Zipp’s expanded disc brake wheelset lineup now includes a 404 Firecrest Disc Brake Tubeless Clincher Wheelset. Now that you have a disc brake bike, your friends and opponents are going to regret it when you install these wheels.
While this wheel is tough enough for gravel grinding and cyclocross, it is best utilized as a road racing wheel, hoops you want to use in crits, in flat to rolling road races, and in rolling time trials. Triathletes who fear getting buffeted by the wind, can run the 404 front with a deeper rear, or two 404’s and get lots of speed while not worrying at all about side winds.
While the Firecrest name has been retained from the rim-brake carbon clincher of the same depth, and the design principles remain the same, the rim has been largely redesigned around the needs of wider and tubeless tires as well as braking needs. The third-generation ABLC dimples on the rims, the pattern of which is specific to the 404 depth, have been extended all the way to the tire. This is because there’s no more brake track. Material has also been moved around because the brake track isn’t necessary. The depth remains 58mm, but the max rim width has been nipped in to 26.4mm down from 26.53mm. The internal rim width is 19mm, up from 16.25mm. This 19mm width means that you should use tires no narrower than 23mm, and that the width has been optimized for 25mm wide tires.
If you want to take these off road, because you’ve put them on your adventure bike, have no fear. Zipp has confidence in their wheels for off-road applications. When the embarked on creating their first carbon clincher, they benchmarked aluminum rims, knowing they had to make something stronger before they’d feel comfortable releasing the wheel to market. They exceeded aluminum rim strength and then some.
Zipp employs their 77/177D hub set, which was purpose-built for disc braking. There are 24 aero Sapim CX-Ray spokes, both front and rear. A cross pattern is necessary in front to counter the forces of braking. The flanges are slightly taller to work around the six-hole rotor mounts and the 17mm axle. While you can see that the spokes have a two-cross pattern, it actually possesses the lateral stiffness of a three-cross thanks to the size of the flanges and the orientation of the spokes. The benefits of the design are more aero and shorter spokes. The rotor mounting method is six-bolt.
The front wheel weighs in at 800g, the rear 915g. Maximum recommended tire pressure is 125psi, which should be overkill for any tire you’d want to install on this wheel. Maximum recommended rider weight is 250lbs.
For rear wheels, Zipp offers both a Campagnolo-compatible, and Shimano/SRAM-compatible cassette body. The latter comes with a spacer for 9/10/11-speed cassettes. In both cases, the 177D hub body allows you to install a SRAM XDR Driver body for super-wide range gearing.
The wheel comes with quick releases and endcaps to convert the hub for thru-axle or quick-release use. The included endcaps can convert the front wheel from 100x12mm to 100x15mm to quick release. The rear has endcaps for 142x12mm and quick release. They also include a spacer to convert the cassette body from eleven-speed to ten-speed. Also included are: rim strip and a tubeless valve, both installed at the factory, and a valve core removal tool.
The Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Tubeless Disc Brake wheelset is the road racing wheel that gives you time trial speed without disc wheel weight or crosswind issues.