Smooth is fast. That’s true even when the conditions and terrain get a bit chaotic… You know, cyclocross… gravel roads… steep lonely lanes… urban assaults. The Zipp 303 Firecrest Disc-brake wheelset is durable, lightweight and stiff while also providing the consistent and powerful performance of disc braking.
At the center of the 303 Firecrest Disc Tubular rear wheel is a newly designed 11-speed compatible hub. Larger Swiss stainless steel bearings with a custom cartridge in the front and rear hub shell provide increased durability. The hubset geometry and virtual 3-cross spoke-lacing pattern are optimized for reliability as well as exceptional stiffness, resulting in efficient power transfer and quick acceleration. The result is superior performance in conditions ideal for disc-brake riding.
When it is time to scrub off speed or stop, you won’t have to tense up and 'grab a handful'. You have the consistency and power of disc brakes – precision modulation and stopping power is at your fingertips. You also get the unmatched stability and aerodynamic efficiency of the pro-proven 45mm deep 303 Firecrest rim and the added convenience of tubular wheels.
It all adds up to a smooth ride. And as cyclocross and road veteran Tim Johnson likes to say, smooth is fast. "In dry conditions the one-finger braking can mean the difference between stuffing it up in the corner by sliding out, or keeping on the edge of the perfect racing line," said Johnson, of the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com Team. "In muddy and sketchy conditions, consistent braking, or having brakes at all help me stay in the right rut or give me the confidence to let it rip and push even harder than the previous lap."
The 303 Firecrest Disc-brake wheel set combines that innovative disc-brake-compatible technology with the credibility and heritage of one of Zipp’s most acclaimed wheels, the 303. The 303 Firecrest and its pioneering predecessor, the 303, have been ridden to victory in multiple editions of the two toughest cobbled classics, Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, as well as a multitude of cyclocross victories and even a mountainous Tour de France stage in wet, miserable conditions.
In developing the original 303 wheels, Zipp discovered that a wider rim increases lateral stiffness for sprinting and cornering while also providing greater vertical compliance for greater control, comfort and durability. That wider rim profile led ZIPP to develop our Firecrest technology, which revolutionized aerodynamic efficiency and stability for carbon wheels. The proprietary Firecrest rim shape optimizes the aerodynamic profile of the front half and – here’s the revolutionary part – the back half of the wheel. Firecrest moves the wheel’s center of pressure to be more in line with the steering axis for stability in even the stiffest crosswinds. All of that innovation along with the precision control of disc braking gives you a wheel that’s as smooth as it is tough.
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.
Furthermore it uses external nipples for an easy service.
Symbol picture: The picture shows a clincher front wheel, while the delivery includes the tubular version.