Zipp 202FC faster than 404FC, WTH?

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

Been riding both 404 FC tubulars and clinchers now for a while as my only wheels, tubulars w/Vittoria CG's and clinchers with Conti gp4000s in 23c w/latex tubes. Local bike shop guy said I would be much better off with 202's around here, lots of short punchy climbs, average 50 mile ride is 4000 ft of climbing or so. He claimed he has ridden all Zipps line up from the shop and like the 202's by far the best, so I bit and got them, same tires as my 404's and believe it or not he was right, All my training courses have been much faster, bunch of strava PR's and KOM's, thing is I wasn't really trying for them, pretty shocked how good these are, I may use them this at this weekends RR in favor of the 404 tub's.
Curt Brown

2016 Cannondale EVO Etap 13.8#'s
2012 Cannondale Supersix EVO etap 13.7#'s
2017 Cannondale SUPER X Force 16.0#'s
2016 Cannondale FatCad2 28.1#'s
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ichobi
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by ichobi

If your usual route have a lot of climbs theres no surprise here no? You can probably climb and accelerate faster on the hills. Unless you are doing pan flat course, shallower rim would be better suit.

Also take into account your increase fitness level etc. strava pr is hardly reliable as a performance gauge. Too many variables.

by Weenie


FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

The lighter wheel will always help you going up a climb, especially when making the swap from a 404 to a 202. It's kind of like baseball, when the batter, in the on-deck circle, puts the metal "doughnut" on his bat to make it heavier. He does it to give his body the temporary feeling of weight, so when he actually does go up to bat, the bat feels lighter, and he can swing it around faster.

That being said, I don't doubt you'll come to an equilibrium, and eventually fall back to your 404 speed days, unless you reserve the 202's only for special rides.
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RussellS
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by RussellS

I don't know. Zipp 202 clinchers are 32mm and 1380 grams. Zipp 404 clinchers are 58mm and 1620 grams. So difference of 26mm height and 240 grams. 1 inch height and half pound weight for both wheels combined. Not each wheel. Quarter pound weight per wheel. The 1 inch rim height probably makes some aerodynamic difference. Based on every aerodynamics test I have ever seen published in every magazine. Aero always beats weight in every aero test ever done! The quarter pound weight difference isn't very much. Unless you are only going uphill, I doubt the weight makes much difference. Most rides, all rides except exclusive hill climbs, have far more flat riding than ascending. And the ascent is always matched with descent where aero matters and light weight is actually a hindrance. I doubt if the 202 are faster than the 404.

FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

One thing those studies never take into account is fatigue. Yes, the 404's are aerodynamically faster than the 202's, but you use more power to turn those 404's to get them up the hill. Sure, on a shortish ride it won't make a big difference, but on a longer ride, on later climbs, that added strain on your system will add up, in my opinion. I'd love to see someone take that on.
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rijndael
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by rijndael

FIJIGabe wrote:but you use more power to turn those 404's to get them up the hill.
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aaric
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by aaric

Its going to depend on the course, wind, and rider.

If you are climbing at slower speeds (< 7-10Mph) most of the time, or have lots of side gusts to fight, you won't be getting much gains from the deeper aero wheels. If you are limited by cornering, and have to brake on the descents, you won't be getting as large of an aero benefit.

Also, if you are going at low yaw angles, the difference in depth is going to be a lot less significant: Look at the aero charts published by zipp. At low yaws, you won't see much difference by going to a deeper wheelset. The aero benefits of the shallower 202 are going to be good enough. IE: if you have little wind, or straight headwinds or tailwinds, the extra depth won't make as large a difference as the weight does.

springs
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by springs

RussellS wrote:Most rides, all rides except exclusive hill climbs, have far more flat riding than ascending.

By ascending, you probably mean elevation gain. Some rides in the hills are mostly just up and down, where flats are minimal.

ProEvoSLTeamHighMod
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by ProEvoSLTeamHighMod

You're feeling the weight savings... BTW, those tubular 404s are absolutely faster than 202 clinchers - there's < 100g of weight difference in the SET and the 404s are so much more aero.

I can believe that you felt the weight savings between 404/202 CCL and that's why they're "faster" - but the power savings of an aero wheelset should outweigh weight savings at anything below a roughly 8% grade.
Unless your rides include a lot of extremely steep climbing or heavy crosswinds, it's unlikely that the wheels are the cause here - ride with a power meter and keep your output consistent, see what's what. Placebo can have a huge effect in stuff like this.

KWalker
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by KWalker

FIJIGabe wrote:The lighter wheel will always help you going up a climb, especially when making the swap from a 404 to a 202. It's kind of like baseball, when the batter, in the on-deck circle, puts the metal "doughnut" on his bat to make it heavier. He does it to give his body the temporary feeling of weight, so when he actually does go up to bat, the bat feels lighter, and he can swing it around faster.

That being said, I don't doubt you'll come to an equilibrium, and eventually fall back to your 404 speed days, unless you reserve the 202's only for special rides.


Only when the climb is sustained and you have a low apparent ground velocity.

I bet on a course with sustained power output and longer than a few minutes the 404s would win. People tend to like rims that have a very light weight, such as the 202, because they feel snappier even if the effect is exaggerated and mental. We have tons of short, punchy climbs where I live and I've done constant power tests with 202s, 404s, and 808s and when the duration was longer than 1min and apparent ground velocity higher than 16mph, the deeper wheels were always slightly faster. I don't know about you, but even the races that have 10% gradients in them around here still climb the short steep hills really fast.

Flo wheels has some great modeling of aero vs light wheels, I'd check that out.

Also, if you actually do the moment of inertia calculations, the difference between those wheels is fairly minimal. It comes down to more than just rim weight.
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CBRE
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by CBRE

It has been VERY windy here last few weeks and at 155#'s on a 12# bike the 404's are a lot of work. I also do have the tubular version and they are a good bit lighter than the 202's, once the weather dies down I will try to give them a fair comparison. One local racer also noted my aggressiveness vs being smooth would favor the lightness of the 202 over the 404 FC clinchers.
Curt Brown

2016 Cannondale EVO Etap 13.8#'s
2012 Cannondale Supersix EVO etap 13.7#'s
2017 Cannondale SUPER X Force 16.0#'s
2016 Cannondale FatCad2 28.1#'s
2011 Cannondale Carbon Flash 1 17.9#'s

KWalker
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by KWalker

It honestly sounds like you are just making things up to support your purchase. Until you do some kind of objective test with both wheels in similar circumstances you can't say anything. KOMs or Strava times do not count as such.
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sawyer
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by sawyer

202s will feel more agile with the shallower rim ... main difference feeling-wise between those depths. That might be mentally egging you on for those precious Strava KOMS!
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Juanmoretime
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by Juanmoretime

While we would all like to get sucked into manufacturers white papers the reality is aero wheels will make you faster but within that reality is a handful of seconds saved. To the average person the savings is meaningless. To the serious competitor or someone that earns a paycheck racing their bike its everything.
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HillRPete
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by HillRPete

Juan, but pros are stubborn too, and not slaves to numbers. Zipp reckons that based on their models, Contador would be faster on 303s, but he prefers the 202. There's a post here somewhere, from Waldo.

by Weenie


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