Zipp FC 404 vs Enve 3.4 SES

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
MarkThailand
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:19 pm

by MarkThailand

cwdzoot wrote:For MarkThailand -

Having ridden both I felt the Enve were a little more solid in the rear. Zipp 303 and 404 rear wheels feel a little spongy to me perhaps it's the drive side radial? ....

Moreover the Enve are cooler looking and you have a few custom options.


I plan to have either the Zipp or Enve custom built with Chris King ceramic R45 hubs (as soon as Shimano 11-speed compatible hubs are available) with Sapim C-Ray spokes 2x laced front and rear. However, I believe that my builder choices for custom Zipps will be limited to only one company here in the US. Although they carry both Zipp and Enve rims, they recommend the Zipps for comfort because, quoting them, "the rims seem to act as leaf springs and feel smoother over rough roads and thus would be more comfortable as a century cruiser." The other custom builder that I have ordered wheelsets from in the past only carries Enve rims, and highly recommends Enve though.

I have ridden Zipp 303's and they certainly feel comfortable. On the other hand, I have also test ridden Lightweights and Mavic CCU's and they were super stiff and very harsh over rougher roads. This is the reason why I am concerned about too stiff/harsh wheels since I do not need that characteristic for racing crits or off-the-saddle sprinting.

I was wondering about the Enve SES 3.4 comfort because all reviews tend to highlight the stiffness of the wheel, which makes me worry about the harshness of the wheel. I am actually thinking about the Enve SES 6.7 wheels. Though, the Zipp 303 front and rear 404 seems like a very good alternative.

Lastly, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I also feel that the ENVE SEE looks nicer and would go quite nicely with the rest of my ENVE components on my bikes, fork, stem, handlebar, and seatpost.

Thanks for your inputs.

Mark
2012 Lynskey R330 with SRAM Red Quarq
2013 Parlee Z1 with DA 9070
2013 Lynskey Helix OS II with SRAM Red

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jrobart
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by jrobart

i have both although the 404s are clinchers and the 3.4s are tubs. I've also owned a set of 303 tubs which my son is now riding (they just weren't stiff enough for me). The 404s are built around Zipp's own hubs, while the Enves are built around Chris King 45s. I must admit that 90% of the time I'm now on the Enves. They are stiff, but in no way harsh; handle cross winds better and are quicker in my opinion. Two great sheelsets, but I'd go for the 3.4s if I were you.
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by Weenie


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Zen Cyclery
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by Zen Cyclery

tranzformer wrote:
Zen Cyclery wrote:The Enves (in particular the SMART series) are more aero than the Zipps. They are more durable because they mold their spoke holes, where as Zipp drills theirs which puts a big weak spot in the rim. The braking on the Enve SMARTS is superior to any other braking I have seen on a carbon clincher or tuby. The brake track is cut a bit more roughly than most which makes braking grabby and responsive.


Enve SES more aero than Zipp FC? Have any indenepdent data on that, i.e. not from Enve?

I keep hearing that Edge/Enve wheels are more durable because the spoke holes are molded and not drilled. However I have not see any independent data on this. Zipp will say otherwise regarding this. Zipp has had their wheels survive and win PR and Flanders. Not sure how much stronger you need a wheel than that.

I have never heard any of the guys complain about the FC Zipp brake performance. If anything they all highly laud its performance.


Zen, you seem highly biased against Zipp and highly biased in favor of Edge/Enve. Care to state your relationship to Enve? I assume if you build wheels, you predominately build Enve wheels?


We are absolutely biased against Zipp. We are a dealer of Enve, so obviously that will be our preference.
But the wind tunnel data doesn't lie. It is hard to fudge numbers like that.

And with regards to the molded spoke holes, yes, there may not be any data to show their strength. But just look at the entire Syndicate downhill team. They wen't through 800 alloy rims the year before the switch, and once they got on Enves, they didn't have to replace one rim.
Sounds like pretty good proof to me..

thisisatest
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by thisisatest

i dont buy their molded spoke hole baloney. if molded spoke holes were so tough, why still have internal nipples? even on their mountain rims? because smaller holes are stronger? according to them, their spoke holes have strength to spare.
nope, i say they went with molded spoke holes because in their heads, they thought it would be better, and molding the spoke holes and keeping it strong requires the hole to be small. otherwise you have too many fibers bending around the hole, weakening a much larger part of the rim. a rim with a drilled hole will keep its strength until you get pretty close to the nipple IMO

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Waldo
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by Waldo

Zen Cyclery wrote: We are absolutely biased against Zipp. We are a dealer of Enve, so obviously that will be our preference. But the wind tunnel data doesn't lie. It is hard to fudge numbers like that.

Well, I'm told admitting that you have a problem is the first step. :lol:

I won't presume to speak for Jason but having talked to him a few times he's a stand-up guy that I believe would be mortified with your display of such a consistent bias that you've been called on it many times by many posters.

So, instead of "Enve wheels are stiffer," try "I know there's 2 different magazine tests that show Zipp wheels to be stiffer and that Adrien's article has been pointed out to me many times, but I don't care."

