There are a lot of reason to buy the Zipp 303. By now everybody is familiar with the blunted Firecrest rim shape that increases aerodynamics, stability in crosswinds, brake performance and strength all at the same time. This latest version is compatible with cassettes of up to 11-speed to work with all modern drivetrains. Black rim decals are borderless, thinner and lighter. But the most compelling reason to get the Zipp 303 is its incredibly low 735 gram weight for the rear or 1310 grams per pair helps make the dream of a 14-pound bike a reality.
Firecrest's signature shaping is designed to optimize both halves of the wheel and balance the center of pressure. This creates a 45mm sectioned rim that is significantly faster than other deeper rims while handling crosswinds like a box-sectioned rim. Despite its ultra-light weight, the 303 is utterly dependable. In fact, the 303 is the first carbon wheel to win Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders.
New for 2014, the 303 Firecrest Tubular is built with a the latest iteration of the 188 rear hub, the V9, along with new spoke-lacing pattern for the rear wheel - refinements that result in improved stiffness and durability. The new hub was developed in cooperation of superstar sprinter Mark Cavendish plus other pro athletes and teams. The new 188/V9 hub has larger precision Swiss steel bearings for increased durability.
New 2-cross lacing on both sides also helps to increase stiffness and durability. The 188/V9 has 25 percent more torsional stiffness than a leading competitive hub. This measure of stiffness is crucial for the direct power transfer to the rear wheel for out-of-the saddle sprints and climbs. The new hub also is laterally (side-to-side) stiffer that its rival or predecessor.
The new wheels retain all the small details that make Zipp wheels what they are. Exposed spoke nipples sit in the aerodynamic shadow of the rims, keeping serviceability simple without compromising speed. And Zipp's signature ABLC rim dimples squeeze every last second of performance possible.
The Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular has a 250 pound rider weight limit - Carbon brake pads are recommended