's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Zipp 303 carbon clinchers(10 posts)

Zipp 303 carbon clinchersDog
Feb 16, 2002 3:53 PM
Got some Zipp 303 2002 carbon clinchers, carbon shell with an aluminum outer rim. 40mm deep, 20 spoke front, 28 rear; semi-eliptical spokes, straight pull front.

They look fine. The finish work is good. The carbon hub end caps look sorta cool, if your in to that stuff. I yanked off all the stickers right away.

They were perfectly true out of the box.

They were not as light as advertised. I measured 791 rear, 636 front. Still on the light end for semi-aero clinchers. Did not "feel" as light as the Zipp 303 tubies, but then they aren't. Much better braking, though. The skewers (extra cost) were right on as advertised at 85 grams, combined.

Tires/tubes installed ok. There is a bit of a sharp lip, though; could pinch a tube if not careful.

Did a 62 mile hilly and flat road race on them today. Nothing remarkable, really, although I did speed past everyone on the descents (but I nearly always do). I was expecting them to kick in an motor me up the biggest climb, but it didn't happen.

The rear skewer came loose right before the finish on a hard climb and I had to stop and tighten after I realized my tire was rubbing against a chain stay. I guess the ti stretches a little. Will have to clamp extra hard next time.

Also ran the new Michelin Pro Race tires. Again, nothing remarkable. Good ride, great stick.

End of report.

Good deal... so now you're in a position to tell me...AllUpHill
Feb 16, 2002 4:15 PM
...if I'm only going to be getting one of either the 303 clinchers or the 303 tubulars, which should it be? Don't mean to bring up a tub./clincher debate, but I guess I am doing so only as it applies to this wheelset.

I've been sold on getting the tubulars (2002) which are regarded as such a fine, super-light wheel, because it would seem such a waste to get a "corrupted" version with heavy aluminum piece slapped on at maximum distance from the hub (the worst place for acceleration).

The fact that you had the tubular version and then later decided to pick up the clinchers makes me think you had a particular reason ... perhaps just to avoid the hassle of tubulars, or something else?

Big Thanks.
Feb 17, 2002 9:16 AM

*less hassle
*much better braking
*brake pads last longer
*can carry only tube for spare


*less rotating weight
*can use higher pressure tubies
*if you have to carry an entire tubie for spare, that shoots the weight wavings

99.99% of my riding is unsupported, even races, so over all I think clinchers work out better; the 303 clinchers are as close to as light as many tubular wheels, too. With lightweight tires and tubes, the weight is about the same.

The rim weight of the 303's if right around 400 grams. For a 40mm deep rim, that's pretty amazing.

Last year one time I used tubulars in a road race, I flatted and spend a lot of time yanking at the tire to remove it. Either I do really good glue jobs, or just had bad luck with that one. Anyway, that basically convinced me to use clinchers, except when a support car is right there.

But, even with support, if I'm plunging down twisty mountain descents, I much prefer the breaking on aluminum vs. carbon. Carbon braking last year almost put me into oncoming traffic from the grabbiness. It sucks. I thought I read that was Jan's problem that caused the endo in the Tour, too.

So, for me it boils down to support or not and braking. No doubt about it, if I had only one set, I'd get the clinchers.

BTW, in the skewer, I'll try it again REALLY clamping it down. If it less loose again, it's history.

About that rear QRDMoore
Feb 16, 2002 5:07 PM
I've never found a lightweight Ti rear QR that would hold my rear wheel firmly in place on my Litespeed Ultimate, and I don't even have any power. The lightest rear skewer I've found that will actually hold the wheel in place is a Ritchey. I'd suggest a steel rear skewer - stock DA or Record - to go with whatever featherlight front skewer you like. I have a Bold in front and think it's great.
How old is your Litespeed12x23
Feb 17, 2002 7:34 AM
Several years ago (95, I think) they changed the dropouts to grade 4 ti, or so they told me, so the skewer could get more 'bite.'
How old is your LitespeedDMoore
Feb 17, 2002 7:38 AM
I'd forgotten that. Mine's from '94, so I think mine are older (6/4?) version.
Feb 16, 2002 7:56 PM
Ti rear skewers are a baaad idea. I'm a girl, and I've pulled them. I'd stick to steel, much safer.

Saw a guy in a cross race knock out 2 teeth and severely break / dislocate an elbow because a Ti skewer let go coming off a curb. I'm sure I speak for the other forum members when I say we'd hate to see the Dog go down while honking hard up a climb.


Weight and QR on the 303'sMGS
Feb 16, 2002 9:18 PM
The weight you got is 1427 grams, within 47 grams of the advertized weight of 1380 grams. That's pretty close. Did you have rim tape on?

The best light weight quick release, made of Ti is one that I was told about by Tom Kellog at Spectrum Cycles.
He told me about a Bold QR, at
Advertised at 49 grams a pair. I've used them on several bikes for over four years.
They don't fail, and the hold like steel.
You can e-mail or call Albert Bold, he actually will talk to you on the phone.

Give us a future update on the wheels.
Bold skewersDMoore
Feb 16, 2002 11:47 PM
I have a set of Bold's, based on the Spectrum recommendations. Front skewer is great, but rear skewer will NOT hold my rear wheel in place on my LItespeed. This may well be related to the Ti dropout on the LS, but I'm never going to be mistaken for a powerhouse rider and the rear Bold skewer doesn't work for me.
re: Zipp 303 carbon clinchersCT1
Feb 17, 2002 2:34 PM

Your wheel selection sounds like a good solution!!

BTW: did you look at the new Bill Shook deep V's before getting the Zipps? They look like a real nice alternative to the carbon rimmed deal. About 1450gms and 34mm(?) deep and only $500. Hmmmm..... tasty!

ride on