New Zipp Firestrike Clinchers

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
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by dunbar42

$3600 is expensive but I don't think anybody pays list price for Zipp's. The 404 Firecrests can be had for ~$2k or even slightly less if you're patient. As far as the weight, Zipp has been adding weight to their hubs in recent years in oder to improve durability which is a good thing IMO.

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by FIJIGabe

Well, I'm glad they dropped some weight from their hubs - 20g (v10 now, BTW). I hope these hubs make their way to the Firecrest lineup.
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by Weenie

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by kavitator

insane high price...good marketing :thumbup:

soon they will cost much less

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by Getter

Wow...are they really 1k better than the current FC?

Gotta be marketed towards triathletes. :mrgreen:

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by tinozee

I live on a peninsula with hella winds all year and I think the whole crosswind issue is so overblown. I'll ride 404s in 30 mph winds all day and gusts way higher in the fall, it doesn't make a hell of a difference imo, even in a tight group. Maybe if you weigh 100lbs but I only weigh 160 or so in top fit and I am 6'3". There are a couple retailers out of chicago selling new boxed and warrantied zipps on ebay for great prices and they negotiate. You can get a nice set of FC tubs for like ~1700. I could NEVER pay LBS full retail, gawd.

I like my firecrest tubies. Hell, I'd take any new wheels, I'm a wheel and tire addict. :beerchug:

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Sram acquired Zipp in late 2007, and you can pretty much chart Zipp's decline in innovation and increased focus on marketing/price ever since.

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by mjduct

SGMD wrote:Sram acquired Zipp in late 2007, and you can pretty much chart Zipp's decline in innovation and increased focus on marketing/price ever since.

So true...
SRAM= Safety Recalls Almost Monthly

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by BeeSeeBee

More like hyperbolic drivel. You really think that 2007 Zipp (2008 product catalog) was a more innovative company that Zipp currently is?

If you don't think that the Firecrest design pushed the industry the direction we see today, you're kidding yourself. Everyone absolutely fell over themselves to develop dependable torodial carbon clinchers and add marketing speak of "stability."

I don't really know what people expect these days, we're starting to see a plateau of gains and a convergence of designs across the entire industry. If a company, any company, pushes the industry to be better, that's good, eventually we'll see that trickle down. It would be like decrying Tesla for not making their cars as cheap as a Nissan Leaf. Diminishing returns are a real thing, and these wheels are still less than a lot of top end frames these days, so why bat an eye at the price of these, but not the latest from Trek/Specialized/Colnago/Giant/Cervelo/etc.

For what it's worth, I think the pricing of the industry in general has gotten insane. I have no idea who's making money considering everyone seems to think there's no money in cycling. I buy most stuff second hand at 60%+ off retail, so as long as there are people who need the latest and greatest, I'm happy to take their now outdated stuff 8)

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by Zigmeister

^Agree with many of those points. Cycling is a luxury sport/items. Just like LV handbags (yeah, my wife has one of those amongst a few other brands at $1400/per...wut??) Then again, she looks at my one set of wheels, that are custom build/chinese even, and they ar $1300 for the set...and she thinks wut??? And you have two sets of these? But honey, I need training wheels, backup wheels for the truck during a race etc...power meter? $1500 alone. So..yeah, prices/carbon etc..but it is mostly custom hand made stuff/high technology items cycling. And you don't have to spend $8K on a bike if you don't want to, there are lower options, like handbags.

I guess it depends on the audience.

Anyway, regarding the handling of aero/wide/toroidal wheels, there is no doubt you can tell the difference between a deep-v wheel in x-winds/gusty conditions. It goes from your handlebars being jerked in your hands to a slight nudging affect when a gust hits. There is no doubt they are more stable and are designed to handle x-winds better than a deep-v.

How much faster? Well, no wind/head wind, they are slower, but averages show a 15 degree/approx constant x-wind most cyclist incur during riding/ they designed for the best compromise.

I like my wide wheels personally. And with the trickle down as mentioned, the asian market comes in a fills the gaps, as well as the Boyds and other smaller guys who are then doing there own molds of this concept/technology.

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by eigner

In order to sell more Firecrests you launch Firestrike. In the light of the Firestrike, the Firecrest seems like a bargain. Simple..
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by ichobi

I'm not sure if you notice, the Firestrike comes with Ceramicspeed bearing. For the same bearing upgrade on the Firecrest, it will actually costs more than the Firestrike at retail.

Still, a very very expensive pair of wheels.

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by Succisa75

There is a video review of the Firestrike but it's in German. Curious to know what the video says. ... 7724.9.htm

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by HillRPete

Succisa75: "stiffer even than needed (positively), accelerates quickly, good handling in turns, impressive braking, particularly also in wet conditions, similar to an alu rim, steep price". Nothing you wouldn't have expected I guess.

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by Succisa75

HillRPete: Thanks for the translation :thumbup:

Yeah, it's pretty much what I expected. Guess we will have to wait for a Tour magazine or someone else that will get into the details and comparisons with similar priced wheels.

by Weenie

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by Succisa75

I had a good first look at the Firestrikes the other day. The first thing I noticed was that the rim is considerably wider than the 404 FC and just feels more well made than the FC. Also the hubs are quite different than the V9 as they are thicker, look a lot more durable and come with ceramic speed bearings.

Visually, the graphics (grey version) look really good.
The dimples do not cover the entire rim anymore, they stop slightly above the spokes and they are also in a different pattern than the FC.

The one thing that blew me a way was how smooth these spin. No vibration in the fork of the bike at all. The front wheel was completely quiet and just kept spinning. The technician said they tested this to a 2014FC and the Firestrike spins considerably longer.

As for the weight they are slightly heavier than the FC clincher but to be expected with the thickness of the rim and the new hubs.

So far the customers that have purchased them havent offered any feedback yet in terms of ride quality, and Zipp didn't offer a demo set to try so the LBS is in the dark like many of us are as to if the increase in price is truly worth it.

What I have been told is the Firestrike will be a limited production for this year and next. Price will more than likely be the same as well.
Also, no immediate plans for a tubular version yet.

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