Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Rear Wheel (Disc Brake) (Shimano/SRAM) (11-Speed)
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.”
Smooth is fast. That’s true even when the conditions and terrain get a bit chaotic… You know, cyclocross… gravel roads… steep lonely lanes… urban assaults. The Zipp 303 Firecrest Disc-brake wheelset is durable, lightweight and stiff while also providing the consistent and powerful performance of disc braking.
At the center of the 303 Firecrest Disc Carbon Clincher Disc-brake wheelset is a newly designed 11-speed compatible hub. Larger Swiss stainless steel bearings with a custom cartridge in the rear hub shell provide increased durability. The hub geometry and virtual 3-cross spoke-lacing pattern are optimized for reliability as well as exceptional stiffness, resulting in efficient power transfer and quick acceleration. The result is superior performance in conditions ideal for disc-brake riding.
When it’s time to scrub off speed or stop, you won’t have to tense up and ‘grab a handful.’ You have the consistency and power of disc brakes – precision modulation and stopping power is at your fingertips. You also get the unmatched stability and aerodynamic efficiency of the 45mm deep 303 Firecrest rim and Zipp’s groundbreaking Carbon Clincher technology, with its exceptional reliability, handling and aerodynamic performance with the added convenience of a clincher.
It all adds up to a smooth ride. And as cyclocross and road veteran Tim Johnson likes to say, smooth is fast. “In dry conditions the one-finger braking can mean the difference between stuffing it up in the corner by sliding out, or keeping on the edge of the perfect racing line,” said Johnson, of the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com Team. “In muddy and sketchy conditions, consistent braking, or having brakes at all help me stay in the right rut or give me the confidence to let it rip and push even harder than the previous lap.”
In other words, control over chaos.
The 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc-brake wheelset combines that innovative disc-brake-compatible technology with the credibility and heritage of one of Zipp’s most acclaimed wheelsets, the 303. The 303 Firecrest and its pioneering predecessor, the 303, have been ridden to victory in multiple editions of the two toughest cobbled classics, Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, as well as a multitude of cyclocross victories and even a mountainous Tour de France stage in wet, miserable conditions.
In developing the original 303 wheelset, Zipp discovered that a wider rim increases lateral stiffness for sprinting and cornering while also providing greater vertical compliance for greater control, comfort and durability. That wider rim profile led us to develop our Firecrest technology, which revolutionized aerodynamic efficiency and stability for carbon wheels. The proprietary Firecrest rim shape optimizes the aerodynamic profile of the front half and – here’s the revolutionary part – the back half of the wheel. Firecrest moves the wheel’s center of pressure to be more in line with the steering axis for stability in even the stiffest crosswinds. All of that innovation along with the precision control of disc braking gives you a wheel that’s as smooth as it is tough.
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.
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
Hub Drilling: 24
Rear Axle Type: 10x1
Cassette Body Type: Shimano 9/10/SRAM
Cassette Body Type: Shimano/SRAM 11
Hub/Brake Compatibility: 6-Bolt Disc
Rim Depth: 45mm
ISO Diameter: 622 / road / 29"
Valve Length: Long 56-74mm
Wheel Size: 700c
Tire Type: Clincher
Rear Wheel Type: Road
Rear Hub Spacing: 135mm
Spoke Info: Sapim CX-Ray
Rim: Zipp 303
Skewer Included: Yes
This product was added to our catalog on December 17, 2014.