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Naturally, Zipp chose to launch the groundbreaking Firecrest and Carbon Clincher designs with their most versatile wheelset, the 404. Its 58mm rim depth is a classic all-around performer that has carried athletes to victory in every kind of event – triathlons, criteriums, breakaways, field sprints and even Grand Tour mountain stages.
In fact, Zipp's first full-carbon clincher wheelset, the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher, has been described as the most heavily anticipated wheelset of all time. And following two years of development for its revolutionary rim shape and carbon technology, Zipp are confident that the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher lives up to the hype.
Its Firecrest aero profile is the first deep-profile carbon clincher design to offer the superior aerodynamics, ride quality, strength and handling of a wider rim body. Yet the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher weighs just 1,525 grams per set, putting it among the lightest deep-profile carbon clinchers available.
Designed specifically to account for the differences in airflow patterns between clincher tires and tubulars, the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher far exceeds the aero performance of any other clincher wheelset in its class. As Zipp proved with the Paris-Roubaix-winning 303 Tubular, a wider rim offers greater vertical compliance for control and comfort on rough surfaces while increasing lateral stiffness for sprinting and cornering. The same holds true for Firecrest rims with clincher tires. And because the hook beads are farther apart, the tire itself takes on a more stable shape without adding rolling resistance.
Heavy continuous braking on carbon surfaces can cause spikes in rim temperature and tire pressure that impact performance and handling – especially with clincher tires. To solve this challenge, Zipp's U.S.-based composites supplier created a new heat-resistant resin exclusively for Zipp. This technology improves heat dissipation so substantially that Zipp's are the only carbon clinchers to pass stringent European safety testing without limitations on rider weight or brake pad options.
New for 2014, the 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher 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 kilometres (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 optimise 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.
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Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher 18 Spokes Front Wheel