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Old 06-12-12, 09:15 PM   #1
JAX_11
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Selecting the right Carbon Tubulars for road racing

So I started out with a short list of 3 sets of Carbon Tubulars that I was interested in purchasing and racing 6 months ago. They were as the following wheels;
Zipp 202 tub
Zipp Fc303 tub
Shimano c35 tub

After Removing the zipp 202 due to possible flexing/not stiff enough I have gotten down to the other two. The things I am trying to consider is;
Zipp 303 fc
A) are they gonna fit a Cervelo R3 frameset. As the 303 firecrest have fitament problems on the Specialized frames is it possible that they could rub the chain stays of the R3?

b) I like the fact that they are deeper than the Shimano c35s and lighter, but will they be stiff enough to not be rubbing the brakes everytime you put the bike under load?

Shimano c35
A) Are these wheels stiffer than zipp 303s or not?

B) How good is this wheelset and is it worth extra 2-3 hundred more than zipp 303s

I dont want anything deeper than 45mm. I have or had a set of 58 carbon tubulars from american classic and could only ride them half of the races i had them because I could hardly keep the bike straight and upright when only warming up because the wind is brutal on them and me be 5'7 140 lbs. I hope I wouldnt experience this with the 303s.
Anybody have knowledge of these to sets that can answer some of my questions from above about them? If you guys have other ideas wheelset wise feel free to throw those out there also. I will race these wheels on road races only not crits and prefer low aero profile <=45mm light and easy to spin up. Id prefer wheels that spin up easy. Lastly the set out of these 2 that is the sturdy/ strongest made
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Old 06-12-12, 10:05 PM   #2
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Get these
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Old 06-13-12, 05:13 AM   #3
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You can always go with a taller rear wheel and a shorter front - the rear almost has a stabilizing effect on the bike.

Regarding the fitment issues how about a 303fc front with 404fc rear?
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Old 06-13-12, 07:00 AM   #4
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You can always go with a taller rear wheel and a shorter front - the rear almost has a stabilizing effect on the bike.

Regarding the fitment issues how about a 303fc front with 404fc rear?
This. It should solve the fit issue, given the 404fc don't have the same frame fit issue as the 303's, and the 404 in the back shouldn't be a big issue handling wise.

The 303fc has a very consistent wind tunnel profile across different yaw angles, and is thus supposed to be better than many deep sectioned wheels in cross winds, and actually has lower drag than the 404fc as some wind angles.

And the 303fc is stiffer than the 404fc.

there's a recent thread in the 41 going over 303fc vs 404fc in great detail.
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Old 06-13-12, 07:26 AM   #5
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I like my 303 FC tubies. Use them for racing primarily. Stiff enough, they are very stable when the winds blow compared to regular deep v wheels, and the ride quality is really good when hitting some bumps they way the side flexes.

The C35 are great wheels also. Many big pro teams using them.

If you want the stiffest wheel possibl, that would likely be the Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate. All carbon. Same weight as 303FCs. Liquigas uses them. Sagan surely can put a beat down on those wheels, as proof they are versatile and stiff.

Fitment, have no idea. But, Specialized Venge frames have issues with rubbing on the chain stays due to the wider rim being produced after they did their design/molds. Haven't heard of Cervelo having any issues. That was the 303FC specifically, the 404 FC, due to a slightly taller/different profile, didn't have that issue on the Venge.

Can't recall if I've seen people with FCs on any Cervelos...surely people are running them??

What do you want specifically out of a wheel? Aero? Stiff? The new HED Stingers, Bontrager D3, Zipp FC are all in the new Aero category/toroidal (sp?) shape.

Stiffness, not as aero, I would get the Cosmic Carbone Ultimate personally. But for my needs, the 303FCs can really do it all. And the price of the 303FC tubies you can get for $1700-1800.

I happened to find a good deal, not retail mind you, on brand new 303 FCs off the bay with Vittoria Corsa CX 320tpi tubies mounted. $1800 shipped to my door. Will Zipp warranty them? Who knows. I didn't buy them retail, but then again, don't care about a warranty. Nobody is going to cover a crashed frame/wheel, only flaws/manufacturing defects.
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Old 06-13-12, 09:26 AM   #6
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I like the Idea of the 303-404 combo. which wheels would you think were stiffer personal opinion between the shimano c35 and zipp 303s?
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Old 06-13-12, 09:55 AM   #7
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6, 1/2 dozen, the other.

If 303 FCs are good enough for 6'4" Boonen in Paris Roubaix, and other riders like Cav, who I believe typically runs 404s with Shimano hubs, then they are good enough for you/me. I think some people believe the Shimano hubs to be stiffer/better overall. That is why Cav has his built that way. The new 188 rear hub is wider than the previous version, to make it stiffer, so maybe they gained some stiffness in comparison. The way they are strung up and hubs will make a difference on the lateral stiffness, but I haven't seen any comparison data anywhere between the two. I weigh 170lbs, I get some rear brake track rubbing on the pads when I set them real close, so I open the pads up some, when climbing under big loads. From what I understand, that actually means the wheel is stiffer if it moves laterally between the pads more.

The other difference is the slight aero advantage of the 303/404 FC combo over the Shimanos. But really, it comes down to the rider how the bike moves forward and the aero difference in reality won't matter much.

I don't think you can go wrong with any of those two options. Big pro teams run both of these wheels successfully in many race conditions. Comes down to personal preference I would say.

I've never ridden the C35s, can't help with that. But going from a deep v 50mm carbon clincher I use for training, onto the 303FCs, is night/day in the handling, ride quality and feel overall. Just a general observation.
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Old 06-13-12, 10:31 AM   #8
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At your weight, stiffness won't be an issue at all. I like the idea of the staggered 303/404 combo. I've been running a 404/808 at 158lbs and don't fight the wind all that much.
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Old 07-05-12, 07:31 PM   #9
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If you've got the cash to drop on wheels like those, I wouldn't be turning to BikeForums for your answers. Go into a shop, say, "Hi, I'm looking to drop two and a half K on a pair of wheels. I'd like you to put them on my bike to ensure the clearance is sufficient. And I'd also like you to call Cervelo and Zipp on my behalf and double check this."

And many (all??) Zipp retailers have demo wheels.
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Old 07-05-12, 08:41 PM   #10
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If you've got the cash to drop on wheels like those, I wouldn't be turning to BikeForums for your answers. Go into a shop, say, "Hi, I'm looking to drop two and a half K on a pair of wheels. I'd like you to put them on my bike to ensure the clearance is sufficient. And I'd also like you to call Cervelo and Zipp on my behalf and double check this."

And many (all??) Zipp retailers have demo wheels.
This, plus whichever has better/cheaper replacement policy.
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Old 07-05-12, 09:26 PM   #11
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#whitepeopleproblems

I can say that 'cause I'm white.
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Old 07-05-12, 10:23 PM   #12
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#firstworldproblems

I can say that 'cause I'm white.
Fixed.
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