Wider is better.
Whether you're looking for a replacement wheel, experimenting with aerodynamic setups, or simply want to experience Zipp's most versatile technology, the Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubular Wheel will satisfy your desire. Already having conquered the cobbles of Roubaix and Flanders, the 303 Firecrest tubular has proven to be worth the wait. Use it as the ultimate all-arounder in the spring, or as a cyclocross go-to in the winter, the 303 Firecrest will outperform the competition in every discipline it races in.
The Firecrest is Zipp's most ambitious rim shape to date. Designed to be Zipp's fastest and most versatile wheel, the 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubular maintains a rim depth of 45.0mm and an aero width of 28.50mm. Using computational fluid dynamics, Zipp moved the center of pressure towards the steering axis to create the most stable and predictable deep-section rim on the planet. The wider design is found to offer greater vertical/lateral compliance for increased control, comfort, and rigidity. For increased strength and rigidity, the Firecrest 303 utilizes uni-directional fibers to handle the tensile and comprehensive loading within the rim, and woven fibers in the spoke-hole areas. A woven silica-ceramic fabric and a woven carbon fabric encapsulate the braking and tire-mounting surfaces. The combination of fiber patterns creates the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio in Zipp production.
A number of Zipp technologies went into making the 303 Firecrest Carbon tubular the most versatile wheel in the Zipp arsenal. First, visco-elastic material is inserted between carbon laminate in the rim to reduce road vibration by up to ten percent. The next step is bolstering the rim's resistance to impact by stitching Kevlar at the edge. Zipp claims that this treatment adds anywhere from a 28 to 50 percent improvement to impact, but it definitely adds lateral stiffness without stacking up grams. Lastly, the implementation of Zipp's Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control (ABLC)& technology adds dimples to the curved rim section 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 rim 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 303 Firecrest wheels faster than the competition in a wide range of conditions, not just the wind tunnel. While most wheels only enjoy minimum drag at rarely occurring yaw angles of five and ten degrees, the 303 Firecrest experiences it at the real-world conditions of 10 to 20 degrees.
The Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubular front wheel features a radial-laced 18 spoke Zipp 88 Front Hub, and the rear wheel uses a drive-side radial, non-drive cross-laced 24 spoke Zipp188 rear hub. Every wheel is hand-built in the USA, and the rear wheel is available in two freehub configurations to fit Campagnolo or Shimano/SRAM cassettes. Each wheel configuration is available in the colors Black and Falcon Grey.
Please Note: Zipp's Tangente Platinum Pro and cork brake pads are designed specifically for use with their carbon tubulars. Use of brake pads other than these is highly recommended against and will void the wheel warranty. Also, Zipp's maximum recommended rider weight is 250lbs for the Firecrest 303s.