub body is available.
Hub design puts all the drive torque through the non-drive-side low tension spokes, causing creaking and flexing.

This is a review of the 2011 wheel set (silver 88/188 hubs).
Generally unimpressed with the quality of these wheels considering the high price.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[May 22, 2011]
conejo_dan
Road Racer

Strength:

- Stiff and extremely stable
- Surprisingly crisp braking with a nice "jet landing" sound when braking
- I love riding on cobblestones with these wheels!

Weakness:

- Needs breaking in
- Rear wheel skids more easily at lower speeds probably due to the light weight and the pads


Finally took the plunge and dropped some serious cash for a pair of the latest 303s with 27.5mm width rims. I chuckle when US riders complain about their the condition of their roads (they haven't obviously ridden in Mexico City!). I've ridden Cosmic Carbone SL which are way too stiff for me (I only weigh 63kg) and the AC 420s are to flexy. I always wanted a pair of wheels that do it all but at the same time comfortable.

I mounted a pair of Vittoria Corsa CX's and pumped them up to 94psi (just like Cancellara when he rode his winning episode of the PR!)  My first ride was a huge disappointment! The wheels felt extremely stiff and unlively. I realized that i should have pumped them up to 110psi which helps liven up the tires and roll over bumps. After a couple hundred km and a few bunny hops here and there, the tires become more supple and the wheels at more life. I can stay the lateral stiffness, and power transfer efficiency makes up for the sacrifice in comfort. Most notable compared to clinchers that I've ridden is that they're a lot more stable in all conditions. I don't worry about I perfections in the road unsettling my handling. Aerodynamic advantage can be felt on flats but other cyclists still keep up or pass me on 60km/h descents. Their lightweight definitely is plus on climbs but after a while I don't notice this advantage. Their stiffness, stableness and lightweight make them perfect for moments when I need fast acceleration. 

I'm convinced they are the best all round wheel set. Can't say the same the Vittorias. I find them harsh when compared to the Vredestein Superlite which I have on my 420s. I'm thinking about trying out Vredestein tubulars when I wear out the CXs.

Similar Products Used:

Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL
American Classic 420s 2nd Generation

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 06, 2010]
naisan
Recreational Rider

Strength:

* aero
* light
* cross-wind resistant
* strong
* look excellent when you remove the decals ;-)

Weakness:

* rear is not stiffer than other similar wheels, and less stiff than dura-ace carbon tubuluars

This review is for the 2010 cyclo-cross version (which has 24 spokes on the front)

* Feel very light, and are easy to accelerate, which makes them a fun wheel to ride, esp up climbs or in sprints.
* aero: seem to cut though wind more efficiently that my previous bontager 46mm carbon rims, esp when in a slightly angled wind
* cross-wind resistant - these are much less prone to deflection than my previous bontrager carbon 46mm rims when in a cross wind. MUCH less deflection - to the point where I almost don't notice any deflection at all.
* tough - I've now ridden through tons of potholes (I'm about 175lbs) and over miles of gravel/crushed rock, in addition to aobut 1000 mi of rough road, and haven't yet broken out the spoke wrench. They feel bombproof.
* not so stiff: I can easily deflect them into the brakes if I sprint, and now usually ride with my rear brakes adjusted out quite a bit. My bontragers were about the same, so I am resigned to this kind of wheel flex. When I pedal hard, the wheels also ping, which is due to the spokes at the rear 2x junction rubbing stretching against each other due to the strain.
* tons of nice litle touches - the hubs have easy pre-load adjustment, and by far the smoothest hubs since 20 year old campy or dura-ace. My wheels will rock back and forth like a pendulum driven by the weight of the valve stem when held up. . very nice.

Similar Products Used:

* bontrager race-x aero
* dura-ace
* cosmic carbones

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 07, 2007]
mark
Road Racer

Strength:

weight,

Weakness:

expensive n relatively unresponsive.

Ultra light but dissapointing areo n efficiency issues. Look cool but wish I'd tried the 404's.
Zipp have service issues also.

Similar Products Used:

fir antara, ultegra, discs and tri spokes

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
[Sep 15, 2007]
NormanS
Road Racer

This review is about my warranty experience. My wife and I both ride ZIPPs for training as well as racing. We've hit plenty of minor bumps and potholes without a problem. But a few weeks ago I finally managed to trash a rim -- but not while riding. I was trying to get a worn tire off the tim (Tufo rim tape really works), when my hand slipped and I ended up smashing the side of the rim really hard against the sharp corner of a concrete block that was lying beside me. It put a small crack in the rim. It was totally my fault -- you'd never expect a carbon rim to stand up to that kind of weird impact. My LBS sent it back to ZIPP and they warrantied it 100%, no questions asked!!!! Phenomenal service! All I had to pay was $50 to ship the rim to ZIPP -- ZIPP even paid the return shipping. I just about fell out of my chair when the shop told me. Since there was absolutely no manufacturing defect, I would have been delighted with even a half price warranty. From reading other reviews I know that not everyone has had the same level of warranty service, but all I can say is THANK YOU ZIPP!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 13, 2007]
runstevierun
Triathlete

Strength:

Light, light, light.
I suppose they're aero but I know they're light.

