Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheel

We realize the likelihood of you needing a replacement Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheel is nil, but we still want to look after you and provide it, anyhow. Even if replacement isn't your intent, everyone is able to benefit from the 404's new hybrid-toroidal rim shape and bearing position. It's also good to keep in mind that an 808 setup's stability and handling can be greatly increased by using a 404 up front on windy days. Regardless of the reasoning, the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher will heighten your top end, and deliver an unparalleled versatility in ride quality. And for the latest iteration of the 404, Zipp's refined 188/V9 rear hub and more efficient spoke lacing pattern have been employed.

The 404 is one Zipp's most ambitious rim shapes. Designed to bridge the gap between tubulars and clinchers, the 404 Firecrest maintains a rim depth of 58mm and an aerodynamic brake track width of 24.73mm. The Zipp 88/188 hubs' bearing stance has been widened by 7.5mm, and the rim's body shape has been canted out by two percent. Zipp found that the design creates a more stable structure, and it provides greater vertical and lateral compliance with increased control, comfort, and rigidity. While the 404 benefits from these welcomed additions, to achieve the Zipp-standard of strength and rigidity, the 404 utilizes unidirectional fibers to handle the tensile and comprehensive loading within the rim, and woven fibers in the spoke-hole areas. The combination of fiber patterns creates a high stiffness-to-weight ratio without stacking up the grams.

A number of Zipp technologies went into making the 404 the one of the most versatile wheels in the Zipp arsenal. First, Zipp's US-based composites partner cooked up a batch of special resin for the braking surface. This resin is designed specifically to dissipate the heat that can build up in rims during long periods of heavy braking in order to virtually eliminate the wheel failures that result from carbon hitting its glass transition temperature. The new resin is so effective that Zipp is comfortable claiming to have never had a 404 Firecrest fail due to overheating.

Next, visco-elastic material is inserted between carbon laminate in the rim to reduce road vibration by ten percent. Lastly, the dimples of the Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) on the curved rim section work to create a slight turbulence directly above the rim surface. This creates an artificial boundary layer that forces the laminar boundary layer towards the forward part of the rim to become turbulent. This process enables airflow to remain attached over more of the rim for a longer period of time, providing a lower level of integrated drag. The drag that ABLC creates is called skin friction drag; although it's greatly increased, pressure drag (which is ten times higher than skin friction) is decreased to make the 404 wheels faster than the competition in a wide range of conditions, not just the wind tunnel. While most wheels only enjoy minimum drag at rarely occurring yaw angles of five and ten degrees, the 404 experiences it at the real-world conditions of 10 to 20 degrees.

For the build, Zipp used its proprietary 88 hub on the front and the new 188/V9 on the rear. This new hub design reports a claimed 25% increase in torsional rigidity, and it's also stiffer laterally than the last iteration of the 188. Additionally, it features larger Swiss Steel bearings that distribute load more evenly across the axle. And lastly, the hub's new lacing design allows for what Zipp calls its "virtual three-cross" lacing pattern, which delivers three-cross durability with a two-cross build. The wheels receive an 18/24 Sapim X-Ray spoke configuration, and to minimize mechanical drag, each hub rolls on Swiss Steel bearings.

The Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheel is sold individually as either a front or rear wheel, and it comes in the color Black with either Black or White labels. The rear wheel is available with either a Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo 11-speed compatible freehub body. Each wheel includes a Zipp steel skewer, alloy valve extender, rim strip, and Zipp Tangente cork brake pads.

Please note that Zipp's Tangente Platinum Pro and cork brake pads are designed specifically for use with its carbon clinchers. Zipp also recommends a maximum rider weight of 250lb for these wheels.