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Who has '03 Zipp clincher experience?(9 posts)

Who has '03 Zipp clincher experience?lokstah
Sep 29, 2003 11:17 PM
Anyone have any experience with '03 Zipp clinchers? I've read all the endless horror stories about the '02-and-earlier versions of the 303 and 404 clinchers, but I'm not sure if any of the tales of warping rims and flaring seams out there pertain to the re-designed wheels as well.

Zipp makes a very big deal out of the fact that their '03 clinchers sport a totally overhauled rim design. Anyone have '03 Zipp clinchers?
maybe -- also tire mounting rantDougSloan
Sep 30, 2003 6:34 AM
I had problems with the 02's, and Zipp replaced them early this year. The new ones seem beefier in the aluminum channel, but, sorry to say, are about 50 grams a wheel heavier. I guess you can't get something for nothing.

Also, if you get them, use the special Zipp brake pads. They dissipate heat better, and this is needed for rims having little or no (all carbon) aluminum for a heat sink.

I still have a grip with the clinchers, though. Even worse than Campy rims, they are a real pain in the butt to change tires with. The rim channel is shallow, so you don't get as much give when mounting the opposite side. Plus, the edges of the rim are relatively squared and sharp, a combination that makes is very easy to pinch a tube (or finger) when mounting tires.

With lighter and lighter clincher rims appearing, it seems to me this mounting issue is getting worse. Obviously some weight can be saved by making the channel shallower. But, it comes at the expense of making some tire mounts extremely difficult, especially on the road. Last thing you want to worry about is being out on the road, in a fast group ride or race, no less, and screwing with a tire/tube for 15 minutes, or worse yet, pinching your spare tubes.

Some tires work better, like Veloflex or Vittoria, and all tend to work better after they have been stretched a little after mounting and inflating. Nonetheless, a bad combination is a difficult to mount rim with light weight (usually less flat resistant) tires and tubes.

Now, if you only mount tires at home and never get flats, no big deal.

maybe -- also tire mounting rantlokstah
Sep 30, 2003 8:29 AM
"Now, if you only mount tires at home and never get flats, no big deal."

Funny you should mention it. The only flats I've changed within the last year have been my girlfriend's. 1500+ miles on my current set of Pro Races, no pinches or punctures or leaks. Good thing too -- I'm using the Shimano 6500 wheelset which, with the Pro Races, is an impossible combination to work with.

As for the Zipps, thanks for the input. I figured that if they had redesigned them for '03, it was in the face of all of the consumer frustration about the rims being too susceptable to warping and overheating... and that it was likely the '03s were simply tougher (and heavier).

Aside from the mounting difficulty with your replacements, though, do you feel as though the re-design is holding up? In terms of rim durability, holding true, and so on? Anyone else been on the '03 Zipp clinchers long enough to offer feedback?

Thanks again.
Difficult, but can be made easierIronbutt
Sep 30, 2003 11:20 AM
The tire/rim combination that you have is difficult, but there are some things that will help. First, just toss the tires out to lay in the sun for a half hour before you attempt to mount them. Then, while they are nice and warm mount the tires on the rim without inserting an inner tube. This will stretch the Kevlar bead slightly and make final mounting easier. When you are installing the tire and the tube, make sure that the inside of the tire and the tube are liberally coated with tire talc, which will make popping the last few inches of the bead over the rim a lot easier. A little talc on the bead of the tire doesn't hurt anything,either. I've been using the same tire on a set of Shimano WH 7700 for two years. The first set of tires that I mounted, I managed to break off a tire lever!
Sep 30, 2003 11:46 AM
Thanks Ironbutt -- those are good tips. I'll keep them in mind next time I need to rework these rims/tires. If I can keep up my lucky streak (knocking on wood as I type), it may not be necessary until I decide they're finally mangled enough to replace with fresh rubber. What's the longest anyone's gone on Pro Races, anyways?

Any more '03 Zipp clincher experiences out there?
Not 303 but 404'sMGS
Sep 30, 2003 3:45 PM
I have the 404 clinchers. Same rim as the 303's.

I had rim warp with a pair of 404's purchased in 2002.

They replaced the rims free of charge last year and I have ridden them over 1500 miles this season as daily use rims.

Not a bit of trouble.

I ride on Vittoria CX clincher tires and find changing them is easy.

Hope this helps.
re: Who has '03 Zipp clincher experience?mja
Sep 30, 2003 3:52 PM
2003 Zipp 404 clinchers, Vittoria EVO tires
1000 miles, many on rough tar-and-chip roads
(I weigh in at 175 lbs.)

No problems, whatsoever!
(Slight truing on rear, not really necessary.)

I like these wheels. They seem to be quite sturdy. And the workmanship is very good.
As far as problems related to heat dissipation, my riding is not really putting the rims to the test.
re: Who has '03 Zipp clincher experience?lokstah
Sep 30, 2003 4:32 PM
Thanks for the replies; good to know. Sounds like the '03 re-design might have taken care of those issues after all. I've got access to some good pricing and find myself considering a pair of either 404s or 303s for use on a new build I'm planning... it'll be a moderate-to-lower use bike, maybe a ride a week. A nice build, though.

I'll let you know what I ultimately decide. Thanks again for the input!
Oct 2, 2003 9:08 AM
Sorry it took so long to respond--I don't check this board very often.

I had a few pairs of '02 clinchers that Zipp warrantied once they flared. I've got several sets of '03's (on my 29" mtb, 29" single speed, road bike, cross bike, etc...) and have yet to have a problem. One set of 303's was raced over 1000 miles on a mountain bike this year, all in Colorado, and has yet to give me any trouble. Another set (different bike) has close to 6000 off-road, high mountain miles on it with the same result--no problems. I use normal Kool-Stop brake pads on all my bikes.

The '03's are heavier, but they are also much more durable, and I think ride quality hasn't changed with the added weight.

Depending on what you're looking for, I might have a wheelset for you.

mikec at bwn dot net