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 Post subject: FireCrest 404 tubulars.
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Posts: 467
Location: USA
Thought I had my next wheels selected. They were to be Fire Crest 303 tubulars. But my buddy insists that 404's are the way to go. He has them, and I've mentioned this before. I can always hear where he is when he's behind me, even a few places back. These wheels are pretty loud, and I can always tell when he is coming up fast, so it's easy to anticipate and jump on. Actually, they really telegraph when jumping, as they get even louder.

It's the whir that I am referring to. Makes me realize just how much I appreciate a very quiet bike, which when set up properly, mine is. I have Reynolds MV32's now.

So the question I have is; do you owners of Zipp FC tubulars object to this sound or do you get used to it?


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 7:34 pm 
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I just got the FC 303s tubular. Debated quite a bit between 404 and 303, but I am happy with my decision (also came from Reynolds). I know what you are talking about regarding the noise. I do not hear it from the 303, but heard it on other deeper carbon wheels (especially 808s with large riders).


Last edited by Frankie - B on Sun May 13, 2012 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
removed the quote


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Posted: Sun May 13, 2012 7:34 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:08 am 
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I have Hed 6/9 and 9's. That sound is one of the things I love about those wheels! When you jump at 60 it sounds like you are rocket-propelled!


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:05 am 
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flafonta wrote:
I just got the FC 303s tubular. Debated quite a bit between 404 and 303, but I am happy with my decision (also came from Reynolds). I know what you are talking about regarding the noise. I do not hear it from the 303, but heard it on other deeper carbon wheels (especially 808s with large riders).


Which Reynolds did you ride prior to the 303s? How do they compare? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 4:25 am 
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As road racer with a penchant for climbing I don't really care about the noise. The speeds that make or break a climbing race are low enough that you don't get the roaring effect like you do at speed. I have to say that I'd prefer a set of DA 50mm tubs for crit races though. They just roll so damned well and feel a bit more buttoned down, oh, and less woosh woosh. This is all subjective feeling mumbo jumbo, but it's my feelings, and they are important, dammit!

Anyways, I love the 404 FC for road racing and feel it's light enough for most climbs, but I think the DA 50 is better in flat race situations, especially crits.

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Last edited by AaronT on Mon May 14, 2012 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 6:02 am 
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I had the non firecrest 303 at first then I purchased the firecrest 404. The weight difference is minimal and the 404s are faster.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:53 am 
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Location: Melbourne
But how much of that is down to Firecrest vs old style or 303 vs 404?


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 1:37 pm 
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metanoize wrote:
Which Reynolds did you ride prior to the 303s? How do they compare? Thanks.

I had the Reynolds Assault. They were clinchers and my 303s are tubulars, so hard to compare.
I test road 303 clinchers before buying, and they were less sensitive to the cross wind (significant difference) than my Reynolds. They also appeared to roll better at speed, but it was on a different bike so hard to compare.
Now the 303 tubulars is the best part about my new bike :) It is my first time riding tubulars, and they feel great. Comfort, road feel (velvet...), cornering, control over bad pavement. They are also quite a bit lighter, noticeable when accelerating and climbing.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:05 pm 
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I have 808s and the noise is awesome, you should have heard it how ridiculous it was in the gravel this weekend. If you're fast enough it won't matter if anyone can hear you coming.

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:11 am 
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I have the 808's too, I can see competitors knicks turn brown when these babies fire up!!


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 2:32 am 
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Bridgeman wrote:
These wheels are pretty loud, and I can always tell when he is coming up fast, so it's easy to anticipate and jump on. Actually, they really telegraph when jumping, as they get even louder.

It's the whir that I am referring to.


I wonder what kind of tires your buddy is using? Butyl tubes too? A supple tire (Veloflex, Vitt Evo CX/SC) with a latex tube will be much quieter than say, a Tufo with a butyl tube. I'm sure the 404 magnifies the sound as my deep carbon wheels do certainly sound louder with the same tire setup as an alloy rim, but I'd think about his crappy tire choice first, then the rim :P

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:34 am 
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otoman wrote:
Bridgeman wrote:
These wheels are pretty loud, and I can always tell when he is coming up fast, so it's easy to anticipate and jump on. Actually, they really telegraph when jumping, as they get even louder.

It's the whir that I am referring to.


I wonder what kind of tires your buddy is using? Butyl tubes too? A supple tire (Veloflex, Vitt Evo CX/SC) with a latex tube will be much quieter than say, a Tufo with a butyl tube. I'm sure the 404 magnifies the sound as my deep carbon wheels do certainly sound louder with the same tire setup as an alloy rim, but I'd think about his crappy tire choice first, then the rim :P


You make a good point, which did not come to mind. I believe he's mounted Continental's on those rims, but not sure which type of tubular. I've heard a lot of people feel that they are much more harsh than say Vittoria or Veloflex.

I'm guessing that as these larger rims become more widespread the more we will adapt to their sound. Taken a step further, I'm betting I would get used to riding them as well. Maybe even enjoy the speed.

I actually think Reynolds MV32 Tubular are not all that aero. In fact on gusty days I can get knocked around with them. Like someone punches the wheel at times.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:37 pm 
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I don't really notice much of a noise difference between my 303 FC and 404 FC, but I do notice a difference in maintaining higher speeds. I feel like I get a lot more benefit from the 404's vs the 303's. If I could only have one, I would go with the 404's simply because they seem to make a bigger difference about 24-25mph.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Location: Netherlands
Personally I like the noise my 404FC make.

It is however also depending on the pressure in the tire.
They are louder when harder pumped.
8 bar makes them sound the nicest ;-)
Below 7 bar they will be pretty quite.

But; dont worry; you will get used to the noise even if you don't like it.

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Posted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:52 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
I have the FC 404's and i dont notice the sound when im on the bike, but the sound is amplified for the riders around me. Something to consider?

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