The 58 mm rim profile is a classic in Zipp®’s arsenal that dates back to the early 1990s. These days, the 404 Tubular is still winning races from the Queen K to L’Alpe d’Huez. Now, with the advanced Firecrest® aero-rim shape, our leading all-around performer is an even greater threat to win any race on any terrain. For 2012, the venerable wheelset is available in 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.
By controlling airflow around the back half of the wheel, 404 Firecrest is 9 seconds faster than its predecessor 404 model over 40 km at a moderate 10-degree wind angle. At higher wind angles, the improvements are even more dramatic in terms of speed and stability. That’s because Firecrest moves the center of pressure closer to the steering axis so crosswinds exert less side force on the wheel. The result is a more stable ride.
Beyond aerodynamics and stability, the 404 Firecrest’s wider 27.07 mm-wide profile offers a slew of other benefits on the road. The upgraded lateral stiffness makes the 404 Firecrest even more responsive to accelerations and more precise when cornering. And its composite structure is designed to absorb impacts by flexing slightly outward – which gives you a comfortable ride and long-term durability.
Even with all the improvements from Firecrest technology the 404 Firecrest Tubular’s weight is a light 1,355 grams. On the climbs, it goes toe-to-toe with shallower, less aero rivals. On the flats, it hangs with deeper, less nimble competitors. If any one wheelset can do it all, it’s the 404 Firecrest.
The 404 Firecrest is getting the brand new 88/188 hubset, which in 2012 was remade with a 7.5mm-wider bearing stance in the rear hub, and a driveside hub canted by 2 degrees for improved stiffness and reliability.
Note: Zipp wheels for model year 2013, which began shipping in October 2012, are compatible with cassettes of up to 11-speed to work with all modern drivetrains.
Front wheel $1,085 / €996
BikeRadar reviews 404 Firecrest tubular January 2012
"Zipp's latest evolution of their 404 wheels is undoubtedly their most predictable, comfortable and versatile high-velocity set yet, making them true aero all-rounders...."
Read the review here.
"Zipp's New Shape" July 2011
Tri-Magazine.net takes a closer look at the new Firecrest rim shape. Click here for the full story.
"Zipp Reinvents The Wheel" February 2011 [pdf]
Cycling Weekly takes a closer look at the new Firecrest platform.
Wheels User Manual [pdf]
With the new proprietary Firecrest rim shape in our 202, 303, 404 and 808 Firecrest wheels, Zipp wheels make a bigger difference in more ways than ever. Not only is Firecrest more aerodynamic than any other rim design, it improves handling in crosswinds and overall ride quality.
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.
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.
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.
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.