Naturally, Zipp has chose to launch their groundbreaking Firecrest® and Carbon Clincher designs with their most versatile wheel, 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.
ZIPP's full-carbon clincher front wheel, the 404 Carbon Clincher with Firecrest aero profile has been described as the most heavily anticipated wheels of all time.
Its Firecrest aero profile is the first deep-profile carbon clincher front wheel design to offer the superior aerodynamics, ride quality, strength, and handling of a wider rim body. Yet the front wheel of the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher weighs just 740 grams, putting it among the lightest deep-profile carbon wheels 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 many other clincher wheels 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.
You’ll also see the rim skin is embossed with lot's of dimples of different diameters in a pattern which forces the airflow to form thinner, turbulent boundary layers. This significantly reduces the interference drag. The turbulent layer also adheres to the wheel skin throughout an increased airflow angle of attack, resulting in significantly lower drag in cross-wind situations, which means you have even more control with the ABLC (Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control) rim. ABLC increases handling performance by minimizing the low-pressure wake left behind the wheel, allowing for greater tire choice with fewer aerodynamic side effects than seen with other designs. Zipp's exclusive VCLC (Visco-Elastic Constrained Layer Control) technology dramatically reduces rider fatigue, particularly in the hands, arms, neck, and posterior - while greater control of the tire contact patch simultaneously improves cornering grip and minimizes rolling resistance.
Finally, the Zipp 88 front hub with its 88g weight and a super stiff axle is lighter, more durable and one of the toughest hubs out there.
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, the U.S.-based composites supplier of Zipp created a new heat-resistant resin exclusively for Zipp. This technology improves heat dissipation so substantially that Zipp wheels are the only carbon clinchers to pass stringent European safety testing without limitations on rider weight or brake pad options.
Note: Requires special brake pads for carbon rims!
Recommended and approved brake pads for zipp Carbon wheels:
- Zipp Tangente Platinum Pro Evo Brake Pad
- Zipp Tangente High Performance Cork Brake Pad
- Zipp Tangente Platinum Pro (first version Tangente pad)
- SwissStop® Black Prince pad
- Bontrager cork pads
- Zipp carbon/carbon pads
- SwissStop® yellow pads