In recent years, a new market has emerged for “value” oriented carbon wheelsets. Typically priced between $1000-$1600, the products can offer tremendous value. However, not all “budget” carbon wheels are created equal. That can become readily apparent under hard braking. When a carbon rim is made poorly, it can melt or cause a blowout. And that can lead to a crash.
Priced at $1500, Zipp’s new 302 wheelset is aimed squarely at this rapidly growing segment. Unlike many competitors at this price point, Zipp has been around for nearly 30 years. And like every other Zipp wheelset, these rims are made in the USA.
The new wheels share a lot in common with the existing Firecrest 303. Both wheels utilize a 45mm depth and aero profile, but the 302 rim lacks Zipp’s hallmark aero enhancing dimple pattern. By utilizing a smooth rim profile, the company was able to reduce manufacturing time — and cost.
The last major difference between the two wheelsets is the hub. The 302 rims are laced to new 76/176 hubs. They share the same internals as the pricier 77/177 hubs, but use a simpler hub shell and J-bend spokes.
The 302 is available in both a rim and disc brake versions. The rim brake wheelset has a claimed weight of 1645g (740g front, 905g rear). The disc version comes in 50 grams heavier at 1695g (785g front/ 910g rear). Both versions have a 16.25mm internal width, which Zipp says is ideal for 25mm-28mm road tires.
For more info, visit www.zipp.com.