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303 Firecrest® Tubular
Zipp Firecrest® Firecrest®

Making the industry’s
fastest wheels
even faster.

The 303 is a wheel you can never count out. In 2010, it became not only the first carbon wheel to win a major cobbled classic, it won the two biggest classics: Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. The wheel is light, utterly dependable and aerodynamic. And it’s just gotten even better.

Our exploration of the 303’s wider rim led to the Firecrest® technology. And now that development has come full circle with the 303 Firecrest. The new wheel features Firecrest’s signature shaping designed to optimize both halves of the wheel, which creates a rim that is significantly faster and also much easier to handle in crosswinds.

At just 1,310 grams, the weight of the new 303 is virtually unchanged from its predecessor and remains one of the lightest carbon wheelsets anywhere. Its 45 mm-deep rim outperforms much deeper rims with a traditional V-shaped cross-section. And yet, because Firecrest technology allows us to manipulate the wheel’s center of pressure, the new 303 handles like a box-section rim. It’s ultra-stable, and suitable for even the windiest days.

And because the 303’s new 26.45 mm-wide brake track (at center) has been optimized for wider tires, the ride quality is better than ever. 

The new wheels retain all the small details that make Zipp wheels what they are. Exposed spoke nipples sit in the aerodynamic shadow of the rims, keeping serviceability simple without compromising speed. And our signature ABLC™ rim dimples squeeze every last second of performance possible.

To complete the package, Zipp® has refined its venerable 88/188 hubset, reshaping the hub body and pushing the non-drive-side flange and bearing out by 7.5 mm on the rear hub to increase overall stiffness and strength. The wheelsets come with two decal options, the stealthy Beyond Black or the distinctive Classic White decals. Both decal options feature black anodized hubs, black spokes and black nipples. 

New for 2014, the 303 Firecrest Tubular is built with a the latest iteration of our 188 rear hub, the V9, along with new spoke-lacing pattern for the rear wheel - refinements that result in improved stiffness and durability. The new hub was developed in cooperation of superstar sprinter Mark Cavendish of the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team and is in use by other top pro cyclists and triathletes including Pete Jacobs and Mirinda Carfrae.

Cavendish received early hub prototypes in January 2013 and logged 13,000 kilometers (8,078 miles) on continually refined variants, including his stage victories at the Giro d’Italia and the 2013 Tour de France. His feedback helped optimize the hub’s flange geometry, stiffness and weight.

The new 188/V9 hub has larger precision Swiss steel bearings for increased durability. Our new “virtual 3 cross” lacing on both sides of rear wheel improves stiffness, achieving 3 cross stiffness in a 2 cross pattern with a new spoke geometry. The 188/V9 has 25 percent more torsional stiffness than a leading competitive hub. This measure of stiffness is crucial for the direct power transfer to the rear wheel for out-of-the saddle sprints and climbs. The new hub also is laterally (side-to-side) stiffer that its rival or predecessor.

New for 2014 wheels, our fully die cut Classic White and Beyond Black rim decals are borderless, thinner and lighter.

11 speed compatible

Retail availability: September 2013

Product note:

The wide profile of the 303 Firecrest is crucial to Zipp’s revolutionary Firecrest technology used to create wheels with superior aerodynamics as well as improved stability and handling.

The rear 303 Firecrest, however, may present some fitment issues for a small number of road and triathlon frames. The clearance between the chainstay and the rim may not be adequate to avoid contact between each other when ridden under load.

We urge customers who plan on riding the 303 Firecrest to test the wheel within the frame in which they intend to ride it, under normal riding and road conditions, before purchasing. Clearance within individual frames of the same size, from the same manufacturer, may vary. That is why it is imperative that you test the wheel in your frame, or in the frame that you are considering purchasing.

Customers who run into this fitment issue may select any other spoked wheel within the Zipp lineup as an alternative,including the 404 Firecrest with its narrower aero-width profile.

Below is a list of known frames that may present this issue. This list will be updated if this fitment issue is discovered elsewhere.

  • 2012 Specialized Tarmac SL4
  • Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge

MSRP:

Front wheel $1,085 / €996
Rear wheel  $1,315 / €1,204

Set Weight 1335g
Brake Track Top 25.14mm
Brake Track Bottom 27.57mm
Max recommended rider weight 250lbs
Front Wheel
Weight 585g
Rim Used 285v4FC
Hub Used 88
Rim Depth 45mm
Brake Track Width (center) 26.45mm
Max Width 28.50mm
Spokes Sapim® CX-Ray
Spoke Count 18
Spoke Pattern Radial
Spoke Length 260mm
Track Adaptable Yes
Dimpled Surface Yes
Ceramic Bearing After-market
Nipples Sapim®
External Nipples Yes
Rear Wheel
Weight 750g
Rim Used 285v4
Hub Used 188/V9
Rim Depth 45mm
Brake Track Width (center) 26.45mm
Max Width 28.50mm
Nominal Tire Bed Width 17.98mm
Spokes Sapim® CX-Ray
Spoke Count 24
Spoke Length Non-Drive 264mm
Spoke Pattern Non-Drive 2 cross
Spoke Pattern Drive 2 cross
Spoke Length Drive 262mm
Track Adaptable No
Dimpled Surface Yes
Ceramic Bearing After-market
Nipples Sapim®
External Nipples yes
Engineered for the Classics  April 2013 [pdf]

"How do you build a cobble-proof bike?" That's the questioned posed by UK-based Pro Cycling Magazine in an article on cycling components specifically designed to withstand the punishment of the Spring Classics. Zipp's work on the 303 wheelset is featured. 

