Carbon wheels -- Zipp 303 or Enve 3.4?

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
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G6612
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:20 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

by G6612

I have been thinking about getting a set of carbon wheels and not sure what direction I should go in. This is going to be a everyday wheelset on sunny days and not going to be rode in the rain. So I am not overly concerned about the braking issues in wet weather. I have narrowed it down to 2 wheel sets.

ZIPP 303 CLINCHER
OR
ENVE 3.4 WITH DT240 HUBS CLINCHER

Price wise they are within a few dollars of each other and just wondering what would be the best wheelset for the money. As this is quite a large investment for wheels. From reviews that I read the zipp hubs are not the best and maybe having the wheels built would be the way to go. Can anyone also comment on what riding characteristics would I see going to either of these carbon wheels +/-.

jsinclair
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:26 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

by jsinclair

Enve 3.4, no question. Get tubular rims if they are only going to be your nice weather wheels. With the 200 or so dollars you will save getting tubs, you can upgrade the hubs to the alchemy ELF/ORC UL set.

dvincere
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:40 pm

by dvincere

If you're set on one of those two choices then Enve is the clear winner. I also second the advice of seeing if you can squeeze the pennies for better hubs.

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G6612
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA

by G6612

Doing some research today can anyone advise on if I add boyd to the list. Thoughts??

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sugarkane
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by sugarkane

Get the evne's you won't be disappointed
And there after sales service is also much better always some thing to consider

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G6612
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA

by G6612

I think that is the way I am going thanks for everybody's input. Enve it is!

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jrobart
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Location: MA

by jrobart

I've had both 303s and the Enve 3.4s in tubs (stock Zipps and Enves with Chris King R45 hubs). Without question get the Enves!
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Zen Cyclery
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by Zen Cyclery

I'd go with the Enves. They have the best warranty you can get on carbon hoops, which speaks for their durability.

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veganeric
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Location: MN

by veganeric

I've seen this question come up a few times. It seems Enve is always the crowd favorite by a long shot. What I haven't seen, is a convincing reason why. According to Enve's own aero data they are very similar, with the Zipp's perhaps having a slight advantage. With the Zipps also having the weight advantage (for tubulars, unsure about clinchers) I'm surprised Enve has won over so many weenies. Personally, I'd go with the Zipps.

FWIW, when going deeper than 303/3.4 Enve has a greater aero advantage. If this was a 404 vs. 6.7, or 808 vs. 8.9 thread, I'd choose Enve.

drmutley
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:23 am

by drmutley

I've just sold all my zipps and gone ENVEs, and will never go back to zipp. There hubs are terrible, their warranty is slow, and ride quality so far below what I've experienced just with stock 45s and 65s with DT240s hubs (ie great). I couldn't imagine how much better the SES ENVEs could be, combined with better hubs! If only I had the money for some 6.7 clinchers with CK hubs!
Last edited by drmutley on Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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shoopdawoop
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:37 am

by shoopdawoop

I've never ridden 3.4s but the 303s FCs that I have are kind of noodles. I'm a small guy, just 60kg, and I can easily flex the rear zipp into my brake pad even when quite wide open. Whenever I go above 500watts they seem to rub pretty damn hard and I have ended up not using them for this reason. However I will say that zipp has some fantastic customer service; I've cracked a 303 and an 808 and both times it was like 250 to have the whole rim replaced and relaced with a week long turn around.

jcumpstay
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:26 am

by jcumpstay

I haven't ridden the 303's but I do own a set of 404's and also a set of Enve 3.4's on Alchemy Hubs. I have actually given my 404's to a mate to ride at the moment and part of the reason for doing so was to see if he thought they were as flexy and noodle like as i do. Waiting on his longer term review but when he came back to me after a few days saying that he couldn't get over how much the wheels rubbed the brake pads when putting the power down, I knew that my suspicions were correct. The other comment he made was that he was not going to use them in crit races because he was sure the rest of the bunch would hear the brake rub before he had a chance to try for a break away.
In summary we both dislike the 404's due to their flex issues. In regards to the Enve 3.4's, well they are just better on all fronts. A lot stiffer, seem just as aero as the 404's but don't catch the cross winds as much and with Alchemy hubs they are silky smooth yet durable.

Just my two cents worth, but I won't be buying Zipp again anytime soon.

dcl10
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:51 pm

by dcl10

The Enve's are stiffer, more stable in crosswinds, and their warranty service is excellent. Never any warranty hassles with wholesale orders, and they always seem to give the customer the benefit of the doubt, vs Zipp, who from my experience just assumes its your fault and makes you prove otherwise.

stanseven
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:25 am

by stanseven

veganeric wrote:FWIW, when going deeper than 303/3.4 Enve has a greater aero advantage. If this was a 404 vs. 6.7, or 808 vs. 8.9 thread, I'd choose Enve.


The only issue is using wheels for non-race situations. The 404 is a nice all around wheel in terms of depth while the 6.7 gets a little deep for windy conditions and the 3.4 isn't all that aero. It's too bad Enve doesn't have something in between.

drmutley
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:23 am

by drmutley

5.6 next? ;-)

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