Zipp thinks it’s time for the new crop of disc brake equipped bikes to join the growing Aero is Everything trend. With the pros on the verge of adopting disc brakes in more and more races and amateur riders everywhere making the jump to discs, wheel builders have needed to get in on the game too. While Zipp has had disc brake versions of the 202 & 303 (that mainly came out of cyclocross demand) for quite some time, the expansion to 404s and 808s will cover just about anyone looking to eke out a few watts, especially with the little wind and weight penalties you take switching to discs in the first place.

The 404 is the wheel Zipp introduced the wide Firecrest shape that made the industry really jump on the idea of an aero all-rounder wheel, so its adoption on the road with disc brakes will likely be fairly swift. On the other hand the 808 is a dedicated aero wheel, and as we start seeing more aero road bikes show up with disc brake mounts, it will be good to have a proper deep wheel that might handle well in the wind. Check out full details and have a closer look after the break…


Built around Zipp’s 6-bolt 77/177D hubset that they introduced with the 202 & 303 disc brake wheels last spring, the new wheelsets offer the same axle compatibility for all 12 & 15mm standards. The wheelsets ship set up for quick releases, but include the tool-free swappable endcaps. Both wheelsets get built up with 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes front and rear.

SRAM XD-R drivers for 1x road setups will be available separately as all wheels will come with either Shimano/SRAM or Campy 10/11 speed cassette bodies. Zipp has also added a bit more color customization. All of the Firecrest wheels (except w/ Campy freehubs) now can add decals in either red, green, blue, or pink to add to the standard black or white options, all for no extra cost.

Need a bit more kick to recent wheels? The 77/177 and 77/177D hubs have a new CeramicSpeed upgrade kit available coinciding with these wheels’ release. For a pair of wheels for $255/€280/£215 you get an upgrade to hybrid (ceramic balls/steel races) bearings for 1.5-1.9W of savings.

Zipp_404_disc-brake-aero-wheelset_front-wheel-a Zipp_808_disc-brake-aero-wheelset_front-wheel

Zipp’s new 404 and 808 Firecrest Disc-brake wheelsets will be available in both full-carbon clincher and tubular versions, now with no more thought needed for trying to boost wet weather carbon braking or to worry about overheating clinchers from sustained braking.

The 404 DB will weigh in at 1715g for clinchers and just 1545g for the tubulars, with rims 58mm deep and a max of 26.5mm wide. The 808 DB wheelsets are of course a bit heavier, tipping the scales at a claimed 1975g for clinchers and 1760g for tubulars, with 82mm deep and max 27.5mm wide rims. No word on internal rim widths for either of the carbon clinchers.


The wheels also use what Zipp was calling their Firecrest Reborn pricing, which was essentially their price drop across the line from back in the fall. That puts the retail cost for the clincher 808 Firecrest DB wheelset at $2700/2800€/£2160 and the tubulars at $2600/2700€/£2080. The deeper wheels come out to be just a bit more expensive, with the clincher 404 Firecrest DB wheelset at $2400/2500€/£1920 and the tubulars at $2300/2400€/£1840.

Availability for all of the new wheels is slated for May 2016 through regular Zipp dealers.


  1. Rims are getting ffffffffffffffffffffffffaaaaaaaaaaattttt!

    Also, love how bike tech is now quantified in terms of watt savings. It’s like part of the specs now…”1,500 g, 24 spokes, 1.5 watts savings”.

    • Well, some metric of aerodynamic benefit makes sense for an aero wheel, and watts saved is as good as any other metric.

  2. Wait a minute: Sram’s XD-R driver for the road? I didn’t find any mention of that on Sram’s web site, and a google search didn’t do much for me either. Is SRAM considering doing something like a 10-28 or 10-32 cassette for the road? If you don’t need a 10t cog, the XD body is less compelling than it otherwise would be…

    • The XD-R body is 1.85mm wider, just like the 11 speed road freehubs are 1.85mm wider than the old 8/9/10 speed freehubs.

      For XD, apparently it doesn’t impact which cassettes fit (XD is XD is XD), but makes it so the freehub is the same width as 11 speed road (making freehub swaps simple).

  3. that hub is a total piece of junk

    the freehub falls off even under a cassettes own weight when the wheel is off the bike, have had it on every one i have worked on, and zipp dont seem to give a crap

    • This actually happens with a lot of different hubs, not that it isn’t still annoying. Maybe a slightly thicker o-ring on the inside of the right end cap would tighten the fit…

  4. @paul – the Cognition hubset is preety new to the market – and so are the 177’s how many of these have you worked on? If it’s even been one, I’d be worried.

  5. Is there any tech update on the rim or are they just doing what they did with the 303 and using an otherwise rim brake rim without a brake track?

  6. @mikey I believe there are less options, because from a product management and marketing perspective there are several factors that conspire against their sale. Deeper disc wheels are generally heavier, not that much more aero, particularly for the power output that amateurs produce, and potentially much less user friendly in an amateur race (neutral wheel support, dinged rotors). I’m not special in any race, but I can tell you that for the types of races I do, I use my rim braked bike. And I have a disc road bike. The reasons is that the bike is lighter, it accelerates better, cause the wheels are a lot lighter, it’s potentially a lot cheaper to fix/replace parts (pile ups happen in my pay grade, relatively frequently, it seems) and if in a crit and I flat, I can pretty much take any 11 speed wheel if I need to. There’s nothing wrong with disc road, but for the amateur racing scene at this point, I’d rather use my caliper bike.

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