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Zipp Introduces Limited Firestrike 404 Tubular Wheels, Updates Clinchers

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Last year, Zipp introduced the latest in a long history of aero wheel designs with their new Firestrike platform. Starting with the 404 clincher, the Firestrike moniker became the calling card of Zipp’s highest end wheels. By using a new rim shape and ABLC (aerodynamic boundary layer control) dimple pattern, the new design maximized the amount of stability the wheels provided essentially allowing you to use deeper rims than the conditions would normally allow. Other improvements included their new Showstopper Silicon Carbide (SiC) brake track for drastically improved wet weather braking as well as new hubs, printed graphics, and a new molding process.

There was only one drawback. The Firestrike 404 wheels have only been available in clincher – until now. Not only are the Firestrikes now available in tubular form, but the Firestrike 404 clinchers receive a few updates as well…

WH-404-Firestrike-CC-V2-700F-CPG

Calling it their most technically advanced tubular wheel ever the Firestrike 404 tubular uses their 58mm deep rim with the proven Firestrike shape. Offering the best blend of stability, aerodynamics, and ride quality, the 404 tubular specifically benefits from a new technology called Carbon Shield. Using a new layup process with unidirectional carbon and new molding techniques, the resulting rim is both stronger and lighter. As usual, Zipp took their latest project to the ultimate proving grounds for road wheels – the cobbles of Paris Roubaix. After letting some of the top cyclists do their worst on le Carrefour de l’Arbre, the Carbon Shield wheels all managed to survive, even with less than optimal air pressure. Only found on the Firestrike 404 tubular wheels, Carbon Shield should protect your rims from any unexpected damage.

WH-404-Firestrike--CC-Brake-Track-Detail

COPY-BY-SHOWSTOPPER-Bullet---Showstopper-Rip-Tech ALT4-Firestrike-Rim-Profiles

Along with the new Carbon Shield technology, both the clincher and tubular models of the 404 Firestrike retain all of the advancements from the first generation. That includes the Showstopper brake track with a unique molded pattern and Silicon Carbide surface for wet weather braking, CFD tuning to make the wheel more stable in cross winds, a new ABLC dimple pattern again for increased stability, and the new 88/188 V10 hubset. Using a preset bearing preload, the hubs use a 2 cross lacing pattern, and ship with Zipp’s new (to both models) titanium quick release skewers which have been redesigned to be more ergonomic. The hubs also ship with CeramicSpeed hybrid bearings installed with ceramic balls and steel races for as little rolling resistance as possible. Finally, both models include a new version of Zipp’s ImPress direct print graphics called black razor which not only looks better, but saves weight over traditional decals.

Limited to just 404 pairs of each model, the 404 Firestrike clincher and tubular both sell for $3,600/ €3,200/ £2,750 per pair. That price includes black titanium skewers, Zipp’s new valve extenders by Silca, individual Zipp wheel bags, and Zipp Platinum Pro brake pads. Clinchers include Zipp tubes and rim tape as well.

WH-404-Firestrike-CC-V2-700R-SR-11S-CPG 1

404 Firestrike Tubular Specs:

  • 1,395g per wheelset
  • 58mm wheel depth
  • 27.8mm max width
  • 24 rear spoke count
  • 18 front spoke count
  • Sapim® secure-lock nipples
  • Sapim® CX-Ray® spokes
  • 88/188V10 2x lacing pattern
  • Ceramic bearings (CeramicSpeed)
  • Available in 10/11-speed cassette body
  • ImPress graphics

WH 404 Firestrike CC V2 700 SR 11S CPG Hero...A8W

404 Firestrike Clincher Specs:

  • 1,620g per wheelset
  • 58mm wheel depth
  • 27.8mm max width
  • 24 rear spoke count
  • 18 front spoke count
  • Sapim® secure-lock nipples
  • Sapim® CX-Ray® spokes
  • 88/188V10 2x lacing pattern
  • Ceramic bearings (CeramicSpeed)
  • Available in 10/11-speed cassette body
  • ImPress graphics
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20 Comments
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John
John
9 years ago

Too bad Zipp can’t bring that silicon carbide braking surface to the Firecrest models.

Myke
Myke
9 years ago

Those weights look kind of on the heavier side but to be honest I haven’t looked at road wheels in a while.

shreddie
shreddie
9 years ago

Myke – they are heavy. Bontrager’s new Aeolus D3 wheels in 50mm come in at 1,238g (tubular) or 1,440 (tubeless clincher) for a pair.

