Real world use of ZIpp 404 firecrest - I am struggling. Advice req.

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
diegogarcia
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

Hi all.

First up, I consider myself a seasoned cyclist. Been riding a long time and before the current boon in cycling though the development of tech I have embraced as it has made cycling easier and enjoyable for all. I have however stumbled across a caveat with my cycling which I am really struggling to get on top of / manage and I cannot find an answer apart from one which I will get to in a bit.

I currently ride a Madone 9.2 with Zipp 404 firecrest carbon clinchers which in 'performance terms' is incredible. Fastest bike I have ever ridden and owned within the realms of my skillset. I love the bike, the frame and how it rides but I am finding 404 wheels hold me back, scare me, frightening me and thus I reduce my speed on hills to the point where for example I lost time on a 95 mile ride this weekend as I was too scared to let the bike go. It is hard to explain. I have ridden 404 before and I feel that my firecrest catch the wind like no wheel I have ridden before and they bring the fear on as I do not want to die on my bike. I have spoken to riding friends and a couple of fellow posters who advise the usual things to relax the body etc when descending. I cant - I just cant do it on these wheels. I had speed wobble on a Cervelo S3 in 2009 and I never ever want to repeat that moment.

So, I might lose face, people may think what a loser, but I am being honest and I need to find a solution. I have examined my riding data over the years and realise that my confidence is reduced with carbon clinchers. Does this sound crazy ? The solution I have is to sell my 404's and my other wheelsets and perhaps go to a slightly more stable deepish wheel set like this with decent braking and performance.

http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Mavic-Cosmic-Pr ... oCUJ7w_wcB

I realise that everything about the Zipps should be a better performing wheelset, but performance is moot when you cannot descend for s**t. Can anyone offer advice on how to cope or sort this. I want to be honest and get back my descending confidence. Two years ago, I was letting bikes descend at 55mph and loved it but at the moment anything over 30 brings on the fear. Is it simply the wheels need to go ?

I really appreciate any advice I am trying to be honest and get some guidance rather than ride it out. Even on last weeks fast Tuesday ride the front wheel whipped out from under the bike due to side wind. The Madone is mechanically sound, everything is tight and torqued, it is simply the wheels that are affecting my mindset. :(

Rudi
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:43 pm

by Rudi

Unfortunately I think you have already had the advice and know the options. You can try and grow your confidence over time - I know I had issues like this before due to crashing. Found I was gripping for dear life whenever the road went down and I believe that made any slight side gusts feel like I was going to die. It is very easy to say "just relax", far harder to do so.

Other option is as you have said, sell up for something new and hope that sorts the issue. There is always the possibility that it won't.
Cervelo R3 - 5.4kg viewtopic.php?f=10&t=142420

by Weenie


diegogarcia
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

Rudi wrote:Unfortunately I think you have already had the advice and know the options. You can try and grow your confidence over time - I know I had issues like this before due to crashing. Found I was gripping for dear life whenever the road went down and I believe that made any slight side gusts feel like I was going to die. It is very easy to say "just relax", far harder to do so.

Other option is as you have said, sell up for something new and hope that sorts the issue. There is always the possibility that it won't.


Yes, I hear you. I have tried and tried and when I migrate to deep section carbon, exclusively, the issue arises. I find the letting go a real paradox too as loosening up on the bike almost allows the gusts to kick the wheel more. Like you said, I have answered my own questions and appreciate the reply anyway.

spdntrxi
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

Get a 202 front for the mountainous / windy days . Atleast try to borrow a swallow wheel and see


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moonoi
Posts: 436
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:04 pm

by moonoi

I also have a Madone 9, but I'm running 808 NSW, don't have any issues stability in windy conditions, I've also used Roval CL64 on it, and they are about the same as the 808s in windy conditions but not quite so good braking performance, so really does seem to be about your own confidence and not the wheels per se.

The problem with the Madone 9 is that anything less than 40mm deep makes the bike look ridiculous due to the large aero tubes.

If it's braking you're worried about, and if it helps your confidence, how about trying HED Jet 6 Black, which has a alu brake track and still performs well aerodynamically?

deek
Posts: 406
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:32 pm

by deek

I haven't ridden every wheel but generally Zipp is considered towards the top in cross wind stability. I think the Mavic wheels you posted would be a step back in that and also braking.

