The Zipp 404 is their leading all-around performer and the Firecrest rim shape makes it an even greater threat to win any race on any terrain. Many athletes are giving the Firecrest 404 rave reviews thanks to its blunted Firecrest® rim shape that increases aerodynamics, stability in crosswinds, brake performance and strength all at the same time. New black rim decals are borderless, thinner and lighter. Weight for this 58mm section wheel is 805 for the rear or 1445 for the set.
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.
New for 2014, the 404 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 Zipp 404 Firecrest Tubular has a 250 pound rider weight limit - Carbon brake pads are recommended