Steeve
Steeve
9 years ago

@shreddie- There is a 8mm difference between the Bontrager’s and the Zipp’s
Bontrager (tubeless clinchers) 28.8 grams/mm
Zipp 404 CC 27.9 grams/mm

Jdog
Jdog
9 years ago

Some people still want zipps in tubeless ready and can’t be convinced to ride tubulars or tires with innertubes.

KC
KC
9 years ago

Article says “the Firestrike 404 clinchers receive a few updates as well…” but never states what those updates are. It just says “both the clincher and tubular models of the 404 Firestrike retain all of the advancements from the first generation”. What are the new features on the clincher?

rico
rico
9 years ago

I’ll take 6 pair of the Firecrest tubs plz.

rico
rico
9 years ago

I mean firestrike. Fireman bike.

Dingus
Dingus
9 years ago

Heavy and outrageously expensive? Bold move. I’ve got a set of 43mm carbon clinchers that are 8 years old that weigh about what the Zipp clinchers weigh, and my wheels include a power tap.

Robert W
Robert W
9 years ago

Brilliant ingenerring by Zipp as usual. It’s no wonder they are world leaders in speed.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
9 years ago

Hopefully these hubs hold better than the past ones. No clue why they can’t make a good hub in house. They outsourced for their cross/disc hubs and could do the same for their road hubs, or simply stop trying to make a hub that’s cool and make one that works and keep everything made in the US.

velodude
velodude
9 years ago

I agree that these wheels are too heavy and I’d also like to see a disc brake version with thru axels and center lock so I could run freeza rotors.

SNIPE-HUNTER
9 years ago

SO PUMPED ABOUT SANDPAPER BRAKE-TRACKS!!! Zipp changes the world SO hard!
*They’d be better off scrapping the 404 platform and focusing on what people want to see; low numbers(weight), durability, and sex… they gotta be sexy, not silly.**

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
9 years ago

Hmm. “Too heavy,” they say. I think it’s time for people to revisit the equation of motion for a bicycle and see just how aero influences power needs compared to how weight influences power needs.

myke
myke
9 years ago

@ Psi Squared your assuming that the lighter wheel isn’t as aero (efficient) as the Zipp wheel which is kinda foolish. secondly even if it is more aero is it enough to really matter? there is a balance to everything

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
9 years ago

I assumed no such thing, myke. My point is that stating that the Zipps are heavy is a pointless comment when made without context.

myke
myke
9 years ago

@ Psi Squared again a foolish statement and it is far from pointless. if i am looking at wheels and i know i love some sick wheels but i am not going to race. do you really think weight is not going to be a issue for me at that price? yes it will among other factors. the wheel market is very competitive and carbon clincher or tubbie at said weights don’t do anything to sell more product even if they are super aero. this goes into my there there is a balance with everything statement and i would bet you don’t see many of these on the road in the next from people who pay full retail for their wheels.

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
9 years ago

Interestingy, myke, it doesn’t appear that Zipp has any problems selling their wheels, even if they might weigh more than some. Weight apparently isn’t always a deciding factor. The physics is pretty clear on how wheel weight affects performance compared to wheel aerodynamics.

myke
myke
9 years ago

@ Psi Squared. count the number of non-team related zipp wheels in your group next time you roll out and then lets talk.

goridebikes
goridebikes
9 years ago

myke, just because the people on your group ride can’t afford Zipps doesn’t make them an inferior product.
#burn.

please point out to me someone producing a rim that performs as well in the wind and weighs less. Anyone can make a slightly shallower, troidal rim that weighs less. But guess what… that’s 3 generations ago for Zipp.

On the internet it’s really easy to judge the wheels based on their weight and your perception of overpriced. Try riding them. They are better mannered in cross-winds, faster in straight lines, and stop better than any other carbon rim out there.

I’ve ridden everything from china carbon, zipp, enve, knock-offs and competitors… these are the best. pony up or settle for something less. That doesn’t mean other brands don’t make fine products, but please don’t pretend these aren’t better when it sounds like you haven’t ridden them. 1400g for a 58mm deep wheelset is hard to beat given the width and prowess of these wheels.

Sign me up for a pair, I’m so happy they’re finally available in tubular.

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