The 58mm rim profile is a classic in Zipp’s arsenal that dates back to the early ‘90s. These days, the 404 Tubular still winning races from the Queen K to L’Alpe d’Huez.
|Wheel Size:||700c (622)|
Now, with the advanced Firecrest aero rim shape, Zipp's leading all-around performer is an even greater threat to win any race on any terrain. By controlling airflow around the back half of the wheel, Firecrest makes the latest version of the 404 9 seconds faster than its predecessor over 40km at a moderate 10-degree wind angle. At higher wind angles, the improvements are even more dramatic in terms of both speed and stability. That’s because Firecrest moves the centre of pressure closer to the steering axis, so crosswinds exert lower side force on the wheel.
Aerodynamics aside, the 404’s new 27mm-wide profile offers a slew of other benefits on the road. The upgraded lateral stiffness makes the 404 even more responsive to accelerations and more precise when cornering. And its composite structure is designed to absorb impacts by flexing slightly outward – which gives you a comfortable ride and long-term durability.
Even with all these improvements, Firecrest technology hasn’t added a gram to the 404 Tubular’s weight of just 1278g. On the climbs, it goes toe-to-toe with shallower, less aero rivals. On the flats, it hangs with deeper, less nimble competitors. If any one wheelset can do it all, it’s the 404.
|Zipp Firecrest Rim Technology|
|Firecrest - a better wheel in every way|
For every rider, every discipline, and every ability level, aero wheels make a difference. Every test we’ve ever run has confirmed this basic truth and we’ve never seen data from anyone else that argues differently.
With the new Firecrest rim shape in our 404 and 808 Tubulars and Carbon Clinchers, Zipp wheels make a bigger difference in more ways than ever. Not only is Firecrest more aerodynamic than any other rim design, it improves handling in crosswinds, wheel strength, and overall ride quality.
Discovered as we developed our carbon clinchers, Firecrest refocused our thinking from the front to the back of the wheel. Previous rim shapes were designed to smooth airflow coming off the tyre, and tapered inward from the widest point of a toroidal bulge. But Firecrest rims have a less pronounced bulge and maintain a near-constant width almost all the way to the spoke bed.
Without giving up the proven benefits of the toroidal shape, Firecrest is the first aero profile that effectively controls airflow around the back half of the wheel. The performance benefits are substantial. With Firecrest, the latest 404 Tubular (58mm rim depth) matches the aero performance of the pre-Firecrest 808 (81mm depth). And the new 808 Tubular is faster than any competitor’s 90mm rim.
During the design process, we realised that the advanced mathematics and massive computing power that helped us create a faster wheel could also help reduce the impact of crosswinds on handling. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), we’ve discovered subtle variations in rim shape that improve stability without increasing aerodynamic drag. By moving the center of pressure – the focal point of side forces on the rim – to its optimal location near the steering axis, Firecrest offers stable, predictable handling at every wind angle. In real-world conditions, Firecrest rims are markedly more stable than other rims of equal or even shallower depth.
As we discovered with designs like the Paris-Roubaix-winning 303, a wider rim increases lateral stiffness for sprinting and cornering yet offers greater vertical compliance for more control, comfort, and durability on rough surfaces. The same holds true for Firecrest rims. In both tubular and clincher versions, the wider design better protects tyres and places more rubber on the road while cornering without adding rolling resistance.
Zipp Cycle Components are the producers of wheels, handlebars, cranks and cycle accessories are a manufacturing company located in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and are part of the growing SRAM group. Zipp Speed Weaponry serves a select group of elite companies and athletes, globally located and committed to bicycle and wheelchair competition. Zipp meets the customer's needs for the highest performance, superlative quality components through innovative design and manufacturing utilising the best material and technology available. Zipp is built on mutual respect, delivery on promise and fastidious attention to manufacturing details.
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Wiggle Ltd. 1000 Lakeside, Suite 310, Third Floor N E Wing, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 3EN, United Kingdom /
Company No: 2667809 /
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Executive Director: Stefan Barden.