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Zipp 303 Tubulars - Brake Pads(8 posts)

Zipp 303 Tubulars - Brake Padsgray8110
Nov 7, 2002 5:46 PM
I found a great price on 2002 303's and my gluttonous side is drewling all over them. One curiosity though.. Zipp advertises that they don't need special brake pads.. is this true?? Every other carbon rim I've seen requires a specialty brake pad.. Would a carbon specific pad improve the braking??

I have gone back and forth on this on other forums.JS
Nov 7, 2002 6:41 PM
I will give you my experience and let you judge. I built a set of wheels using the 404 rim (360's)last year and did as ZIPP said and used my standard Shimano pads, these pads already had 1000 mi on them. I had ZERO problems racing(over 1500mi)with these pads and they are still on my bike as we speak. They stopped great on some very long descents, never faded, never squeeled, nothing. I never raced in the rain so I have no experience with them wet. I also only weigh 148-150lbs so take that into account. I have heard horror stories about wear and fade but encountered none of that. I would try the standard pads and see how they work out. Oh, and the reason you can use standard pads on 2000 and later ZIPP's is because the final carbon lay up is ceramic impregnated, this is what gives ZIPP's that distinctive look. See that attached image of my bike and you can see what i'm talking about on the wheels.
I have gone back and forth on this on other forums.dzjek
Nov 8, 2002 1:53 AM
JS, I noticed you used 32 spokes in the rear and 28 in the front. I have just finished a set of zipps (280!) with 32 spokes in rear and 24 in front. What lacing pattern did you use? I used 2x in the rear because at the Zipp web page it is recommended not to use more than 2x. But I am not completely sure..... maybe 3x would be better to counter tangential force. How about durability? What is your experience with these wheels?

As for braking with zipp: you can use normal pads. I used dura ace pads with 4000 km on them. No problems, braking is ok. In wet, you can feel that at first the pads need to wipe off a small film of water, so the first tenth of a second no braking, after that ok.

greets dzjek (amsterdam holland)
I have gone back and forth on this on other forums.tremblay
Nov 8, 2002 2:47 AM
I know a guy who also uses Zipps, and from what I could tell, he was just using standard Dura-Ace brake pads on them. I followed him down a 15% hill and he didn't seem to have any fear, so I figured they must be ok.
Then again, he may just have no fear! (nm)TrekFurthur
Nov 8, 2002 7:30 AM
It's possible. (nm)tremblay
Nov 10, 2002 3:02 PM
Yep, 2X because ZIPP said so.JS
Nov 8, 2002 7:44 AM
While building I realised why ZIPP recommends this. Because of the thick carbon structure where the nipple exits the rim the nipple really doesn't like to be angled, and because 2x puts the least angle on the nipple while still allowing the spokes to combat wind-up on the drive side this is the best plan of action. As an aside, did you notice how incredibly rigid a structure these rims are (my 360's at least). When building you don't move the rim around to get true, you move the hub inside the rim. As far as durability, after a retensioning they have been bullet proof. I built with Hugi hubs and Wheelsmith XL-14 spokes. It's funny, people assume these wheels are fragile but I'll tell they are the stiffest, strongest wheel I've ever ridden. In fact, I had a really bad crash in a race in July, broken collar bone, torn ligaments etc, like any cyclist the first thing I did was check my bike, spun both wheels, perfectly straight, whew!
re: Zipp 303 Tubulars - Brake PadsSuds
Nov 8, 2002 5:20 AM
I have a pair of 303's and experienced no braking problems with stock pads, although I thought that the Zipps wore through stock pads perhaps twice as fast as normal wheels. Like I said, braking perfomace was fine...however, I switched pads to Aztec's green compound, which are designed for ceramic rims, which essential the Zipp braking surface is. The green pads seem to wear better then stock pads with similar performance - Zipp rims don't have a problem stopping my 180lbs.