Zipp 302 wheels surprisingly affordable

Trickle down technology from Firecrest 303 model

News Wheels
Zipp 302

With a price tag of $1500, the new Zipp 302 is a surprisingly affordable carbon road wheel.

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.

Zipp 302

The 302 has a 16.25mm internal width. That’s nearly a millimeter narrower than the Firecrest.

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.

Zipp 302

The new 76/176 hubs utilize a simpler hub shell and J-bend spokes.

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.

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  • Frank says:

    $1,500 is surprisingly affordable? Who’s kidding who here? Buying a set of Zip 302 wheels would cost almost twice as much as the average new bike sold in specialty bike retailers! So somehow $1,500 has become “surprisingly affordable” for wheels? Tell that to the average person buying a new bike at a bike shop. I guess if you’re dropping over 8 grand for a bike than maybe $1,500 is surprisingly affordable for that segment of the population, but not for the average cyclist.

  • Dewey says:

    Frank, obviously this article isn’t for you. $1,500 for a set of light aero carbon wheels is a great price for the rider nuanced enough to understand the benefit. Yeah, you’re right, that isn’t the average person. Nobody is kidding anybody here.

  • Dewey says:

    One other point, if you spend $8,000 on a bike, it’ll come with pretty nice wheels. If you spend $2,000 to $3,000 it will come with a very utilitarian wheel set. These, or a similar wheel set, will greatly improve the ride/performance of those bikes.

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