Weakness:

Wicked expensive, can't take a stiff lick. Not really an everyday wheel.
Not as comfortable on long rides as my Ksyrium's.

Beautiful, smooth, light, light light. Unbelievably light. Put about 1000 miles of training on them. Trashed the front rim hitting a rock. It was a big rock but I think my Ksyrium's could take it. Crash replacement policy was $650 or $550 for a rebuild. Yow. When I get the cash I'll rebuild it and only use them for races.

Similar Products Used:

Mavic K's, Mavic Open Pro's, Easton

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Dec 21, 2006]
Brent Cowie
Road Racer

Strength:

Astonishly light and fast wheels
Reasonably stiff and stay true
Spin beautifully on DA hubs
Wonderful climbing wheels
Great all purpose road racing wheels on hilly courses.

Weakness:

Fragile when stressed (bit like me really)
Sketchy downhill braking (I have tried the Zipp brake blocks but they offer little improvement over standard DA)
Standard hubs are rubbish - get a good shop to build them up on DA or Campy rims and you won't regret it.

I got these wheels built up on DA hubs as the Zipp hubs on my 404's are junk. 24 spokes front and rear. I've done about 3,000 km road racing on them.

The 303's are beautiful wheels - they are amazingly light, spin beautifully, are quite stiff and nicely aero while not being too upset by crosswinds. Catastrophes aside, they stay straight and true. They provide a good ride quality on Vittoria CX tubulars. I use them as race wheels only.

BUT I have now through bad luck destroyed two 303 rims. This despite being only 74kg and usually very easy on gear. In 25y of cycling, these are the only rims I've totalled.

How did these tragedies happen. The first was my fault - I hit a marker sign with my front wheel while cornering wide in the middle of a large bunch. The sign took a chunk out of the side of the rim, which went gently thud thud thud for the remaining 5km of the race. After I finished that part of the rim pretty much fell to bits when I took the tubular off.

The second was just bad luck. Coming down a gradual hill at about 60km/h in the middle of a bunch of 30 or so a large stone flicked up and I ran over it fair and square with my rear wheel. Whup whup whup went the tubular; bang it went 5k later. When I got back to the car and took the tire off, I was pretty disgusted to find that the side of the rim had detached from the centre gluing surface for about 10cm. The local composites guy said it was stuffed, so there was another 303 rim totalled.

Would I have destroyed an aluminuim rim in the same circumstances. The answer in the first instance is no, but the stone I hit in the second case must have been pretty big and I think a light alloy rim would also have been totalled.

I still think these are fantastic wheels - I'm just a bit leery about riding on them in case I destroy another rim. I have heard occasional instances of other riders destroying 404's in large potholes and the like, but lots of people locally use Zipps for racing with no problems at all.

Similar Products Used:

Zipp 404 tubular - faster on flat courses but edgy in strong x-winds
Bontrager Race X-Lite (nice, all purpose race wheels)
Rolf Seistriere (good front wheel but broke too many spokes in rear)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 19, 2006]
alfalund
Road Racer

Strength:

Weight, Looks (the 2006 dimples are way cool, Performance

Weakness:

None that I can think of

Fantastic! Would have sworn that you could not actually feel the aero hype, but have to give in - they are truly cutting through the air. Surprisingly comfy with Vittoria Evo CX 21 - 700c tubular.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 13, 2006]
cczirbel
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Fast,light,comfortable,strong and durable enough to go the distance

Weakness:

Price of course..plus Tires are expensive as well

I bought these new on E-bay in spring 03 . They have performed as well as advertised. Light. fast,and durable. I weigh 200 plus lbs and have used them on every ride (almost) during the last three plus years. As a former masters racer and century rider I always wanted a really fast hi-tech wheelset for races and special events but could not afford them. At first I thought they might be too fragile so I've waited to enter a review until I could put them to the test. Based on my experience I would not hesistate to recommend these zipp wheels to any one who was looking for an upgrade carbon wheelset for races ,training or everyday use, and am considering buying a new pair of 404s as well. I Did have one rear spoke break on the drive side recently (from bunny hopping expansion cracks ?)but I put in a new spoke and trued it up no problem. These wheels for me have proven to be very fast, light and strong..get some if you can jsutify the cost they are really sweet

Similar Products Used:

none

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 25, 2004]
Richie
Road Racer

Strength:

For my purposes has been a great wheelset. Stiff enough for tt, crits, and rr, over all kinds of rough roads. I'm surprised how well they hold up! Easy to maintain.

Weakness:

Seems there's play in the rear hub that is not going to ever go away. Checked bearings and spacers, but no luck. Not the rim, but the Zipp carbon brake pads are not much better than the stock Shimano pads for wearability.

Been racing on these wheels almost exclusively for the past two seasons- road races and crits. I weigh about 160lbs and in all this time, have only re-tensioned them once since out of the box. The hubs are '01 Zipp and the rear pawl spring had to be replaced 2x so far. For some reason, there's a tiny bit of play that won't go away in the rear hub.

Similar Products Used:

Shimano, Mavic, Bontrager

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 32  

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