Instead of "Zipp hubs are crap" try "I've seen a couple pictures on the internet of issues out of tens of thousands of hubs in use, and please don't look around for pictures of Enve rim failures." Seriously, I think the only thread on here you haven't managed to work in a comment about our hubs is the Armstrong doping thing, but you probably hold us responsible for that too.

The tunnel doesn't lie, but charts certainly can. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=97169&p=825223&hilit=enve+303+firecrest+chart#p825265" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It looks like they may have actually fixed that data but I can't be bothered to work the numbers to see if they're still based on the pre-Firecrest data though. There's plenty of independent data showing our wheels to be fastest; I missed the link you provided in response to tranzformer's question.

On the molded spoke holes, as was pointed out, bending fibers around relatively tight radii presents its own set of manufacturing and engineering compromises. As I've said before, engineering is compromise and each of our respective companies have made the compromises with which they're most comfortable.

All that said, I will never understand people basing purchasing decisions of this financial magnitude on the input of various internet posters. If at all possible, ride the wheels, examine independent data, and make a decision from there. :beerchug:
ENVE contract engineer | Former Zipp test engineer

goodboyr
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by goodboyr

+1000
In other forums, Zen would be banned for playing this game.

rodebaron51
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by rodebaron51

I do not know how Enve hubs are, but I do know that the ZIPP hubs are crappy... sorry to say, but my set 404FC is due to this reason my spare set... and I just own them for 9 month now.

I think I did app. 3000 miles on them in total.
After 1000 miles they went back to factory due to slack.
Came back oke (they replaced something) and now eveery 300 miles I need to adjust them (tighten them)... I really don't like this.
Especially when compared to my hyperon wheelset (CULT bearings)... smooth & slackless.

For me a reason not to buy Zipp anymore.
Positive; relative comfortable for high rims and the aero feeling and ast but not least the sound is great!

Pascal
Pascal

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53x12
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by 53x12

Maybe older Zipp wheels had issues with rims cracking or hubs failing. Our team is on Zipps, I have yet to hear of any failures or complaints with the new FC design. My teammates also don't go easy on their equipment.

The issues of Enve vs. Zipp is a good one to have if you have the money to buy a new set of wheels. I don't believe you can go wrong with either. They both have their + and -. Just depends on what your priority are.

I have recently been on a Zipp factory tour at their new factory/warehouse. While I can't go into too much details about the place, all I can say is that I left very impressed. The amount of money they have put into that place in regards to manufacturing and testing equipment is impressive. I have not visited the likes of Hed, Enve, Reynolds or others, but Zipp is doing some amazing stuff. These guys are serious engineers who stand behind their product. Striving to make the best wheel they can and then improve upon that for the next generation.

Sometimes I feel Zipp gets a bad name on WW because of a group of members who try to speak louder than others. I know the man-love for Enve runs deep on this forum. They are a great company as well and I love the wheels and other parts I have from them. But from my own experience on my 808FC with ~4500km on them, I have had zero issues. They are fast. Stiff. Comfortable and just an overall great wheelset. So much so that I have decided I will eventually add the 303FC to my stable once I save some money for them.

I have not had a negative experience with Zipp as some on here state they have. I really like them personally. YMMV.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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Zen Cyclery
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by Zen Cyclery

Waldo wrote:
Zen Cyclery wrote: We are absolutely biased against Zipp. We are a dealer of Enve, so obviously that will be our preference. But the wind tunnel data doesn't lie. It is hard to fudge numbers like that.

Well, I'm told admitting that you have a problem is the first step. :lol:

I won't presume to speak for Jason but having talked to him a few times he's a stand-up guy that I believe would be mortified with your display of such a consistent bias that you've been called on it many times by many posters.

So, instead of "Enve wheels are stiffer," try "I know there's 2 different magazine tests that show Zipp wheels to be stiffer and that Adrien's article has been pointed out to me many times, but I don't care."

Instead of "Zipp hubs are crap" try "I've seen a couple pictures on the internet of issues out of tens of thousands of hubs in use, and please don't look around for pictures of Enve rim failures." Seriously, I think the only thread on here you haven't managed to work in a comment about our hubs is the Armstrong doping thing, but you probably hold us responsible for that too.

The tunnel doesn't lie, but charts certainly can. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=97169&p=825223&hilit=enve+303+firecrest+chart#p825265" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It looks like they may have actually fixed that data but I can't be bothered to work the numbers to see if they're still based on the pre-Firecrest data though. There's plenty of independent data showing our wheels to be fastest; I missed the link you provided in response to tranzformer's question.

On the molded spoke holes, as was pointed out, bending fibers around relatively tight radii presents its own set of manufacturing and engineering compromises. As I've said before, engineering is compromise and each of our respective companies have made the compromises with which they're most comfortable.

