Naturally, we chose to launch our groundbreaking Firecrest® and Carbon Clincher designs with our most versatile wheelset, the 404. Its 58 mm rim depth is a classic all-around performer that has carried athletes to victory in every kind of event – triathlons, criteriums, breakaways, field sprints and even Grand Tour mountain stages.
In fact, our first full-carbon clincher wheelset, the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher, has been described as the most heavily anticipated wheelset of all time. And following two years of development for its revolutionary rim shape and carbon technology, we’re confident that the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher lives up to the hype.
And new for 2012, the 404 is getting the brand new 88/188 hubset, with a 7.5mm-wider bearing stance in the rear hub, and a driveside hub canted by 2 degrees for improved stiffness and reliability. For 2012, the venerable wheelset is available in a classic Falcon Grey color scheme or our all-new Beyond Black with black-anodized hubs, spokes, and reflective black logos. Its Firecrest aero profile is the first deep-profile carbon clincher design to offer the superior aerodynamics, ride quality, strength and handling of a wider rim body. Yet the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher weighs just 1,561 grams per set, putting it among the lightest deep-profile carbon clinchers available.
Designed specifically to account for the differences in airflow patterns between clincher tires and tubulars, the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher far exceeds the aero performance of any other clincher wheelset in its class. As Zipp proved with the Paris-Roubaix-winning 303 Tubular, a wider rim offers greater vertical compliance for control and comfort on rough surfaces while increasing lateral stiffness for sprinting and cornering. The same holds true for Firecrest rims with clincher tires. And because the hook beads are farther apart, the tire itself takes on a more stable shape without adding rolling resistance.
Heavy continuous braking on carbon surfaces can cause spikes in rim temperature and tire pressure that impact performance and handling – especially with clincher tires. To solve this challenge, our U.S.-based composites supplier created a new heat-resistant resin exclusively for Zipp. This technology improves heat dissipation so substantially that ours are the only carbon clinchers to pass stringent European safety testing without limitations on rider weight or brake pad options.