Zipp 303 vs. Reynolds Stratus DV-UL

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 6:02 pm

by Cheezhead

I promised myself a nice new set of wheels once I upgrade to cat 3, and that time has come! I've narrowed my decision down to these two choices. They're virtually equal in weight, so that's not an issue. What I'm wondering about is which is more aero. The 303 is 38mm deep, and the DV-UL is 46mm, but the 303 has that "regenerative air foil" that makes the rim look deeper to the wind than it really is. Is this just hype or is it true?" The other issue is the bearings. I know Zipp is known for having ultra-smooth bearings. What about the Reynolds bearings? Are they just as good or better? And finally, anybody that would like to share first-hand experiences with either (or both) of these wheels is really appreciated!

Tim the Pineapple
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by Tim the Pineapple

Ive heard over rbr forum that zipp 303 doesnt last very long... use it strickly for racing purpose.

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by C-40

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by popawheelie

I've heard both ways on the Zipps. One guy on another forum said he knew a guy that rode them as training wheels for a whole year with no problems. Then I heard on the same forum ( that a guy babied them for a hundred miles and the rim cracked.
I bought a pair of 303s and have no complaints yet. I only have 100 plus miles on them though.
The service at zipp is excelent though. Go to thier website and get thier phone number. When you call them someone picks up the phone that knows how to answer your questions. You might want to take that into consideration. They have been doing this for a while and they are doing a good job IMO.
I figure if I have a problem with the carbon rims I can always lace up something else to the hubs.

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by gholl

I have two sets of 303 tubulars as well as a set of 202's and 404's. I ride them many thousands of miles a year-but I no longer race (too old). These wheels are as good as it gets with carbon, and as Papa has already indicated, Zipp's service is the gold standard. Can ultra-lite carbon wheels crack and can high tension spokes break-you bet-they can and will-but Zipp's staff will be there to help-quickly and with no BS. I doubt there's any other company that can say the same.

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by marko

I'm a 303 fan. Raced on them all year and had a spoke come loose on the threads. Really bizarre as I tightened it up and no problems 1000 miles later. The nice thing is tech help is a phone call away, so if I did have an issue, they are there to deal with it. On this problem they suggested some locktite. I was sure it was stripped or something, but it's fine. As a Tri guy on the side I've never heard a complaint from all the 404 users either.

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by spytech

gholl wrote:I have two sets of 303 tubulars as well as a set of 202's and 404's. I ride them many thousands of miles a year-but I no longer race (too old). These wheels are as good as it gets with carbon.

i really doubt this is as good as it gets. reynolds, lightweights, campy bora's, all these are either equal or in some way better than zipp. only one i have not tried are the lightweights, and i dont think they are in the same category.

zipp are not as good as it gets. :!:

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by divve

spytech wrote:zipp are not as good as it gets. :!:

Sure they are...just call their service department :lol:

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by gholl

Spy and Marco are right on the money. It's not that Campy Boras, etc. are bad wheels, but not only do they have no advantage, either in weight, aero features or stiffness, but, their service backup is poor, and in some cases non-existent.
The simple fact is that, sooner or later, no matter how well built, a carbon wheel will crack and highly tensioned spokes will break. With most all other wheels, when this happens, you will be more likely to get a lotto win than any quick service.
Some folks, like my sister-in-law, just want the high-priced spread-makes them feel good about themselves. If that's what you're about there are some $4000 wheels around now ( Light Weight P.T. Barnum Specials)-why not make some retailer's day?

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by JTC

I would have to agree with the Zipp people on this one. I have never tried the Reynolds, but have been more than happy with my Zipps. I have 2 sets of 303's and a set of 404's and love them both. When I originaly bought my 303's I used campy pads which damaged the rim (Zipp orig. said they would work). My rims were replaced free of charge in only a few weeks. You will never get that kind of service out of Campy (even though I love camy comp.) and I doubt you will be able to get quick service from Lightweight or ADA in the states; don't know about the Reynolds. Also remember the Lightweights and ADA's are 3x as much. As far as the hubs are concerned they are great. The bearing are very smooth.

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by jer

I am another Zipp owner (well actually, the cheaper American Classic version) and a shop mechanic who has worked on several pairs of Lews/Reynolds and Zipps. Here is what I would base my decision on.

1.) The Reynolds use White Industries hubs. They are getting better but still a step below most other aftermarket hubs. (Yea, I have a White hub too, and they work fine as long as you don't put too many miles on them and NEVER get them wet. Don't even sneeze on them. And their customer service SUCKS.) Zipp hubs are lighter and I have never had to rebuild one for anybody. (Both seem to have a lot of drag when coasting.) Advantage: Zipp.

2.) The Reynolds rims are stronger and the wheels are stiffer, but if you do have to true them you have to remove and then reglue the tire because the nipples are inside the rim. (A major pain in the ass unless you pay me to do it and I charge $50 an hour) Advantage: Zipp.

3.) I don't have any idea which wheel is more aero, but I would guess the Reynolds because of it having shorter spokes, no exposed nipples, and a taller profile. But the taller profile is a definite liability in crosswinds or gusty conditions. Advantage: Draw.

Add this to what has already been said and you should have plenty of info.

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