Zipp front wheel choice with 404 rear - 404 vs 303

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

So, I have decided on Zipps.

I have also decided on 404 Firecrests.

ENVE are nice but considerably more expensive.

Definitely a 404 in the rear. The question is, should I run a 404 or a 303 in the front?

The 303 is slightly lighter, more 'pro' looking (in combination with the depper 404 rear), and won't catch cross winds as badly. But the 404 is more aero, perhaps stiffer (?), and matches.

Any advice either way from those that have tried?
Last edited by solarider on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by project3

how about the rear? 303 or 404? either 303 both and 404 both front and rear. 404 front and 303 rear doesnt make sense. I posted this question before.

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by Getter

Go 404 front and rear. I wouldn't sweat the 404 catching too much wind. I live in a town that can get very windy certain times of the year...its something that I learned to adjust to. My 404's are my only set of wheels.

Unless you live in a place that blows wind every day. :mrgreen:

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by Dammit

Going down the Old Kent Road yesterday with 404 FC's and I damn near got blown onto the pavement from the outside lane.

High winds yesterday for sure, but it made me think about maybe getting a slightly lower profile wheel for when the wind blows.

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by angrylegs

I'd match the Zipps – both 303s or 404s. The ENVEs are designed that way.

If you are trying to get a do-it-all wheelset, I'd go with 303s. They will excel in the wind and on the hills while offering some aero benefits. If you are specifically looking for a wheelset to ride more on the rolling stuff and offer even better aero characteristics, and you have something else to ride on very windy days and/or a lot of altitude, I'd go with the 404s. Having said that, you could probably get away with just 404s, even if they might not always be ideal.

Oh and: congrats! Enjoy them! 8)

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by Geoff

Or, do 404 front, 808 rear.

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by CharlesM

Actually the ENVE's are designed not to match... The depths are staggered


That said, to the op...

Go as deep as your cross wind issues allow. If you don't currently suffer cross winds a lot, just go deep/deep.

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by sawyer

solarider ... alas i don't have the sets you're considering.

I'd go 303 FC tubs if it were me. Almost as aero as 404 ... c100g lighter all in the rim IIRC ... wider ... and designed a bit more for comfort IIRC.

Plus you'll have a clear rationale for 808s.
Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

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by Pantani

It needs to be blowing an absolute storm for a 404 to feel sketchy in crosswinds, and probably then only for a light rider. 404s all round is probably the best way to go unless you particularly like the aesthetics of the 404/303 combination. Either will work great, however.
Not everything that counts can be counted. Not everything that can be counted counts.

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by CarpetFibre

I agree - A 404 feels solid in crosswinds. I haven't tried the new Firecrest shape for which they claim even more crosswind stability, but the old shape was fine for me when it was blowing a hooley; I'm only 58kg and this was on a time trial bike...

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by angrylegs

CharlesM wrote:Actually the ENVE's are designed not to match... The depths are staggered

This is what I meant, ie the ENVE SS are designed not to match. Anyhow, carry on. :D

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by edesigner

I've got older 404s and they don't seem too bad in crosswinds.

If you have rolling terrain or roads that arent "great" the 404s are a pretty easy choice.

If your terrain is smooth and/or do rides with quick accelerations or steep hills. I'd go with the 303s. I have a set of 303s that I bought late last year but haven't used them yet because of Winter weather.

Right now with Shimano's spacing change you might be able to buy both of you don't mind "nearly new" vs new if you Ok staying with 10 speed. There are some deals out there.

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by sawyer

The more important thing than crosswinds per se is whether you're going to be riding fast, competitively, in a group. It's then that handling becomes safety critical. 404s solo or with friends in a training ride is not going to be a problem I agree.
Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

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by stormp

^ I've ridden 404's for quite some time and havent had a problem with crosswinds at all. If you just keep your hands on the handlebar, especially in windy conditions you should be okay. Also at races its no big deal, just keep them hands on.

I dont know were you live, but if you do alot of climbing you will not feel the 100g or at least I wouldnt.

My choice 404 FC tubs.

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