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Speed is nothing without control.
The Zipp 404 is the staple all-around wheelset for many cyclists as it simply adds an injection of speed in almost every road situation. It doesn't matter if you're going solo in a crit, keeping your position in the omnium during the time trial, or trading off pulls in a well working breakaway across rolling terrain, the Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Road Wheel provides versatility, a smooth ride, and wind-cheating aerodynamics.
The 404 is one of the most iconic wheels in the Zipp lineup and we prefer it as it allows us to race a train on the same wheelset in this clincher format. Its Firecrest profiling features an aerodynamic 58mm rim depth and a wide, 25mm brake track that gives the tire a solid platform and reduces the instability caused by the side bulge effect found when tires are mounted to narrower rims. Zipp's testing shows that this design creates a more stable profile, provides greater radial compliance, and creates a comfortably controlled ride over rougher road surfaces. It also increases lateral stiffness for stable sprints and solid cornering and provides a smoother transition between tire and rim for improved aerodynamics.
One issue always present that needs addressing with carbon rims, especially carbon clinchers, is overheating under prolonged braking, and Zipp quells this by incorporating a special heat-resistant resin in the carbon layup that increases heat dissipation and reduces the potential for rim failure. Zipp claims that since using this resin, it's received zero heat-related rim failures, providing some much-needed peace of mind as you hit those big mountain descents with confidence that these rims are extensively designed so safely reach the valley floor.
Of course, we couldn't talk about the 404's without the mention of aerodynamics and a key element of the 404 Firecrest's ride is its ability to move quickly through a wide variety of wind conditions. Zipp's signature Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) dimpling gets a slight update, which uses strategically placed and sized dimples across the rim's surface to help smooth the airflow and reduce drag. ABLC boasts aerodynamic advantages at real-world yaw angles of 10 to 20 degrees, so more or less in conditions that actually occur outside of a wind tunnel. It also helps this wheel achieve amazing stability in crosswinds that we rarely feel in other wheels of this depth.
The wheels spin on Zipp's 77 hub up front and its 177 hub on the rear. They feature straight-pull spoke flanges and have increased its bearing protection versus previous models. We have rear wheels featuring Campy, XD, and SRAM/Shimano road freehubs, so every drivetrain conceivable will work. As an added bonus, driver bodies can be swapped out later down the road without having to re-dish the wheel. Each wheel includes a quick release skewer that's designed for high-clamping force and it matches the elegance of the wheels.
The Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Road Wheel comes with a set of Tangente Platinum Pro Evo brake pads, a Zipp Integrated Valve Extender with a valve-core wrench, rim tape, and a quick release skewer. Please note that the Tangente Platinum Pro Evo brake pads are designed specifically for use with Zipp's carbon rims and Zipp recommends a maximum rider weight of 250lb for these wheels.
- Deep carbon wheels for aero speed and stiffness
- 58mm deep, 25mm profile slices through the wind
- Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control dimpling improves the aero
- Zipp 77/177 hubs are sight, smooth, and dependable
- Carbon clincher for racing and everyday use
- Heat-resistant resin brake track adds durability
- Max rider weight: 250lbs.
- Item #ZIP007A
- Q & A
An Industry Benchmark gets better
There werent too many radical changes in the new generation of Zipp 404s. The 77/177 hubset carries over from the previous generation, and while they've had some hub issues i havent had or heard any complaints about this gen. The rim is where some changes have happened, namely it gets some tweaked aero profiling and trickle down tech from the NSW series in the form of ABLC and Sawtooth brake track. The first will help to optimize the air flow around the wheel which will increase stability in crosswinds, and the second is one of the best carbon rim brake tracks on the market that now comes to Firecrest. To top this off, the wheelset lost about 70 grams or so in weight. While each feature may not seem that significant, all together they actually made for a pretty dramatically improved wheelset.