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The faster you go, the more a deeper rim helps. The Zipp 808 Firecrest Carbon Clincher is a deep as you can go short of a disc wheel, 82mm. But it might be faster, because it is far more stable in crosswinds, and you’ll feel comfortable enough to ride them in your next tri’, time trial, or flattish road race regardless of wind conditions.
This iteration of Firecrest sees a heap of innovative Zipp designs come from their cutting-edge NSW lineup. The brake track has been upgraded to the ShowStopper textured braking surface. 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 surface brakes as well as the best aluminum rims on the market.
This is a serious refinement of the Firecrest shape. It’s blunt on the spoke side, with only slightly curved walls on the way to the brake track. The width at the brake track is 26mm, which is also as wide as the rim gets. The inner width of the rim is 17mm and the outer walls of the rim curve slightly from the spoke bed to the sidewalls, which means that the best aero tire choice leans toward 25mm tires. In addition to refining the shaping, Zipp has trickled down the ABLC SawTooth dimple pattern from their NSW wheels. It improves aerodynamics in no wind situations and it has been proven to be much better than the older version at reducing loads created by crosswinds. Riding these on gusty days will be controllable and confidence boosting.
Weight has also been reduced. They were able to cut 55g of weight from the set, down to 1830 for the two wheels; 830g for the front, 1000g for the rear. These wheels can’t be climber light, but any weight savings is a plus when you’re going uphill or accelerating.
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 808 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.