If you're after more cross wind stability, you just need to go to a shallower wheel.

RyanH
Moderator
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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by RyanH

You'll get varied feedback and there's actually a thread specific to the 404s and downhill mannerism.

Personally, I hate descending on the 404s, they scare the shit out of me in even the slightest cross wind. I finally gave up on them when I got gapped by a junior weighing 30 lbs less than me on a non technical descent. Granted, it was fairly windy but I would have been totally fine with my Reynolds 46s.

Prior to getting the 404s, I had spent the better part of the previous 20k miles on Reynolds 46s (or RZRs) so it's not like I came from box sections.
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

diegogarcia
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

deek wrote:I haven't ridden every wheel but generally Zipp is considered towards the top in cross wind stability. I think the Mavic wheels you posted would be a step back in that and also braking.

If you're after more cross wind stability, you just need to go to a shallower wheel.


Yes, this was something I wondered as I see them as lower spec / tech, but the heavier wheel and braking may offset my nerves if that makes sense. I have ridden alu deep section (Dura Ace, Mavic and Bontrager) and had no issues. The nervousness arrives with carbon clinchers, somewhat oddly. That's why I have not yet bought them, but mulling it over as a good set of do it all wheels with good looks and performance on the Madone. In turn I do not have to trade off brake blocks / chop and change on a particular weather day / pattern / event.

Food for thought and thanks all.

diegogarcia
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

RyanH wrote:You'll get varied feedback and there's actually a thread specific to the 404s and downhill mannerism.

Personally, I hate descending on the 404s, they scare the shit out of me in even the slightest cross wind. I finally gave up on them when I got gapped by a junior weighing 30 lbs less than me on a non technical descent. Granted, it was fairly windy but I would have been totally fine with my Reynolds 46s.

Prior to getting the 404s, I had spent the better part of the previous 20k miles on Reynolds 46s (or RZRs) so it's not like I came from box sections.


This is how I feel. S**t myself as soon as the road slopes down and away. It is hugely odd but also a relief to write about it as I think I am alone, but glad I am not. I *think* it is merely the 404 as never really had the issue which compounds itself over and over again....

RyanH
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by RyanH

My theory is that the firecrest shape "sheds" the wind and in doing so it causes the front wheel to move back and forth as the pressure builds up to the critical point and then releases, which makes it feel twitchy or almost like speed wobble.

Old school rims like the Reynolds 46s catch wind, but unless it's a strong sudden gust, it normally pushes your entire line in a somewhat predictable manner which is not a big deal to correct.
Strava
Current Stable. The Snob Machine
The Ex's. LS Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | LS Xicon: 5.76kg | C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg | Fuji Altamira SE - 6.2kg | Scott Foil - 6.2kg | Evo - 5.18kg | LS Classic - 6.7kg | The Crumpton - 5.9kg

diegogarcia
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

RyanH wrote:My theory is that the firecrest shape "sheds" the wind and in doing so it causes the front wheel to move back and forth as the pressure builds up to the critical point and then releases, which makes it feel twitchy or almost like speed wobble.

Old school rims like the Reynolds 46s catch wind, but unless it's a strong sudden gust, it normally pushes your entire line in a somewhat predictable manner which is not a big deal to correct.


Yes, I hear you. As I ran 404 tubs for 2 years 2010 to 2012 and never felt like this. It feels like a step back but the tech is newer. I am going out tomorrow and going to try and get a decent shift in and relax on the bike, but I know I will feel it.

ryanw
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:52 pm
Location: London

by ryanw

When you search, you will find.... viewtopic.php?f=113&t=139238
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kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

How much do you weigh?

Shrike
Posts: 1259
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

Disappointed to see this isn't an isolated issue, was eyeing up the 404's (or more specifically the 606 mix) for my posh set. ENVE's are out of budget.

Is there anything decent around the price of the 404s with similar depth and a modern internal width designed for 25mm tyres to sit aerodynamically?
Last edited by Shrike on Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

diegogarcia
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:31 pm

by diegogarcia

90KG rider. Poweful, fit. Usual caveats apply.

by Weenie


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