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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Hey guys,

I got a pair of Zipp 404 tubular yesterday. I started taking the decals off last night since I wanted to go for the stealth look (as much as possible with my s5), and I noticed in a few places that the "wavy carbon fibers" seemed to have small gaps that were sometimes evident through the top epoxy coat. As in it almost seemed like I could peer in between some fibers a little bit.

Here is the wheel from afar. Looks pretty good. Depending on lighting direction they appear either smooth or very 'marbled' as is typical of Zipp's with the anisotropic specular from the carbon.

Image

Image

This is the worst of the areas like this, but there are a few on the front wheel on both sides:

Image

Image

At a certain light angle you can see a bit how it looks like this separation causes a gap in the surface clear coat. I can feel these little marks with my fingernails, they are not just reflective as some other smaller strands.

Image

Thoughts? Should I have the LBS scrutinize them or am I being too critical?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:01 pm 
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It looks like the rim got scratched after molding. Slid over a rough floor or such it seems...


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Posted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:01 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:24 pm 
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What process did you use to remove the decals?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:24 pm 
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I just used my fingers to peel them back slowly. I only removed decals from one side of one wheel so far, the lines I saw were sort of spread all over, not just under the decals. I see a few on the side that still has decals, in between them.

I thought they might be scratches too since these were on display on a wall rack a a local bike shop. The thing that makes me doubt that though is the fact that the 'scratches' align perfectly with the underlying carbon fiber direction. That would be a hell of a coincidence...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:53 am 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
I have had that on all my zipp wheels, 6 pairs, for the past 10 years. Some are worse than others.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:30 am 
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yeah... i've seen that on zip wheels too. i think it has to do with dimples. it is probably harder to get the carbon fibers / epoxy to lay flat on the mold (and touch all surfaces of the mold so that it comes out perfectly smooth w/dimples) vs. wheels that have no dimples.

still though... some might see it as a quality issue.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:17 am 
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that is resin only between the gaps of the UD fibres , there will be more layers of fibres at different angles under that outside skin


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:31 am 
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Got them on my brand new zipp 60 wheels. Zipp aren't the best for their finishing. They appear to skip the 5 minute spit and polish before they get boxed that other manufacturers do. Every zipp wheel I have ever seen has this in the finish.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:06 am 
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Yes, I also had this same issue recently on a pair of 2014 404 tubulars in addition to a chip on the rim, loose fibres on the rim parting line near the spoke holes and loose fibres round the valve hole on the inner surface of the rim bed. I took some photos and the online retailer accepted the parts back on the basis of poor quality - I got a full refund no questions asked. I am now looking for suitable alternatives instead along the lines of Enve or Dura Ace.

PS I too concurred the dimpled surface leads to the visual issue (scratches) you highlighted - This was not acceptable to me considering they are a premium branded part.

Regards
Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:32 am 
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Why not talk to zipp directly. They have an online chat on their website.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:21 pm 
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I was just waiting for their business hours to open before giving them a call. I appreciate you guys chiming in by mentioning what you have observed in wheelsets.

I actually just got off the phone with zipp (kinda silly they don't open till 11a on Mondays buy oh well!). The guy I talked to was very confident as soon as I started to describe what I saw. He assured me that these "surface level striations" (his words) are completely normal and part of the manufacturing process, as some members here suggested. He mentioned its normal for some of them to be just barely detectible by feel and that some manufactures add another layer of 'cosmetic' clear epoxy to fill these kinds of gaps but that Zipp felt an extra layer would add weight for no real performance gain.

And thanks Clc2010, I gave my wheels another careful look-over searching for the kinds of issues you mentioned but found nothing wrong anywhere else. I am sorry you had such issues with your set and I'd probably be concerned too with issues near spoke holes etc. I think my set are just fine though. Thanks again everyone.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Glad zipp cleared up the question.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:21 pm 
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You'll have an easier time removing the decals by using a hair dryer, heating them up for a little bit, then pulling the decal off slowly. I was able to remove my old decals very quickly this way.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:08 pm 
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Thanks. For my rear wheel, I had to use a heat gun. The decals on that wheel were a royal pain to remove! And even after removing them, they left behind enough glue that I could clearly read "ZIPP" in a glue film. Took hours of iso alcohol polishing to get that stuff off without spreading it onto the brake track. For some reason the decals on the front came right off without leaving much glue behind.

My theory is that the rear wheel was mounted more visible to the sunlight at the LBS and the decals aged more maybe...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:53 pm 
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Those aren't scratches, those are areas where there was insufficient resin. Not ideal but also probably not an issue if it's not over the entire wheel.


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Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:53 pm 


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