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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

New Wheelset required

Old 04-16-22, 07:15 AM
  #1  
AdamI77
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New Wheelset required

Looking at buying some lighter, faster, quick to engage, good at climbing (2000ft on a regualr basis with 4000ft once every month) and manages cross winds wheels for my Endurace CF SL 8.0 Di2.

Specially looking at the Zipp 303 Firecrest vs 404 Firecrest.
Do any of you own either and recommend them?

What would you think if I had my front wheel as 303 Firecrest and rear as 404 Firecrest?
Reason for this setup is to minimising risks for cross winds, I weigh 65kg .
Looking to use the new wheels with Contis gp5000 tubeless.

Happy to pay up to £1600, so any better wheelsets that are comparable I would be interested to hear of as well.

Current short list are -

ZIPP 303FC
​​​​Zipp 404FC
Split - Front Zipp 303FC, Rear 404FC

Open to other recommendations as well?
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Old 04-16-22, 07:41 AM
  #2  
bruce19
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I am a big proponent of tubeless. They are faster, lighter, and spin up quicker generally.
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Old 04-16-22, 08:37 AM
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Depends. I would do a couple things -- first determine what tire width you'd want to run. With a 30mm exterior rim width, I'm guessing a 28mm tire would be about the right optimal choice excluding any other factors.

Then play with this calculator to determine optimal tire pressure: https://silca.cc/pages/sppc-form

Then cross-reference to the below for TSS 25mm rim for Max pressure advised and ensure this value is above what you determined using the Silca calculator -- eg. for 28mm tire it indicates 59 psi for a 28mm tire.

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Old 04-16-22, 02:04 PM
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I like your thinking OP, except for tubeless. 303 front and 404 rear is a combo I rode for a while. Unless you get a ton of small punctures (glass/wire) there is really no benefit to tubeless. I rode it for a few years and after damaging a tire so badly it wouldn't see and I had to boot it and put in a tube I went back to tubes and have never looked back. It's great for mtb but the benefits for road are small. If you have something like this happen it's a big mess.
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Old 04-16-22, 02:17 PM
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Assuming that a) you're talking about the disc/hookless models and b) you understand the limitations inherent, I don't see how you could be disappointed with either the 303FC or 404FC. I've had the 303S since they were released a couple years ago and I think that they're fantastic wheels. Moving to the FC with their lower weight and better/faster engaging hubs would be a cherry on top. Deciding on the 303FC and 404FC is going to be a personal call (to be honest, it's likely that aesthetics would be a big factor for me - I think that they're both in that pocket of good all-arounders).
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Old 04-16-22, 02:23 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
first determine what tire width you'd want to run.
This is particularly important as the 303 are optimized for 28mm tires and the 404 are for 25mm tires. If you seriously care about aero benefits you need to get the tire the rim was designed for. Personally I would go 28mm unless your roads are glass, so that means 303 rims.
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Old 04-16-22, 07:57 PM
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Agree with WhyFi that there isn't really a bad choice- both the 303 and 404 give heathy weight savings and will feel better/be more fun to ride with. Only real objective benefit for the 404s is that they're a bit more aero, but you've gotta be moving a lot of air for that to be meaningful IMO. I've been on rim-brake 303s for a long time, and you're still going to get steering input from moderate crosswinds. Not spooky or dangerous or anything that requires much thought/energy to deal with, but it'll happen with both wheel depths.
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Old 04-17-22, 05:45 AM
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AdamI77
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Thanks for all the responses.

I will be running 28mm tyres. I am happy with either Tubless or Clinchers as a setup however in my part of the world there are many pot holes and debrit on the roads that cause minor punctured!

Another option I was thinking of was a mix between - Front 303FC and Rear 404 NSW.
Would this be a better split than the Front Zipp 303FC, Rear 404FC?
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Old 04-18-22, 08:36 PM
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Having mismatched wheels, not depth but different stickers/design, would negate whatever benefit for me haha. To put it in plainer language than my previous post- you're splitting some extremely fine hairs here. The 404 NSW is a whole generation old design-wise at this point- compared to the current 404 FC, the benefits would be a marginally nicer rear hub (not sure what maintenance looks like compared to the more traditional hub in the 404 FC) and more intricate dimpling to reduce response to crosswinds, which...matters not at all on the rear wheel. Downsides are much narrower internal width (17.25mm vs 23mm) and a slightly heavier wheel.

Also worth repeating- the efficiency gains that Zipp quotes are typically at 40kph, which for most people is moving pretty good (if not almost entirely above non-descent speeds for solo rides). If that's you speed-wise, get a 303/404 FC set or consider 404s all around. If not, 303 FCs and call it a day.
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Old 04-18-22, 09:05 PM
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I recently purchased the Enve 3.4 wheelset and it's a much improvement from the reynolds assault wheels I had. I already notice the quick response in turning and ability to get up to speed quicker than previous wheelsets. I went with the carbon/ceramic bearing hub option.

It helped immensely with rhe smaller 38mm wheel

Specs are 42mm rear and 38mm front. Tubeless and tube compatible. Includes enve brand brake pads and skewers.

Enve 3.4 on Bianchi Intenso

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Old 04-19-22, 05:09 AM
  #11  
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Sadly Enve's are over double the costs in comparison to the FC...
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Old 04-19-22, 05:17 AM
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Hunt does a decent number of varied F/B depth combos fwiw. If you want lighter weight though, these might be nice: https://us.huntbikewheels.com/collec...34679751704621
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Old 04-19-22, 06:34 AM
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My Endurace SL came with the latest DT Swiss ERC 1400 Dicut (35 mm depth, 22 mm internal width) and the latest 30 mm Conti GP5000S TR tyres. I have to say they are really nice rims/hubs and, most importantly, extremely easy to seat and inflate the Contis without tools. Without a doubt this is the easiest tubeless rim/tyre combo I've experienced.


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Old 04-19-22, 07:03 AM
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I bought the new zipp 303s hookless wheels and use Pirelli p zero 30mm tires. Great so far, but the zipp pressure calculator recommends a very low 52/55 psi pressure that I found to be too low, so I added 5 psi. I also have fulcrum racing 3 wheels with 28mm tubeless tires. 62/65 psi works with them. The fulcrum are better in the wind.
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Old 04-19-22, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by AdamI77 View Post
Sadly Enve's are over double the costs in comparison to the FC...
This is true but the components that have gone in the ENVE SES option is far superior in my opinion. I do have some Zipp 302 wheels on the way for a build that might end up on the Bianchi. I'll give u my review soon.
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Old 04-19-22, 10:27 AM
  #16  
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I have 303 Firecrest (clincher) on my Wilier and like them a lot; very fast wheels.

I also have Roval Rapide CLX's on my Trek and they are also great - they are 50/60 depth too as standard so no need to mix. If anything, I slightly prefer them but then that whole bike is more aero.
https://rovalcomponents.com/products/rapide-clx

I prefer clincher on my road bikes, not a fan of tubeless, but absolutely run tubeless on my MTB where they are actually a real benefit. For road, not so much in my personal experience with 20 000km+ per year.



Last edited by AlgarveCycling; 04-19-22 at 10:30 AM.
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