Lightening up Zipp 303 FC

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
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billspreston
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:40 pm
Location: CA

by billspreston

I've been using a set of 303 FC clinchers as everyday wheels for the past few years. I have to admit I really like the wheels. Rims are stiff, compliant, and brake really well. The hubs, while not amazing, haven't given me any real grief. That being said, the wheelset is a bit heavy overall and I'm keen to lighten them up with a rebuild. It is my understanding that the 88/188 V9 hubset is actually more like 100/250g so there is room for improvement in replacing the hubs for sure.

Some info/requirements:
  • I weigh ~65kg (140-150lbs) depending on time of year :beerchug:
  • I use these as everyday wheels and do hit dirt/gravel regularly so durability is valued :smartass:
  • Hubs and spokes must be black 8)

What hubs, spokes, lacing would you use to rebuild these rims into a lighter wheelset?

For hubs I've been considering Tune Mig70/Mag170, Extralite SL2/SLX, or Carbon-Ti X-Hub. Any preferences there or other recommendations? For spokes and lacing I'm not really sure...

alcatraz
Posts: 922
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

Check that you don't have a special spoke count on the rims. I see some using 18 front for example. Might be hard to find a compatible light hub.

Zipps are known for their stiffness and going lightweight on them could basically interfere with their best characteristic.

Still if you are a light rider, a standard zipp is overkill from a failure point of view. However you might still benefit from the added stiffness if you are a powerful rider. Likes climbing or lower cadence/high torque/sprints.

Check whats available to you. The biggest pain in the ass building light is to get the spoke length wrong because it stops the build unless you get the spokes more locally. With lengths off by merely 2mm can screw things up if you use alloy nipples.

Big brand spokes are made in taiwan/belgium/switzerland(cnspoke+pillar/sapim/dtswiss).

Spokes used in ultralight weels like ax/extralite are Sapim Megalite I think. 3.5gr per spoke in 260mm.

Because light spokes stretch a bit more when they are tensioned you might need to order them a millimeter shorter than otherwise.

I'm not a wheelbuilder. Just an amateur brainstorming here. Good luck. /a

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ms6073
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Location: Houston, Texas

by ms6073

billspreston wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:58 am
For hubs I've been considering Tune Mig70/Mag170, Extralite SL2/SLX, or Carbon-Ti X-Hub. Any preferences there or other recommendations? For spokes and lacing I'm not really sure...
No experience going super light with 303 FC's, but just prior to the Zipp recall, my rear hub ds flange cracked off, so I rebuilt the wife and my 303's with DT Swiss 240 S Straightpull hubs which shed a few grams. If you can find a pair and there is a lot of money in the budget, I would imagine a set Tune MIG 45/Mag 150 straight pull with Pillar or Sapim CX-Ray spokes would yield 303 FC clincher wheelset somewhere close to 1250 grams.
Michael - The Anaerobic Threshold is neither...

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

Gg

billspreston
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:40 pm
Location: CA

by billspreston

Thanks for the input guys. Good call Alcatraz I assumed it was a 20h front and its an 18h. So I think that leaves me at Tune hubs that are available in 18h with either CX-Ray or DT Aerolite spokes. I could swing the Mig 45 over the 70, but the Mag 150 is pushing it. The weight savings over the 170 seem negligible and I've read the 45/150s are more difficult to service? Can't imagine I would I be giving up any stiffness using Tune hubs instead of the Zipps and using the same CX-Ray spokes?

alcatraz
Posts: 922
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

Good spoke choice.

Hubs can flex too, not just spokes.

Tune hubs and cx-ray spokes are both high quality. I'm pretty sure you'll be happy with the result. Try it.

If you do decide to go mig45/mag150 then maybe sapim megalite spokes would match the hubs. Lightest steel spoke available. Ax/extralite wheelsets use those I'm quite sure. 1.8mm gauge.

/a

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