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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:10 pm 
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Location: Parakai, New Zealand
So i have used the 'search' function and read what's been written about this topic.

I can't find a complaint about the 3.4 SES wheels! and I was lucky enough to test ride them for 200km's (clincher's) are they are personally the best I've ever ridden! :thumbup:

I've read some don't find the FC 404 laterally stiff enough. I'm 165lbs/75kg so maybe I'd get some deflection on max efforts out of the saddle? (whereas I know I won't with the SES 3.4's, even the boss who's got 20kgs on me couldn't get them to budge!)

So my question to you all is how many weenies out there are happy with there factory built FC 404's? :noidea:


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Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:10 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:25 pm 
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The 404 is really in another aero class than the 3.4.

A better comparison would be to the 6.7.

But, the 3.4 are excellent rims and have great aero in their own right.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:33 pm 
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I have always been a skeptic of the Zipp hubs. If you dig around a bit you can find a few cases of hub issues such as flanges cracking and whatnot. The Enves seem like a no brainer especially when taking the warranty into account.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:05 am 
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I would recommend the Zipp 404FC as being an excellent excellent wheelset. I have not had the chance to ride Enve 3.4SES, however I have a set of the classic Enve 65's as well as Zipp 808FC. The Zipp 88/188 hubs are actually very nice. I have had no issues and they are well designed and machined. Spin up nicely and smoothly. My Enve's have the DT240 hubs which have been bomb proof as well. Really both are great wheelsets and you can't go wrong. I believe the Zipp FC 404 will come in lighter than the comparable 6.7SES.

Go with which ever wheelset you get the better deal on. You will be happy with either one.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:31 am 
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Location: Parakai, New Zealand
Thanks @53x12 appreciate your comments.

Could I ask how many racing km's you logged on the FC 404?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:16 am 
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Ridden both and I own a Zipp 304 set but would go Enve if I had to do it over.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:10 am 
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I have read a couple of reviews in Tour magazine. Neither the 404 or 3.4 (DT swiss) are laterally stiff rear wheels. How much this effects you depends on your riding style and weight i suppose. I don't know if this is due to the hubs used or the rims themselves, i think hubs are more likely. I am not sure if building either rim around an alchemy ORC, or the forthcoming ORC UL would improve matters but that was my one misgiving about these wheels as I was considering getting a set of 3.4s or 6.7s build around alchemy hubs but am now leaning towards Meilensteins.

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Last edited by NiFTY on Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:36 am 
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Having used both for racing, the build is a key factor. Because Enve's rims have moulded holes for spokes, as opposed to drilled for Zipp, they can be built to a higher tension, making for a stiffer and smoother wheelset.

Then considering the number of failures I've seen with zipps, both at rim and hub, versus none with Enve, it's essentially a no-brainer.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:55 pm 
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johnnyha wrote:
. Because Enve's rims have moulded holes for spokes, as opposed to drilled for Zipp, they can be built to a higher tension, making for a stiffer and smoother wheelset.


This is a common misconception and is wrong. The Enve rims are nicer ATMO, but a high tension wheel does not equal a stiffer wheel (assuming both wheels have adequate tension, which any good wheelset should have). Nor does a higher tension wheel equal a "smoother" wheel set, whatever that means. Some would argue a higher tension wheel will ride a bit harsher.

Rim stiffness contributes to a stiffer wheel, as does spoke thickness and hub flange geometry.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:15 pm 
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That's the reason I have a 303 front and 404 rear Zipp is because the rear 303 is a little spongy for my liking.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:06 pm 
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I have not ridden either wheel, so take my contribution with a grain of salt.

I have found ENVE/Edge wheels far stiffer and more responsive, perhaps down to the fact that they have 24 spokes in back. I have always found Zipps quite flexible, with lots of brake rub when out of the saddle. Of course, the FC wheels may be better, but I doubt it, as stiff rims on low spoke count hubs w/ poor bracing angles will cause the whole rim to pivot around the hub in cross plane fashion, causing more brake rub.

Before dropping the $, make sure you get a test ride on the 404.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Location: Parakai, New Zealand
...so i owed and raced the 2010 303's and found the rear not up to the stiffness I prefer (my benchmark was a 2009 Reynolds SDV66T) but I then brought a 2010 404 rear and found that pretty good and combo'ed it with the 303 up front.

Like I said I test rode the Enve 3.4 SES clincher and blown away overall by the stiffness but also the compliance at the same time (the cat among pigeons).

I only want to own a single wheelset for all my racing rather than two. If I was going for two the choice would be easy! :mrgreen:

I figure the FC 404 must be a stiffer rim and therefore build (if done properly) a stiffer wheel :noidea:

I guess I'll need to get a test ride on them before making a decision (good point thanks @spud). I was hoping for some help.

So the good news (for me) is I'm able to get just one wheelset for no charge as my LBS is doing a trade for my skilled labour :thumbup:

..to date thanks everyone for your input.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:15 pm 
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NiFTY wrote:
I have read a couple of reviews in Tour magazine. Neither the 404 or 3.4 (DT swiss) are laterally stiff rear wheels. How much this effects you depends on your riding style and weight i suppose. I don't know if this is due to the hubs used or the rims themselves, i think hubs are more likely. I am not sure if building either rim around an alchemy ORC, or the forthcoming ORC UL would improve matters but that was my one misgiving about these wheels as I was considering getting a set of 3.4s or 6.7s build around alchemy hubs but am now leaning towards Meilensteins.


You were doing so well there... First you note that you would not go with DT hubs.. check on that. Then you note that you would go with Alchemy hubs instead.. big check on that (I will likely have my Enve 6.7s w/ DT 240 hubs rebuilt on the new Alchemy hubs when they become available). But then you go way off track and tell us you're going with Meilensteins?!? Why? I understand that Lightweights were way cool and innovative back in the day when Cees Beers, ADA and Lightweight were the new kinds on the block, but they've been leapfrogged by others, like Zipp, Enve, Hed, etc. Wide, blunt style rims are the way to go - Trust me, they work! - and Meilensteins are just another narrow-rimmed (19.5mm) V-shaped rim design.

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P5 | 9070 di2 | TriRig Alpha/Sigma | Quarq Elsa | Zipp 808/Super 9 Disc
T1 | Scatto | Rolf Prima FX58/Zipp Super 9 Disc


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:42 am 
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Yes I know I went off track from the OPs line talking about my own build. I realise that they are not an aero wheelset at all. I decided in the end I was willing to compromise on aerodynamics for lightness and stiffness as this build will be primarily a climbing bike. But i agree a meilenstein should not be thrown into the mix when obviously talking about deep aero wheelsets.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:24 am 
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NiFTY wrote:
I have read a couple of reviews in Tour magazine. Neither the 404 or 3.4 (DT swiss) are laterally stiff rear wheels. How much this effects you depends on your riding style and weight i suppose. I don't know if this is due to the hubs used or the rims themselves, i think hubs are more likely. I am not sure if building either rim around an alchemy ORC, or the forthcoming ORC UL would improve matters but that was my one misgiving about these wheels as I was considering getting a set of 3.4s or 6.7s build around alchemy hubs but am now leaning towards Meilensteins.


In what sense was this review studying rigidity? Were they doing lateral deflection tests, or was it simply off of feel? Tire choice, pressure, personal interpretations, etc could easily skew what "stiff" means.

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Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:24 am 


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