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The Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher might look deep at 58mm,but it’s light at 1615g for the set. They’re wheels that master not only the flats, but rolling hills, and won’t catch you out on short, steep pitches.
The Firecrest Carbon Clincher was a big step forward. This iteration of the 404 is faster and better still, thanks to the lessons they’ve learned in the intervening years and the trickling down of several technologies from their NSW wheels.
Wheelset weight is down to 710g front, 905g rear, 615g for the set, 75g lighter than the previous iteration. Less weight means they spin up easier and are easier to hold speed when climbing.
The wheels are more aero than predecessors. The shape has been tweaked: the depth remains at 58mm, but the width has been tweaked to 25mm at the brake track, with a 16.5mm internal width. The shape is better in all conditions, particularly crosswinds, thanks to the application of their ABLC SawTooth dimpling pattern, a NSW innovation, which reduces side loads in crosswind situations. Not quite down to box rim loads, but pretty close. The rim walls start at the blunt edge of the spoke side of the rim, but then gently curve outward to help keep the aerodynamics great with 25mm tires.
The ShowStopper textured braking surface is another innovation that started with NWS. This is the 317 curved, vertical grooves on each side on the brake track that help move water off the surface and reduce stopping distances. In the wet or dry, this brakes as well as the best aluminum rims on the market.
They also added their 77/177 hubset to the rims. The 18/24 hubs feature straight-pull Sapim CX-Sprint spokes, with the front radial and the rear two-cross The rear hub has cassette body options: a SRAM 10/11-speed cassette body, a Campagnolo-compatible 10/11-speed body, and or a SRAM XDR driver body for wider-ranging cassette options, including 1x 10-42 cassettes.
The Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher wheels come with Zipp’s Tangente Platinum Evo brake pads, rim strips, Zipp valve extenders, and quick releases. The quick releases have wide lever bodies to reduce pressure in your palm and are designed to sit nearly flush with the frame when closed.