Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > "The 33"-Road Bike Racing
Reload this Page >

Are older 303's or 404's a good bet for a poor man's race wheel?

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Are older 303's or 404's a good bet for a poor man's race wheel?

Old 11-27-08, 11:16 PM
  #1  
bassic wilson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bassic wilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: south central Kentucky
Posts: 102

Bikes: '89 Cannondale R700 ,'10 BH G5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Are older 303's or 404's a good bet for a poor man's race wheel?

I have been looking for some wheels for next year's road season and am kind of torn. I have recently returned to full-time student/unemployed status and have limited funds (selling off other hobbies for wheels). Here's the deal: I can't afford a new pair of tubular 303's or 404's. That would be my first choice. I see new carbon wheels that are around my money range, but the weight is considerably more than the highly sought after Zipp's. I see used non-dimpled 303's or 404's that I should be able to afford, too. I figure they are pretty darn light, though I couldn't find archive weights on the Zipp site. I'd like folks with more racing and wheel experience to tell me which route they think would be best. I think I could even drop my cheap, heavy shoes if I found a sweet enough deal on used wheels that didn't need surprise bearings or something. Of course, a new set of brand X (maybe Pro Lite or something)wheels will probably need a cassette, plus two tubulars, maybe skewers, and have a warranty . You see my point. New 1500 ish gram wheels or old Zipps? Thanks, in advance, for your thoughts
bassic wilson is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 12:01 AM
  #2  
dmotoguy
Edificating
 
dmotoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland
Posts: 2,452

Bikes: Spooky + Sachs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I'd get a new set.. i bought a used 303 and 404... the 303 has the spokes starting to pull through pretty bad and the 404 cracked in the braking surface... my new vueltas have been good so far!
dmotoguy is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 12:20 AM
  #3  
ridethecliche
Village Idiot
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bahstaaaaan
Posts: 20,247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
1500 grams for a wheelset which is 50mm+ isn't too bad at all. I'd go newer, or very little use zipps if you can find a set.
ridethecliche is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 12:20 AM
  #4  
Cat4Lifer
Velo Club La Grange
 
Cat4Lifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MDR, CA
Posts: 1,215
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When it comes to wheels, I would buy a new set that I could afford.
Cat4Lifer is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 01:50 AM
  #5  
ridethecliche
Village Idiot
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bahstaaaaan
Posts: 20,247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
How much do you weigh?

Neuvation has some good deals on 50mm carbon tubulars. I'm saving up for a set if some deals I'm working on don't work out.

Also, if you don't mind something heavier. The carbon vueltas that bikeisland.com sells seem like a pretty good deal and people on here have used them via a group buy that got pretty good feedback.
ridethecliche is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 06:00 AM
  #6  
MDcatV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,840
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
wheels take a beating moreso than other parts of a bicycle, getting used is a win some, lose some proposition. I'd be worried about the lose some side of that coin as everyone selling wheels says they're "gently used".

check out flashpoint wheels, they're re-badged older design zipps that are a more affordable pricepoint and new w/whatever warranty accompanies them.
MDcatV is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 06:28 AM
  #7  
carpediemracing
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,087

Bikes: Tsunami Bikes

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Used wheels, if you get a good set, are, well, good. But they don't have a warranty or any kind of buyer-reassurance.

You can get new wheels (a pair) for about $1k. Williams wheels has almost current Zipp 404 rims on some wheels listed as "Not yet available". But when they are, they're supposed to be $999 (?).

Clincher
http://www.williamscycling.com/williams/58cc/58cc.html

Tubular (+$200)
http://www.williamscycling.com/williams/58ct/58ct.html

Personally I'd get a 404 type profile before I got a 303 type profile. The taller rims are good for some extra top speed, and the weight penalty is minor. Use a box section or lower profile front rim in gusty or super-fast descent conditions. If I were to choose between the two sets listed above, I'd get tubulars, but that's because I already have tubulars.

No I don't work for or agreed to promote Williams or Zipp. But I looked at wheels for a few people and I think these are the (current) best deal.

As a "disclaimer" I do have an old 440 I build up late this last summer and I own and train/race on DV46s (tubular and clincher). I think the lower profile of the 46s is a disadvantage - that's why I built the 440. Ideally I'd want to have a 60-70 mm rim height wheel, at under 1400g for tubulars, something like the 404 or the 606s from Storck. For clinchers/training I'd want them heavy, like 1800-2000+ grams, kind of like Flashpoints (or the clincher Williams).

cdr
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 08:59 AM
  #8  
Mtn Mike
Super Biker
 
Mtn Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 1,183

Bikes: 2014 Curtlo, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd buy a new wheelset; the best you can afford. I love my Zipp tubies, but don't think I would get a used set unless I knew a lot about the previous owner, nor would I want to use Zipps as my primary wheelset (although I know people that do; they have money to burn) Also, tubular isn't exactly the system of choice for your average poor student. If I were you I'd get a nice alum clincher in the 1400-1500 gram range that you can train and race on. My my 2 cents
Mtn Mike is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 09:03 AM
  #9  
BananaTugger
CPM M4
 
BananaTugger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: The West Side (Of Rochester, NY).
Posts: 4,930

Bikes: Light.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Those older Zipp rims cracking were the reason for the stigma surrounding Zipp.
__________________
Ten tenths.
BananaTugger is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 09:54 AM
  #10  
euphoria
Senior Member
 
euphoria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
what about Planet X?

