The Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular Bicycle Wheel is a wheel you can never count out.
In 2010, it became not only the first carbon wheel to win a major cobbled
classic, it won the two biggest classics: Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of
Flanders. The wheel is light, utterly dependable and aerodynamic. And it’s just
gotten even better.
Zipp’s exploration of the 303’s wider rim led to the Firecrest® technology. And
now that development has come full circle with the 303 Firecrest. The new wheel
features Firecrest’s signature shaping designed to optimize both halves of the
wheel, which creates a rim that is significantly faster and also much easier to
handle in crosswinds.
At just 1,255 g/wheelset, the weight of the new 303 is virtually unchanged from
its predecessor and remains one of the lightest carbon wheelsets anywhere. Its
45 mm-deep rim outperforms much deeper rims with a traditional V-shaped
cross-section. And yet, because Firecrest technology allows Zipp to manipulate
the wheel’s center of pressure, the new 303 handles like a box-section rim. It’s
ultra-stable, and suitable for even the windiest days.
And because the 303’s new 26.45 mm-wide brake track (at center) has been
optimized for wider tires, the ride quality is better than ever. Zipp’s Tangente
latex tubular tires, available in 21 mm and 23 mm, are the perfect match for the
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 Zipp’s signature ABLC™ rim
dimples squeeze every last second of performance possible.
To complete the package, Zipp® has refined its venerable 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. This Zipp 303 Firecrest
Tubular Rear Bicycle Wheel comes in stealthy Beyond Black decals and features
black anodized hubs, black spokes and black nipples.
The new Firecrest rim design has been proven durable and stiff enough in
extensive laboratory and field testing that a separate cyclocross (CX) wheelset
is no longer necessary.
Boundary Layer Control) - Advanced Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) refers to
the patented and instantly recognizable dimpled pattern found on most Zipp rims.
ABLC smoothes airflow across the rim's surface and is tailored to every model
from the 202 to the Sub9 disc. 2009 sees the third-generation of ABLC, with up
to 4 times more dimples than before.
Constrained Layer Control) - Visco-Elastic Constrained Layer Control (VCLC)
uses a vibration-absorbing material sandwiched between layers of rigid carbon
laminate in the rim. When the wheel receives an impact from the road, much of
the shock is absorbed by the VCLC system, delivering a 10% reduction in
- Carbon Bridge uses a Kevlar® thread in a co-axial helix stitch to bind sheets
of carbon to each other in Zipp’s tubular rims. Because Kevlar is 350% more
impact resistant than carbon, it can disperse shock more evenly throughout the
carbon laminate, making for a rim that is practically bulletproof. In
particular, Carbon Bridge reduces the vulnerability of the rim's tire bed, the
area most susceptible to damage from impact.
88/188 Hub Technology -
Every aspect of Zipp’s 88 and 188 hubs sets a new benchmark. The standard steel
bearings are the roundest in the industry. The 17mm axle is the stiffest of any
road hub they've tested. The wire EDM-cut hub internals are the most precise.
The SHIFT spoke hole technology is the most durable. When it comes to precision
and performance, there's really no comparison.
Brake Track Width (center) - 26.45mm
Nominal Tire Bed Width - 17.98mm
Spoke Pattern Non-Drive – Cross
Spoke Length Non-Drive - 258mm
Spoke Pattern Drive - Radial
Spoke Length Drive - 246mm
Zipp wheels for model year 2013 are compatible with cassettes of up to 11-speed
to work with all modern drivetrains.