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Zipp wheels(9 posts)

Zipp wheelsBrad S
Feb 10, 2003 3:27 PM
A friend has given me a Zipp front wheel to use this year. It is a deep tubular rim (probably 58mm) and labeled a Zipp 440 rim, laced a the old Zipp carbon hubs. I think it was bought new back in 94-95 maybe. Anything I should know about this wheel? Any problems with these rims?

I am curious how well it breaks (as in stops, not snaps in two!) with normal brake pads. Should I use composite pads with it.

Also, in the middle of the rim where each spoke enters there is a slightly concave depression. What has caused this, and is it anything to worry about?
Feb 10, 2003 3:48 PM
I've had no experience with this wheel but I can give you some general advice.

Never ever ever ever use regular brake pads with a carbon rim. Aluminum rims tends to have texture and tiny grooves to disipate water... you don't have this luxury with flat carbon.

The concave depression sounds like a dent. Just watch it... I doubt its anything to be worried about.

Feb 10, 2003 4:16 PM
I have Zipp 404's on my TT bike and my LBS swore up and down that I didn't need special brake pads. Just the regular 'ol Shimano pads. So that's what I've been using for two years. I don't know who to believe any more.
How well can you brake in wet? How are the rims wearing?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 10, 2003 4:19 PM
How well can you brake in the wet and how are your rims wearing. If I were riding an expensive carbon wheelset (aero or disc) I wouldn't risk the lifespan and not use the special brake pads.

How well can you brake in wet? How are the rims wearing?JimP
Feb 11, 2003 6:30 AM
The real problem with "regular" brake pads on carbon fibre rims is that the carbon fibre does not dissipate the heat like aluminum and thus the "regular" pads can actually melt. The brake pads made for carbon fibre rims are usually made of harder materials that can tolerate the heat better. Since the carbon fibre rim is considerably harder than aluminum, the worse that will happen to the carbon fibre rime with the "regular" pads is that the pads will leave a film of rubber where was melted off of the pad. This film can be removed with a 3-M Scrubby or fine sandpaper if desired. I have used Shimano DA pads for over 4 years on my Nimble wheels and have no indication of any wear on the rims.
440's and 404's have different....slomo
Feb 10, 2003 5:00 PM
...braking surfaces. 404's have the ceramic braking surface (ok to use regular pads) while the old 440's just have a smooth epoxy resin surface. you should be using carbon specific pads with the 440's
anything will workDougSloan
Feb 10, 2003 5:04 PM
I've had 3 sets of Zipps, 2 carbon and one clincher, as well as some Velomax Ascent Pro with Lew carbon rims.

99% of the time, normal pads work. They can be a little bit grabbier, though. On repeated, hard braking efforts, like 6 mile descents, you can overheat standard pads a bit, but they still work. You will consume them faster. I've actually had smoke come off pads, which is really cool.

Zipp now recommends a special pad for both carbon and alum rims:

not a depression...slomo
Feb 10, 2003 5:07 PM
...i think the carbon material actually swells due to the amount of pressure being exerted - or - during the maufacturing process, the carbon/expoxy mix shinks back, forming those swells/depressions. just my guess. im not sure if this poses any structual problems. you should call zipp and ask then post back. i have the same front rim and have the same concerns. i will be sending a pic of it to zipp to get a definitive answer.
re: Zipp wheels and brakesdotkaye
Feb 11, 2003 10:42 AM
Zipp's recommended pads are $18 for a pair. Nice'n'pricy.
But Zipp also says: "Other recommended pads are Shimano or Campagnolo pads designed for use with carbon rims, and KoolStop Black pads."
Me, I'm going for the Koolstop Black with my 440. They were surprisingly difficult to find, but Loose Screws ( has them for $8.50