All that said, I will never understand people basing purchasing decisions of this financial magnitude on the input of various internet posters. If at all possible, ride the wheels, examine independent data, and make a decision from there. :beerchug:


My mistake. I do see how it can be frustrating hearing a generalization like that about Zipp hubs. I am really not trying to upset anyone here, but in hindsight, I can see how my statements were a bit over the top.
In my experience though, I haven't been impressed with the performance of the Zipp hubs. Both in my LBS days, and currently, I have heard and seen numerous issues with them. However, I will admit that I know plenty of people who swear by their products, and won't even consider riding anything else.
I do agree with you though Waldo. Our posts could be worded much better, and in the future, I will strive to make that happen. I know if someone were making statements like we have about our products, I would be less than pleased too.
Again, I am sorry to have upset you. I did make a statement that overgeneralized a bit, and that was my mistake.
I hope you can accept our apology. :sorry:

dmoneysworks
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by dmoneysworks

MarkThailand wrote:
I was wondering about the Enve SES 3.4 comfort because all reviews tend to highlight the stiffness of the wheel, which makes me worry about the harshness of the wheel.


I can state from firsthand experience that the clincher 3.4 on DT 240's were very compliant, I found them so much less harsh than my current daily driver's Reynolds MV32C (world aparts!) though I suspect that the wide rim helped 10-fold with that. I also know I guy whom has FC 404 CC as his daily drivers too and he loves every minute of them for the same reasons I hear enve are so good - stiff, compliant, great braking, no brake rub etc!

I have a brand new set of velocity A23's w/ 25c tires on DT 240's that I am yet to ride, but I expect they'll be up there in comfort dept. i.e wide rims rock for comfort!

...so my FC404's arrived today, and already dropped 12 grams off them (de-stickered). I reckon they'll be sweet sweet riding... virgin ride is K2 next weekend - 200km's, 2,500 m of climbing (& descending :mrgreen: )
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1415chris
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by 1415chris

Interesting debate, indeed. Something that I'm going through now.
Now in the UK, we have pretty good deals on zipps, 30% off the price. So I'm leaning towards zipp solution. Some of you using zipps mentioned here, that 404 is stiffer and more aero wheel than 303. Are we talking about some significant differences, or they are very marginal? Cos I'm just below 200lb I'm not sure whether I should stick to 303 set or 303 front 404 rear. What do you think?

edesigner
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by edesigner

1415chris wrote:Interesting debate, indeed. Something that I'm going through now.
Now in the UK, we have pretty good deals on zipps, 30% off the price. So I'm leaning towards zipp solution. Some of you using zipps mentioned here, that 404 is stiffer and more aero wheel than 303. Are we talking about some significant differences, or they are very marginal? Cos I'm just below 200lb I'm not sure whether I should stick to 303 set or 303 front 404 rear. What do you think?


Not to threadjack but this one seems to be getting views and responses so here gos...I am in the same boat sort of viewtopic.php?f=3&t=109611

Would love to hear the comments that might apply to both of our posts.

dmoneysworks
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by dmoneysworks

My update from racing FC404's this w'end:-

...so I took the 404 FC tub's around Taupo (160km) and they were really good - stiff, compliant, no worries climbing with the rim weight vs my 303's & with no noticeable deflection at 1100W sprinting. I did really enjoy the 58mm depth along the flats and descending too, also the hubs rolled beautifully, so I really don't see myself going to enve unless I get fatter and/or their price drops with supplier!

Personally my main driver in my own zipp vs. enve debate was that I am light enough for a low spoke count (73kg's) + I got the zipp's at a good price point + 58mm depth suited my road racing needs (terrain = heaps of rolling stuff here in N.Z.) perfectly. I think they are both (zipp & enve) excellent choices but I figured FC404's work mint for me! so far I've been happy with my decision. 8)

I reckon for select courses I'll use a enve 25 tub rim on alchemy ELF/DT Swiss 190 for a sub 1,000 grams pure climbing wheelset :thumbup:

parajba
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by parajba

My 2 pennies.

Own a pair of 2009 404 tubs (pre FC) which I use for racing only. They outlived my Cervelo R3 after a crash.

Hubs are super easy to maintain. I'm no expert but tech docs on Zipp website are top noch and even I learnt how to clean and lub a 188 hub.

Communication with support couldn't be any easier - go on their website during office hours and...chat to them.

Braking with tangente cork pads is also very good, can't really complain!

Have done around 6,000 racing km on them.

I sound like an ad. But for all these reasons I would buy them again.

civdic
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:58 pm

by civdic

I have mixed reviews on the zipps. I had a set of 303s with the 188 hubs and had two issues. The first was I had a free hub seize approximately 4 months after I bought them. That was fixed under warranty. Second issue was a broken drive side hub flange which was not covered under warranty. LBS worked to get hub replaced but was unsuccessful. I needed wheels for a trip and waited 3 months without a replacement. I got tired of waiting and cut the spokes and got the LBS to lace the wheel up to a Alchemy ORC. Way way better combination. I haven't had a problem with the front wheel.

I bought a new set of wheels a year ago and went with Alchemy hubs and Enve 45s and couldn't be happier. I'd by zipp rims again but I would never lace it to a zipp hub. All zipps technology is in the rims.

by Weenie


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