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Zipp404s?(10 posts)

Zipp404s?Jon Billheimer
Jun 27, 2001 9:59 AM
Does anyone have any experience with Zipp 404s or 303s? I'm thinking of buying a set of 404s, but have heard some negatives about Zipp build quality, poor quality control, etc. The 2001 combination of aerodynamics and weight is hard to resist.
My 303s are magical...biknben
Jun 27, 2001 10:39 AM
I've had the '01 303 tubulars for a few months. I ride them all the time. Not just for events. They are great wheels. The only bad thing I've heard about these wheels is what someone posted in the reviews portion of this site. He claimed they "Delaminated" when he hit a pothole. I find that hard to believe at best.

Mine weighed in at 1220 grams for the wheelset. The braking surface was improved for '01. They added, what Zipp calls, a Silica/Ceramic brake surface. It looks like an extra weave layer on top of the carbon. I have been using standard DA brake pads and find the braking to be as good or better than standard wheels. The pads are wearing quicker than normal but not rediculously fast. I have purchased a set of ceramic specific brake pads but haven't put them on yet. I'm waiting for the DA pads to wear out completely.

The only other thing worth mentioning is that the wheels do flex during standing efforts. I had to widen my brakes so they wouldn't rub. I don't see this as bad thing. Just worth mentioning. Something's got to give when you go this light.

I friend of mine is riding on last years 303s and he loves them also. Last year's model was considerably heavier and didn't offer the special brake surface.

My shop wrench rides the 404 clinchers which he is very happy with. When my 303s arrived he almost got himself a pair.

At $900-$1000 price tag, no other wheel can touch these.

good luck
My 303s are magical...12x23
Jun 27, 2001 11:23 AM
Which glue are you using. Any problems gluing to a carbon surface? Also, what brand tire?
Conti Sprinters with Conti glue...biknben
Jun 27, 2001 12:16 PM
I have read that carbon only offers 50-75% of the adhesive bond of an aluminum rim. But the shape of the Zipps seem to be higher (less rounded) at the sides than an aluminum rim. Hard to explain but the tire is harder to get on and therefore, I think it's held in place better. Maybe enough to make up for the lower adhesive properties of the carbon.

I haven't had any problems. My glueing process is as follows:
-thin layer to rim, thick layer to tire...wait 24 hours
-thin layer to rim...wait 12 hours
-thin layer to rim, mount tire immediately...wait 24 hours before riding

I'll be switching to Victoria Corsa CXs soon.
re: Zipp404s?slbenz
Jun 27, 2001 12:40 PM
I am the proud owner of a pair of 2001 Zipp 404 tubulars. I have owned them since April and have put several hundreds of miles on them including one century ride with no problems. They are definitely lighter (1348 grams actual) and stiffer than my other wheelset which is the Rolf Vector Comp. In terms of quality, the Zipps look and perform great. Much smoother hubs than my Rolfs. The Zipp rim is slightly wider than the Rolf rim, so everytime I switch wheelsets, I need to readjust the brakes. Not sure what else you would like to have answered but I can tell you that the Zipps are a great climbing wheel as well as for time trialing. Great for race day!
I have 440sDuane Gran
Jun 27, 2001 6:55 PM
I have a set of the older 440 wheels, akin to the modern 404 wheelset. They are a pleasure to ride and I highly recommend these wheels. To put it bluntly, most racers either have zipps or they want zipps. There are plenty of fine wheels out there, but these are about as good as it gets unless money is no object. In that case, go for ADA, lew or lightweight.

Personally I don't think I would ride the wheels for everyday riding though. They are really a race wheel. There is something very cool about pulling out these wheels for race day. It is probably between the ears, but I know I ride better with them.
Thanks All.Jon Billheimer
Jun 27, 2001 7:44 PM
Thanks all you guys for your input. You've confirmed my decision to go with the Zipps.
Thanks All.slbenz
Jun 27, 2001 10:07 PM
Not a problem. If you haven't checked for pricing on the Zipps, let me suggest you contact Charlie Weisel of Empire Bicycles in Colorado. That's where I found the best price for my Zipp 404 tubulars. Including shipping, I paid $791.00 for the wheelset. Charlie is a great guy to speak with if you have a question about the Zipp 303s or 404s. Here's his website so you can contact him, You made the right decision going with the Zipp wheelset.
Thanks All.Jay H
Jun 28, 2001 5:43 AM
If you're willing to buy used, I see Zipp 404 clinchers running around the Classified sections here. I just bought a set of 2001 404 Clinchers that are practically brand new (The person had a disc rear wheel so the rear is spot new) for $626 shipped... I should receive it any day now... But there's another person in there now selling a 2000 model for about $600..

Thanks All.Dave F
Jun 28, 2001 8:52 AM
You may also want to check out Appears to be a small operation out of Long Island. The owner was great and really knows his products. Paid $799 for a set of 303's. On top of the great price you also recieve a free set of tubulars of your choice and glue.