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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:00 pm
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Location: London, United Kingdom
Dear fellow weight weenies...

I have a set of 404 tubs from 2009 (dimpled, pre firestrike), which I purchased brand new. Used for racing for 3 seasons, had serviced (replaced all spokes and rebuilt both wheels front and back) in 2011 courtesy of a crash and an insurance payments. The crash wasn't too bad (front wheel went slightly out of true, rear unaffected), but decided to use the insurance money to service them anyway.

I then stopped using then due to work/family commitments. I am now getting back to racing and I am evaluating my options.

I realised that my wheels are super light (1,250 grams). Today's equivalent are around 1,500 grams).

I am aware that the front hub has been recalled. I will need to send it in for (another) service then.

Which brings me to the main point. Are my wheels safe overall? Why with each iteration these weeks have gone up in weight? Yes, wider profile might explain 'some' of the extra weight...but is that it? What's the longevity of these wheels overall? I am thinking in terms of brake track, hubs, bearings etc. I always used Zipp's own cork pad (and found them excellent in dry and wet).

I like how these wheels ride. I am ok with their 'narrow' profile (which is still quite aero even by today's standards).

Other options are to sell them (won't get much though), and buy Mavic Carbon Pro SL, Reynolds Strike or 303 clinchers (or some high end tubulars, but we will see).


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Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:01 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:47 am 
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Are Zipp carbon tubs from around 2009-2010 generally still safe to ride? What's the life expectancy of the brake track? Thanks for the responses...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:59 am
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Location: Surrey UK
Can't speak for 2009-10 models. I got my 303 tubular in 2012. I'm still using front one. Hard to say if there is any brake track wear.
You meant pre Firecrest?
And you are right they got hevier over the recent years. 303 2012 1220g, these days 1390g.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:27 am 
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Location: Natovi Landing
It's impossible for people to know without seeing the wheels - and even then some would be more risk-averse than others. Think about what you're doing here - asking people on a forum who have never seen or touched these wheels to give you assurances about safety??

Carbon rims last a very long time IME. I've never stopped using one for wear reasons

As you say, you need to get the hub changed. My 2009 front 202 exploded - thankfully I brought the bike to safe stop.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:07 pm
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Location: Slovenia---that forest land
Contact your dealer for ZIPP about front wheel (zipp recall all front hubs with flanges like yours)

Some racers here still rdes them with no problems. If you service them it must be ok
Spoke tension must be balanced. If one spoke fail you can destroy hub (or risk a crash in worst case). This is stupid old ZIPP hub design - one spoke die on DS or front - all spokes can die.

Very lightweight wheels (compared to new ones wider profile) yes

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:46 am 
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Location: London, United Kingdom
Thanks all for the kind replies, was trying to ascertain whether there is a visible sign that the brake tracks are nearing the end, but by the look of it the wheels look like new even after all these years.

I will definitely send it in for he hub recall...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:38 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Brighton, UK
We rebuilt some 303 tubs last week and they were way under 1 kg for the pair and now 11 speed ready with Tune Mig Mag hubs.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:46 pm 
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Location: Natovi Landing
StradaJon wrote:
We rebuilt some 303 tubs last week and they were way under 1 kg for the pair and now 11 speed ready with Tune Mig Mag hubs.


Might be your scales ... hard to see how that build could be way under 1kg tbh ... presumably <950g then?

My 202s of the generation in question were 1095g actual which obviously have a lighter rim than the 303 (30-40g heavier per rim) ...

That was with the 88/188 hubset which is pretty light, at 298g claimed ... so while a MIG/MAG combination will knock some weight off, it's hard to see how you could get 303s way under 1kg ... it would mean knocking north of 200g off the stock build ...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:54 am 
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Location: Brighton, UK
Correction, they were 202 tubs and they were 875g the pair with CX Rays + Mig Mag hubs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Send both back with the hub recal and get them asessed. Small freight charge = piece of mind.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:59 pm
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Yes, they're alright. I use a front Zipp 404 (not even dimpled!) from 2004 or 5 or whenever from time to time. I'd ride your wheels tomorrow and for the rest of the year if you sold them to me for the right price. :D

The difference in weight is due to the humongously wide rims that are now all in vogue. Early zipps were like 20mm at the brake track and now they're 28 or whatever. They're way, way wider. That's not just Zipps, but across the board. As wheels get wider, of course they get heavier.

In any case, people are still selling 404s and 303s from 2001 onwards on ebay. I was soooo close to buying a pair of 2003 404s the other day. They're like 1230 grams or something... just missed it at the last second!

If you want the super lightweight pairs of zipps, you've got to go pre-firecrest/wide-rim.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:00 pm
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Location: London, United Kingdom
I see, thanks for the very useful replies. I honestly think they are wide enough for me...I use them with Veloflex Carbons 22, and they glide...

But why the back, I thought the hub recall was just for the front one?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:36 am 
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Location: Brighton, UK
Zipp hubs have a well documented history of issues with bearing preload adjusters eating bearings and flange failures.

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Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:36 am 


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