50mm tubular are on sale for around $800 shipped
euphoria is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 09:58 AM
  #11  
SushiJoe
Knowing's half the battle
 
SushiJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 6,119

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD9 BB30, SRAM Red, Fulcrum Racing 3s

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get Reynolds.
__________________
2009 CAAD9 BB30 Team Issue
MY BLOG.
SushiJoe is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 10:53 AM
  #12  
ridethecliche
Village Idiot
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bahstaaaaan
Posts: 20,247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by euphoria View Post
what about Planet X?

50mm tubular are on sale for around $800 shipped
Does anyone in the US sell those?
ridethecliche is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 11:22 AM
  #13  
rizz
I'm that guy that I am.
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Does anyone in the US sell those?
Just keep in mind that those have a carbon braking surface if that's an issue.
rizz is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 12:04 PM
  #14  
ridethecliche
Village Idiot
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bahstaaaaan
Posts: 20,247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rizz View Post
Just keep in mind that those have a carbon braking surface if that's an issue.
I mean, it is an issue, but you get pads with it. And swapping brake shoes isn't a huge deal.

Though, my 'issue' would be that all my backup wheels are Al clinchers, so the stock carbon cork pads wouldn't work on those.

The solution? Buy swiss stop yellow pads for races. If you have a backup wheelset with Al rims, then you can swap wheels without penalty. Use the stock pads for training since these would wear faster and are a little pricey. But if you use them only for racing, I'm pretty sure you could get a year out of them.

The wheels are also tubular, which is an issue, but I feel if you're going to spend hard earned cash on high zoot wheels, you might as well buy stuff that will be lighter. Tubular tires are expensive as well, which is why these would never be anything more than race only wheels, with possibly a training ride the day before a race so I could get used to riding them again.
ridethecliche is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 04:31 PM
  #15  
jrennie
Race to train
 
jrennie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: suffering on the back
Posts: 3,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Carbon braking isn't just an issue of switching pads. If you have raced on carbon rims you know that they pulse and are grabby(edge, new zipp and new reynolds are suppose to be better). The braking isn't ideal in long twisty downhills and horrible in the wet. If you want aero, fairly light and good braking go with an older set of bontrager carbons with the alum. strip or a set of hed jets.
jrennie is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 05:36 PM
  #16  
ridethecliche
Village Idiot
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bahstaaaaan
Posts: 20,247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jrennie View Post
Carbon braking isn't just an issue of switching pads. If you have raced on carbon rims you know that they pulse and are grabby(edge, new zipp and new reynolds are suppose to be better). The braking isn't ideal in long twisty downhills and horrible in the wet. If you want aero, fairly light and good braking go with an older set of bontrager carbons with the alum. strip or a set of hed jets.
Ah yes. I was going to be using mine mostly for crits. I'd swap back to my neuvations for races in the rain or with extended downhills.

You make a very important point about the braking that I was overlooking a little bit.

I'm pretty light (142 at race weight) and I don't think I would ever run more than a 40 or 50mm wheel in the front since I can already feel the wind blow me around with 27mm rims and I shudder to think what would happen if I had a 60 in the front!

I have the option of saving up for a set of carbon tubulars (50mm) or buying a used hed jet60 clincher rear and then finding something for a front later. I'm not really terribly interested in TT's yet, so these wheels would be seeing me through crits and RR's. I figure that with drafting, the effect of a more aero wheelset is pretty negligible isn't it?

Current wheelset is 27mm front and rear. Is there any point getting only a deeper rear wheel since I wouldn't want to go deeper than a 40-50 front, and the difference between 27 and 40 isn't all that great.

Just found this for those who are interested in the watts saved:
http://www.spinlitecycling.com/ZippAeroEdgeFlyer.pdf

Last edited by ridethecliche; 11-28-08 at 06:54 PM.
ridethecliche is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 08:20 PM
  #17  
Mtn Mike
Super Biker
 
Mtn Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 1,183

Bikes: 2014 Curtlo, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In my experience with my 404 tubies, braking is pretty much a non issue. I use Zipp carbon pads with the Zipp wheels and Dura Ace pads with my alum wheels. The braking with the Zipps is'nt quite as crisp, but who cares. If you need to brake hard enough to lock your brakes during a road race, something has already gone horribly wrong!

