The Zipp 404 Firescrest Carbon Clincher is getting rave reviews thanks to its Firecrest® rim shape that increases aerodynamics, stability in crosswinds, brake performance and strength all at the same time. Zipp's 404 has been their perennial best seller because it hits the sweet spot in terms of aerodynamic benefit of the 58mm section rim at a low weight. The new "Beyond Black" version with a black hub, spokes and graphics delivers a style update that takes it to the next level.
By controlling airflow around the back half of the wheel with a wider, blunted edge, Zipp made the Firecrest 404 nine seconds faster than its predecessor over 40km at a moderate 10-degree wind angle. At higher wind angles, the improvements are even more dramatic in terms of both speed and stability. That's because Firecrest moves the center of pressure closer to the steering axis, so crosswinds exert lower side force on the wheel. A quick peek at Zipp's drag comparison chart confirms no other wheel cuts through crosswinds as effectively as the 404 Firecrest.
Other benefits of the new rim shape include better lateral stiffness for improved acceleration and a more solid feeling when cornering. The rim's composite structure is designed to absorb impacts by flexing slightly outward - which gives you a comfortable ride and long-term durability.
The Zipp 404 is built with Zipp's VCLC system, which uses a shock-absorbing material to reduce vibration by 10%. The VCLC system also helps your wheels stay glued to the pavement under all conditions. To complete the package, a Zipp 188 hub features a 17mm axle for high strength and super-round Swiss-made, stainless steel cartridge bearing for low friction. Select Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo.
The Zipp 2012 404 is compatible with Shimano and SRAM cassettes of up to ten speed - It is not Shimano 11-speed compatible