Click on PDF to read the article

303 Firecrest Tubular named high-end wheels of year  May 2012 [pdf]

Cyclocross Magazine Issue #16 celebrates the best of the season, with its Editors’ and Readers’ Awards. 

Zipp snagged the Editor's Choice Award for Best High-End Wheels. More for information about Cyclocross Magazine, please visit cxmagazine.com/subscribe. Click on PDF to see awards.

In a word, incredible  May 2012 [pdf]

The Racing Post of Texas reviewed the 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher, concluding: "There was an immediate and noticeable difference. I didn’t have to look for it; my knees noticed on the first hill and my heart and legs were not far behind."

Full review posted here.

303 Firecrest called most versatile wheel set around  January 2012 [pdf]

Triathlon & Multi Sports magazine of Australia reviews the Firecrest® 303 Zipp®'s answer to the any wheel questions: "The 303s are still the standard of what a great all-round aero wheel set should be."

Cycle Sport magazine touts 303 Firecrest  January 2012 [pdf]

Cycle Sport magazine's Window Shop feature includes a summary of the 303 Firecrest wheelset. 

"PEZ-Tech: ZIPP 303 Tubular Wheels & Hubs"  June 2011

Pezcyclingnews.com did a long-term and extensive review of the Zipp 303 wheelset.  Check it out here.

Spanish Website Arueda.com Reviews the Zipp 303  May 2010

Check out the review here

Bikeradar.com reviews the Zipp 303  May 2010

… The new Zipp 303 is the best-performing carbon tubular we've tried to date and if you can only have one set of race wheels, this is it.

Click here for the full review.

VeloNews.com - Wrenched and Ridden  April 2010

303s get 10/10 in Cycling Weekly's  November 2009 [pdf]

Cycling Weekly has been riding the all new Zipp 303s.  Check out what they had to say....

If the 202 and 404 had a love child.  July 2009 [pdf]

Check out the all new 303 in the August 2009 issue of Road...

The Racing Post Reviews The All New Zipp 303 Wheelset  June 2009 [pdf]

Texas's The Racing Post had an opportunity to ride both the new 303 wheelset and the new 23mm Tangente tubular tire.  Check out the review!

Ciclismo Italy Reviews the New 303!  June 2009 [pdf]

New Zipp 303 "Classics" Road Wheelset  May 2009

BIKERUMOR.com 2009 SEA OTTER CLASSIC COVERAGE: Zipp’s new 303 wheelset is “Ready for Anything” and was designed with the cobbles of classics like Paris-Roubaix in mind.

Despite being wider and taller, their weight is the same as the ‘08 303 wheelset, and Zipp claims they’re more aerodynamic!  Built on their ultralight 88 and 188 front and rear hubs (named for their weights), the entire wheelset weighs in at a svelte 1182g (529g F / 653g R).  The new hubs have 17mm axles with taller flanges, which improves the wheel’s stiffness.

More...

TECH FEATURES: FIRST RIDE: 2010 SRAM FORCE AND ZIPP 303 WHEELS  April 2009

Philip Booth of Road Bike Action gave the completely redesigned 303s a proper shakedown at SeaOtter. 

Even though the Zipp 303s are designed for the cobbles of the Northern Classics, our first impression is that they should not be overlooked as all around aero wheels. The 303s would be ideally suited to a fast century or high mileage rider looking for an aero wheel that is easy to control and smoothes out the road.


Click here to read more.

ABLC™  (Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control)

Advanced Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) refers to the patented and instantly recognizable dimpled pattern found on all of our carbon rims. ABLC smoothes airflow across the rim's surface and is tailored to every model from the 202 to the Super-9 Disc. The third-generation of ABLC has up to four times more dimples than before.

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VCLC™  (Visco-Elastic Constrained Layer Control)

Visco-Elastic Constrained Layer Control (VCLC) uses a vibration-absorbing material sandwiched between layers of rigid carbon laminate in the rim. When the wheel receives an impact from the road, much of the shock is absorbed by the VCLC system, delivering a 10% reduction in vibration.

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Carbon Bridge™

Carbon Bridge uses a Kevlar® thread in a co-axial helix stitch to bind sheets of carbon to each other in our tubular rims. Because Kevlar is 350% more impact resistant than carbon, it can disperse shock more evenly throughout the carbon laminate, making for a rim that is practically bulletproof. In particular, Carbon Bridge reduces the vulnerability of the rim's tire bed, the area most susceptible to damage from impact.

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88/188 Hub Technology

Every aspect of our 88 and 188 hubs sets a new benchmark. The standard steel bearings are the roundest in the industry. The 17mm axle is the stiffest of any road hub we've tested. The wire EDM-cut hub internals are the most precise. When it comes to precision and performance, there's really no comparison.

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