Last edited by Mtn Mike; 11-28-08 at 11:09 PM.
Mtn Mike is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 08:30 PM
  #18  
dmotoguy
Edificating
 
dmotoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland
Posts: 2,452

Bikes: Spooky + Sachs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Mtn Mike View Post
In my experience with my 404 tubies, braking is pretty much a non issue. I use Zipp carbon pads with the Zipp wheels and Dura Ace pads with my alum wheels. The braking with the Zipps is'nt quite as crisp, but who cares. If you need to brake hard enough to lock your brakes during a road race, something has already good horribly wrong!
the zipp pads are horrible! change to swiss stops!
dmotoguy is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 09:01 PM
  #19  
bassic wilson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bassic wilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: south central Kentucky
Posts: 102

Bikes: '89 Cannondale R700 ,'10 BH G5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good feedback everyone. Someone asked earlier about me. I am a strong, short burst of power, 200 pounder. I think I'll be back to 190 by spring (I really hope, or else my new speed came with a hefty price). I'll be doing alot of TT's, I am weaker on the road, I love crits. My factory aluminum clinchers are 27mm and 1620g or so.
I think I'll eventually be able to get some fairly new dimples. I'll hold out until I find some at a good price and hope for tubies and stuff for Christmas/B-day. If that doesn't pan out, I'll give in and get some 1500g other brands around January. It sure is frustrating to go from working back to school (monetarily speaking). Thanks to all for the input. I'll continue to watch and read.
bassic wilson is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 09:02 PM
  #20  
Racer Ex 
Resident Alien
 
Racer Ex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Location, location.
Posts: 13,083
Mentioned: 154 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
RTC, Every little bit helps and if you're picking up 15 watts, that's a lot if you're in a break or OTF solo. Might make the difference between being caught or not. If you're working with a 280 FTP, that's 5% less power you need.

I'd be really careful about used older Zipps. My first 303 purchase were really badly beaten up, and 404's tubulars are pretty fragile, can't speak to the clinchers. A lot of other companies were using Zipp rims, so buyer beware. The 50mm carbon stuff is Gigantex (sp?), they are heavier but tougher, and usually much cheaper.

Best pads for wet braking and carbon rims I've found are the Kool Stop salmon. With Reynolds rims they actually stop in the wet better than aluminum rims. With Zipps they are about the same as aluminum rims. Otherwise I run either the KS dual compound or their straight carbon compound. Both burn up pretty quickly but $10 for a set of pads is worth it when you consider what can happen if you miss a corner or can't stop in time.

And a plug for the Token carbon wheels, I used a set for crits last year and not only were they tough as nails (double flatted on gigantic potholes twice and the rims stayed true) but they have very solid braking surfaces and get less pulse than any of the other carbon brands I've ridden. Their pads, once broken in, work really well.
Racer Ex is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 09:03 PM
  #21  
Psimet2001 
I eat carbide.
 
Psimet2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 20,495

Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 539 Post(s)
I have acquired used Zipp 404's this winter. 1 rim came on a powertap I was going to buy anyway and the rim just "got int he way".

It's now clipped off the PT and sitting in the shop. 1 or 2 of the spoke holes look like they might be close to cracking, but I'll keep an eye on them.

I bought another 404 tubular laced up front wheel just the other day. It has been delivered, but I haven't checked it out yet. For me....these are definite TT wheels only. A few times a year in TT conditions is just fine for me. The rear is getting a wheel cover. I have a feeling that the front is in better shape so I might start searching out a nice cheap used disc for the rear instead.

If I decide I don't like them I might just swap them over to cyclocross duty next fall and ride the crap out of them. I am positive that my box sections held me back while riding the sand and some of the mud. The guys running deep section wheels sliced right through the stuff.
__________________
PSIMET Wheels, PSIMET Racing, PSIMET Neutral Race Support, and 11 Jackson Coffee
YouTube Channel
Video about PSIMET Wheels
Psimet2001 is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 10:56 PM
  #22  
bassic wilson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bassic wilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: south central Kentucky
Posts: 102

Bikes: '89 Cannondale R700 ,'10 BH G5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am positive that my box sections held me back while riding the sand and some of the mud. The guys running deep section wheels sliced right through the stuff.[/QUOTE]
bassic wilson is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 10:59 PM
  #23  
bassic wilson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bassic wilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: south central Kentucky
Posts: 102

Bikes: '89 Cannondale R700 ,'10 BH G5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
woops! I meant to use above quote from psimet2001 and go on to say that I've read other folks on BF say the deep wheels are nice in sand/mud. Still sharpening the PC skills-sorry.
bassic wilson is offline  
Old 11-28-08, 11:27 PM
  #24  
wfrogge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a set of the older Zipp rims (Neuvation c38s) and have raced them for two years now with no problems. Have hit some pretty nasty potholes and even had to bunny hop over a bike flying across the road during a crit.

And im no lightweight.
wfrogge is offline  
Old 11-29-08, 12:00 AM
  #25  
ridethecliche
Village Idiot
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bahstaaaaan
Posts: 20,247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Is there any point going less than 50mm's for 'aero' wheels?

I see reynolds attacks for decent prices but they're all of 5mm deeper than my neuvations...

Sure they're about 200 grams lighter, which is great, so they're a little lighter and a little more aero, but isn't the point of aero wheels that the increased depth makes up for a little additional weight in all but the most upward situations?

I'm throwing around all sorts of ideas in my head, so thanks for helping me out
ridethecliche is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.