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Beware: Zipp 404 FC side play issues on Tarmac SL2

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:52 pm
by mzz
Hi guys,

I just bought used Zipp 404 Firecrest (2012) for my Specialized Tarmac SL2 2013.

During hard pedaling I got some noises, I thought it's the brake pads, but I noticed later the Zipp labels on rear wheel are scratched out.
The rim is rubbing rear part of the frame (only on the drive side), there's not much space.

The wheels were checked in Specialized.
They replaced all the bearings (+$90) and said that the side play I get is normal, and for Zipp wheels this is good.
They had no clue what else to do.

---- UPDATE ----
I contacted Zipp, their replies came immediately, saying I am first to have issue with Tarmac and that I should:
- check axle and spokes
- check whether the hub is centered, and if it is, then I should try to add 0.25mm washer between end cap and freehub

Ok, hub is centered.
I replaced the axle (+$30) as it seemed scratched on one place (like this), and just in case some washers too.

It eliminated some play, but not enough!
By pushing with my hand the rear rim could touch each side of frame.

Here's a video: youtube

Zipp says some side play is normal when NOT under load... but the rim still touches the frame under hard pedalling.

I replaced bearings again for "hybrid ceramic" (+$30) myself just to be sure, unfortunately didn't notice difference.

Somewhat solved by adding 2mm shims at both ends of the hub... see last post.

Btw. I saw a S-Works Tarmac (vino edition) with Zipp 303 FC standing in Specialized Concept store :shock:

My issue is caused either with the height of the rim / the frame.

The rear hub side to side play is normal (another topic here).


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Tags: Zipp Firecrest 2012 compatible compatibility issues Specialized Tarmac SL2

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:27 am
by Dammit
What skewers? I have the Zipp Ti skewers with 404 Firecrests and they don't clamp anywhere near as hard as Shimano/Campag closed cam skewers.

As in the Zipp skewers allow the wheel to move in the dropout under heavy load- might be what is happening to you.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:35 am
by mzz
I used fixed ti skewers, but also had a standard quick release... didn't make a difference.
The bearing preload of the rear is set to maximum.

Yes, that's happening to me. They are for sell now :(

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:22 am
by kikkie
Wow, thanks for the heads up! I was saving up for a pair!!

Sucks though!

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:03 pm
by michel2
Have you contacted zipp ? I mean dont they sponsor a team that rides on tarmacs ?

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:19 pm
by mzz
Well, they state Zipp 303 are not compatible with Tarmac SL4 and S-Works McLaren.
And that you should check clearance beforehand.
Zipp 303 FC are 2mm wider than 404 FC (that's only 1mm at side).

The Zipp 404 FC have much side play, as you can read everywhere about brake pad rubs etc., it's ridiculous.
I had them checked and tightened the preload, but there's almost no space as you can see on the pictures.

Should have bought ENVE 3.4 and would be happy for life.


Tarmacs they sponsor usually have Zipp 202.
Zipp 303 are on Roubaix.
And Zipp 404 are on Venge.

I am doomed, obviously :)

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:59 pm
by kikkie
Pff, that sucks mate, 1800€ wheel with that much sideflex is just stupid... I'll look elsewere.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:16 pm
by yz387
michel2 wrote:Have you contacted zipp ? I mean dont they sponsor a team that rides on tarmacs ?


Yes, but...... When I ran into this issue (I sent in my non-firecrest 303s for crash replacement and received firecrests in return) I asked the same question. After some digging, it was finally revealed to me that the sponsored teams were running pre-firecrest rims with the firecrest stickers on them. :(

To the OP, I feel your pain.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:09 pm
by Briscoelab
This was all covered years ago, when the 404 FC first came out. Which, of course was when the SL2 was a current model year bike.

The 404 and even the 303 will work on the SL3 and SL4 bikes. (although the 303 is still a bit close on a 303, it will work). Even the pre-firecrest 303 was a bit tight on an SL2.

Sucks, but is more a point of doing your homework. There are many threads on here about this very issue.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:32 pm
by yz387
Incorrect. The spacing between the chainstays on the SL2 and SL3 are the same. I know for a fact that the 303 FC will NOT work on the SL3 frame as I was going to sell mine to my buddy who has an SL3 once I figured out that they would not work on my SL2. We tried it, and the spacing issue was the same on both frames. I don't know about the SL4 since i have not tried it myself.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:23 pm
by Briscoelab
Between my wife and I, we have 2 SL2s, an SL3, and and SL4. The SL3 has more room than the SL2, 100%. It isn't a ton more room, but it is more for sure. The SL3 will work with FC404 with zero issues, but it pretty close on the FC303 (the FC303 barely even fits in the Sl2). The SL4 is better on both.


The main point is the fitment issues with the SL2 and others have been discussed ad nauseum on here. This is all out there already. Just search for it.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:40 pm
by silvercivic27
Well, I'll tell you for a fact that the 303 firecrest clinchers don't fit a Scott Addict, even though its not listed as one of the frames that doesn't fit. I have the worn grooves in my chainstays to prove it. It has about 2.5mm clearance which apparently still isn't enough. So, sometimes you still get screwed even though you've done your homework.

Knowing what I know now, I will also say I should have bought Enve Smart 3.4.

Called Scott, they said too bad, frame not made for wide wheels.
Called Zipp, they said too bad, wheels are within spec.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:28 pm
by CharlesM
Briscoelab wrote:Between my wife and I, we have 2 SL2s, an SL3, and and SL4. The SL3 has more room than the SL2, 100%. It isn't a ton more room, but it is more for sure. The SL3 will work with FC404 with zero issues, but it pretty close on the FC303 (the FC303 barely even fits in the Sl2). The SL4 is better on both.


The main point is the fitment issues with the SL2 and others have been discussed ad nauseum on here. This is all out there already. Just search for it.



:beerchug:


Don't equate a single older frame's spacing issues with anything else but that frame.

Lots of older bikes have either brake caliper/pad or frame clearance issues with the latest wide rims from Zipp, Hed, ENVE, 3T....

Most newer models just don't have the issue, even though they share a model name with older versions.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 Firecrest NOT compatible with Tarmac SL

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:59 pm
by Zigmeister
This is a Specialized problem, not Zipp.

Specialized has said in the past that the Venge and some other models might have issues with "wide" wheels rubbing on the chain stay, because at the time the molds/designs were done a few years ago, these wheels were not prevalent and in the wild to test to ensure compatibility.

Easy solution, you either need to find anther set of wheels to do what you want that will work, or get a different frame that will handle the wider wheels.

Specialized is the only known manufacturer with this issue BTW and the new wider wheels. No other maker has these problems I've heard of.

So, the problem is real simple for me, get a different frame and go with another manufacturer. Wide wheels aren't going anywhere. The frame makers need to be able to deal with that. Particularly when their pros are riding them on the tours.

Re: Beware: Zipp 404 FC side play issues with Tarmac SL2

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:36 am
by mzz
Guys, this is how 188 hub side to side play looks like after replacing bearings and axle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8KHY12tYKs

Is it normal?
I have FSA wheelset which has similar side to side play.

It appears most of the play is caused by the space between bearings and axle... the old axle had minimal marks, but replacing it helped like 30%...
I put grease all over the axle, but that doesn't help.
Tightening the preload more also doesn't help, except the wheel spins badly.

Do you think that replacing the hub for American Classic, which I can get cheap, or White Industries T11 would allow me to get maximum 1mm side play and so I could keep these rims?