The 303 is a wheel you can never count out. In 2010, it became not only the first carbon wheel to win a major cobbled classic, it won the two biggest classics: Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. The wheel is light, utterly dependable and aerodynamic. And it’s just gotten even better.
Our exploration of the 303’s wider rim led to theFirecrest® technology. And now that development has come full circle with the 303 Firecrest. The new wheel features Firecrest’s signature shaping designed to optimize both halves of the wheel, which creates a rim that is significantly faster and also much easier to handle in crosswinds.
At just 1,335 grams, the weight of the new 303 is virtually unchanged from its predecessor and remains one of the lightest carbon wheelsets anywhere. Its 45 mm-deep rim outperforms much deeper rims with a traditional V-shaped cross-section. And yet, because Firecrest technology allows us to manipulate the wheel’s center of pressure, the new 303 handles like a box-section rim. It’s ultra-stable, and suitable for even the windiest days.
And because the 303’s new 26.45 mm-wide brake track (at center) has been optimized for wider tires, the ride quality is better than ever.
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 our signature ABLC™ rim dimples squeeze every last second of performance possible.
To complete the package, Zipp® has refined its venerable 88/188 hubset, reshaping the hub body and pushing the non-drive-side flange and bearing out by 7.5 mm on the rear hub to increase overall stiffness and strength. The wheelsets come with two decal options, the stealthy Beyond Black or the distinctive Classic White decals. Both decal options feature black anodized hubs, black spokes and black nipples.
New for 2014, the 303 Firecrest Tubular is built with a the latest iteration of our 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 of the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team and is in use by other top pro cyclists and triathletes including Pete Jacobs and Mirinda Carfrae.
Cavendish received early hub prototypes in January 2013 and logged 13,000 kilometers (8,078 miles) on continually refined variants, including his stage victories at the Giro d’Italia and the 2013 Tour de France. His feedback helped optimize the hub’s flange geometry, stiffness and weight.
The new 188/V9 hub has larger precision Swiss steel bearings for increased durability. Our new “virtual 3 cross” lacing on both sides of rear wheel improves stiffness, achieving 3 cross stiffness in a 2 cross pattern with a new spoke geometry. 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.
New for 2014 wheels, our fully die cut Classic White and Beyond Black rim decals are borderless, thinner and lighter.
11 speed compatible
The wide profile of the 303 Firecrest is crucial to Zipp’s revolutionary Firecrest technology used to create wheels with superior aerodynamics as well as improved stability and handling.
The rear 303 Firecrest, however, may present some fitment issues for a small number of road and triathlon frames. The clearance between the chainstay and the rim may not be adequate to avoid contact between each other when ridden under load.
We urge customers who plan on riding the 303 Firecrest to test the wheel within the frame in which they intend to ride it, under normal riding and road conditions, before purchasing. Clearance within individual frames of the same size, from the same manufacturer, may vary. That is why it is imperative that you test the wheel in your frame, or in the frame that you are considering purchasing.
Customers who run into this fitment issue may select any other spoked wheel within the Zipp lineup as an alternative,including the 404 Firecrest with its narrower aero-width profile.
Below is a list of known frames that may present this issue. This list will be updated if this fitment issue is discovered elsewhere.