Zipp 404 or 303's tubular

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by jrz1

Hey guys I have some Christmas money given to me that is burning a hole in my pocket and is earmarked towards new tubular wheels for my Guru. I am however perplexed as to whether to buy Zipps 404 Tubular set or the Zipp 303 Tubular wheelset. I ride about 4000 miles a year. Do not race but love to ride fast whether solo or with the local hammerheads at our bike club. I do several centuries a year and usually one mountain ride (Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina). My typical daily local ride is a mixture of flats, rolling hills, and a few climbs. I know that both the 404's and 303's have been re-designed for 2009 and it would be a 2009 or 2010 set that I would buy. Help me with advice as to plusses and minuses of each. Especially would like to hear from you if you have ridden both or own one or the other. Thanks.

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by Horner

I know that this wasn't one of your options, but u should consider it.
I would recommend the zipp 808's, (Sorry for saying this on a weightweenies forum! :cry: ) the weight difference is just so small that u don't really would feel it, when doing the few climbs u do, but when you are on the flats you are going fast..., of course its about about the same as the 404's, but the again the weight differencies isn't that big in the hills.

I've got the 404 - they are good, really good. But I wished I took the 808.

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by whoopsie

Is it windy there? It sure is where I live and I have a 303 front and 404 rear combo which I find ideal in terrain similar to yours- the slightly lighter front is nice for climbing and I have my weight over the deeper rear in wind. What good is a very deep wheelset if it can't be used often?

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by tigradekat

808's really are too deep to use as allround wheels. Any significant side wind will really influence stability. 404 in the back and a 303 in front would be my choice.

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by jrz1

I live in South Carolina and it certainly does get windy at times but if it is really windy I just don't ride. Anything over 20mph winds and I usually just go to the club and do the trainer...

In my mind the advantages of the 303's are: 100 gram weight savings (this is weightweenies forum after-all!!), better in strong cross winds, and perhaps because of the wider rim maybe more comfortable?

Advantages of the 404: more aero, and in my opinion cooler looking with the deeper profile (okay, very subjective!).

What else do you all think?

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by cc3chan

303 has a much wider rim than 404 so you can run wider tires without ruining the aero advantage. So if running wider tires is your thing then 303 would be my advice.

I got the 2010 404's.

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by nitropowered

404s or 808s. The deep 808 isn't too bad in the wind. if you are worried about getting blown around, get a 404/808 combo

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by jrz1

cc3chan, what made you decide on the 404's instead of the 303's? By the way I plan on running 22 mm Vittoria Crono Evo II or 23mm Vittoria Corsa Evo II.

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by 72guy

Waldo says,
"I'll try to answer a couple of the questions raised here.

Lateral stiffness of the new 303 has increased 5.9% in the front and 16.3% in the rear, while radial stiffness has decreased approximately 41% for the front wheel and 37% for the rear. This is possibly one of the reasons the Test Team, Slipstream, and Saxo Bank riders that have been riding them throughout the Classics season have been so happy with them. I'll spare you guys the usual hyperbole about laterally stiff yet vertically compliant, but we really do think we've made a bit of a difference in terms of the shape of the cross section and the laminate schedule used. The ride with a 24 is really quite nice, and the new 303 with a 24 mm tire on it is actually superior aerodynamically to the old 303 with a 21 mm tire.

If you're pleased with your 404s, you'll definitely enjoy the new 303s. The lateral stiffness is nearly that of your current wheels, the radial stiffness is a fair amount lower, and aerodynamically they are now shockingly close.

We've actually been onto the wider wheel thing for about 3 years now, beginning with the development of the Sub-9, 202, and 1080 and continuing with the revisions to the 404 and 808 for 2008. As people have gone to wider tires we first optimized on 21 mm, then 23 mm tires, and now for this rim we considered tires up to 27 mm.

While a bit wider still than our other tubies, part of that was in response to the number of people that use the 303 as a cyclocross rim. The secondary benefits were a pleasant surprise, though.

I hope that answered a couple of the questions; as always, please don't hesitate to PM me as I'm not able to follow threads quite as well as I would like.


Zippy engineer

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by cjump

jrz1 wrote:I live in South Carolina...
... What else do you all think?

i'm up here in charlotte and in the same market. i rode a few different set from friends and rented from a few shops. the conditions varied from hot sunny summer days to windy spring and fall days. i made up my mind to go with a set of Reynolds DV46's. the 404 was a great wheelset but i ride back home in Boone a ton. the 404 was just a tad too deep for MY liking in the mountains. I loved it on the rolling hills around here. they blew me around a bit when i tested them in the windy spring time, but i'm a lightweight at 135#. i would get the 404's if i was in your position. they are more aero, only 100g more, and would be great for the first 60 miles on the Assault on Mt. Mitchell.

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by cc3chan

@ jrz 1: I picked the 404's because I previously had older 303s without the dimples and thought I could go with a deeper rim and still handle the crosswinds. Also, I'm running 21 wide Vittoria Corsa EVOs. Funny thing is when the tires are inflated they measure 23mm, which matches the width of the 404s really well. On the new 303's there would be a noticeable amount of rim left not glued to tires. 808's I would be a bit apprehensive about riding, since I weigh around 145-150.

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by natiedean24

HE'D Stinger 6. It's the new 404.

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by jackattackfr

well the 404 are nice wheels. good hub...smooth.
BUt I have had bad experience with them.
rim cracks where the spoke meet the rim.
May be I was too fat at 175lbs? not sure anyway. got the rim changed 3 times...after the forth time I gave up, got it replaced and sold them. I was very dissapointed, $ 2000 wheels, that you cannot use.
just my experience with them.
Hope you get a better set, than the one I had. If they did not brake they would have been very nice. roll forever, and very stiff, definitely make you go faster. or may be it was in my head???
I am now going for the easton ec 90 aero. they seem to be better.

good luck.

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by Wuxy

natiedean24 wrote:HE'D Stinger 6. It's the new 404.

??? :?: ???

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by MalojaTeam

According to an Team HTC Columbia "insider", the 303 was testet better than the 404 in the wind tunnel...

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