Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Front Wheel (18 Spokes) (Black Decal)

This item is discontinued and no longer available for purchase. You may want to search our site for a similar item.

This is the Zipp Firecrest 303 Clincher Front 18 spoke wheel. In the past few years, the 303 has emerged as one of the most formidable wheels in the pro peloton, with wins in the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders, the Amstel Gold Race and more. Its speed, light weight, and utter reliability have been proven in pro cycling’s most demanding races.

The 303 made history by becoming the first carbon wheelset to win cycling’s two most famous Cobbled Classics, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Its wider rim provided extra durability, and improved aerodynamics. That wider rim also led to the development of our revolutionary Firecrest® platform, and now the revolution has come full circle.

The 303 has been completely redesigned with Firecrest® shaping. The Carbon Clincher preserves the aerodynamic advantages of its tubular brother, while adding the convenience of a clincher tire. And at just 1570g, it’s light enough to climb up the steepest gradients with ease.

All of the hallmark characteristics of the 303 have improved with the Firecrest Carbon Clincher. The Firecrest shaping optimizes the aerodynamic profile of both the front half and the back half of the wheel. In addition, Firecrest moves the center of pressure of the wheel backwards, giving the 45 mm-deep rim the crosswind stability a box-section rim. At the same time, the 26.4 mm-wide brake track (at center) allows the clincher tire to take on a wider, more stable shape without compromising rolling resistance. It’s faster, simpler, and more stable. Or as Zipp technical director Josh Poertner puts it, Firecrest is “lightning in a bottle.”

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 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 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 matte White and matte Black rim decals are borderless, thinner and lighter.

11 speed compatible
This wheelset is not tubeless compatible.
Use 20mm rim tape with this wheelset.

Product note:
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.

  •     2012 Specialized Tarmac SL4
  •     Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge


Color: Black
Material: Carbon
Hub Drilling: 18
Hub/Brake Compatibility: Rim Brake
Valve: Presta
ISO Diameter: 622 / road / 29"
Valve Length: Long 56-74mm
Wheel Size: 700c
Tire Type: Clincher
Front Wheel Type: Road
Front Hub Spacing: 100
Front Axle Type: 9x1
Spoke Info: Sapim CX-Ray
Rim: Zipp 303
Skewer Included: Yes
Internal Rim Width: 18
Hub Used: 88
Rim Depth: 45mm
Brake Track Width (center): 26.40mm
Max Width: 28.50mm
Clincher Bead Width: 17.25mm
Spoke Pattern: Radial
Spoke Length: 260mm
Max Tire Pressure: 125psi
Max Tire Pressure: 8.62bars
Track Adaptable: Yes
Dimpled Surface: Yes
Ceramic Bearing: Aftermarket
Nipples: Sapim®
External Nipples: Yes

This product was added to our catalog on October 28, 2014.