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Road Classic,

202 Firecrest® Carbon Clincher

Zipp’s 202 Firecrest® Carbon Clincher is all about aiming higher. We took our classic 202 Tubular wheelset – the legendary climber’s companion – and transformed it into a stiff, lightweight and aerodynamic Carbon Clincher speed weapon ideal for every road you travel. At 1,450g, the 202 Firecrest is the lightest entry in the Firecrest Carbon Clincher lineup. The Zipp® 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher retains the classic 32mm rim depth of its tubular predecessor though, with the Firecrest profile, now has a wider 25.4 mm max rim width. The results redefine what’s possible with a do-it-all classic road wheel. The 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher now is laced to the maintenance-free 77/177 hubset, with its best-in-class durability and improved bearing protection, all with no pre-load adjustment needed. Other hub and wheel features include:

  • Newly designed quick-release skewers with a wider more ergonomic handle to provide more leverage for opening and closing. When closed, lever contours neatly with the frame.
  • Optimized flange geometry and spoke hole attachment pattern with Sapim® CX Sprint spokes to optimize torsional and lateral stiffness and robustness.
  • New robust hub shell with distinctive graphics.
  • For those looking for a wider gear range, or tackling especially extreme terrain, a XD driver body for 177 is sold separately and easily installed to allow for more cassette options including a 10-42. The hubset is designed to swap driver bodies without the need to re-dish the wheel.

Zipp’s Firecrest rim and Carbon Clincher technology form the foundation of the 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher. Firecrest rims have a near-constant width from brake track to spoke bed to improve aerodynamics and better control airflow. Zipp engineers used Computational Fluid Dynamics software analysis to maximize aerodynamics and minimize wind-produced torque, resulting in a 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher that is faster and better handling than a classic road wheel. Our Firecrest rim shape improves stability by moving the wheel’s center of pressure to sit almost directly over the steering axis, where wind-produced steering torque has a minimal effect.

Add to that our Carbon Clincher technology. Our exclusive resin, based on materials used in motorsports braking systems, effectively tolerates the incredible spikes in heat caused by braking to provide unrivalled reliability and confidence inspiring stopping power. Zipp Carbon Clinchers have never had a heat related failure.

Available in two decal options, the stealthy Matte Black or the distinctive Matte White decals. Each 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher wheel comes with Tangente Platinum Pro Evo brake pads, Zipp Integrated Valve Extender with valve-core wrench, rim tape and quick release. 


Front wheel: $950  €1,000
Rear wheel: $1,150  €1,200

Set Weight 1450g
Max recommended rider weight (lbs) 250lbs
Front Wheel
Weight 635g
Hub Used 77
Rim Depth 32mm
Brake Track Width (center) 24.62mm
Max Width 25.4mm
Clincher Bead Width 16.25mm
Spokes Sapim® CX-Sprint
Spoke Count 18
Spoke Pattern Radial
Spoke Length 274
Max Tire Pressure 125psi
Max Tire Pressure 8.62bars
Track Adaptable No
Dimpled Surface Yes
Nipples Sapim®
External Nipples Yes
Rear Wheel
Weight 815g
Hub Used 177
Rim Depth 32mm
Brake Track Width (center) 24.62mm
Max Width 25.4mm
Spokes Sapim® CX-Sprint
Spoke Count 24
Spoke Pattern Non-Drive 2 cross
Spoke Length Non-Drive 284mm
Spoke Length Drive 284mm
Spoke Pattern Drive 2 cross
Max Tire Pressure 125psi
Max Tire Pressure 8.62bars
11-speed compatible hub Yes
Track Adaptable No
Dimpled Surface Yes
Nipples Sapim®
External Nipples Yes
Feed the Habit Declares 202 Firecrest the Gold Standard  September 2014

The bike and gear review site published a review of the Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher, praising them as the gold standard all-aroudn wheelset.

Quote: “With a premium price, you do get premium performance. It’s hard to imagine anything else you’d want in a carbon clincher. For dry-weather riding, these can’t be beat. They roll up fast, are rock-solid laterally and add a touch of smoothness you won’t get on alloy wheels.”

Read Full Review

Pro Cycling: “Brilliant braking, super handling, low weight”  April 2013 [pdf]

 UK-based Pro Cycling magazine, in its April 2013 issue, praised the Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher. “With super handling, low weight (80g less than close rivals Enve’s 3.4Cs), clincher convenience and brilliant braking, the 202s are arguably the new best all-rounders in the world,” according to Pro Cycling.

Click on PDF for full review

Cycling Plus gives 5 stars to 202 Firecrest  April 2013 [pdf]

Cycling Plus magazine awarded the Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher with 5 starts out of 5. “We consider Zipp’s 202 to be the best all-round wheelset now available. Great handling, low weight, clincher convenience and brilliant braking.“

“On the road the low weight translates to instant acceleration and highly capable climbing. But where they excel is in blustery conditions, handling crosswinds better than the leading aluminium wheels we’ve tried.”
Click on PDF for full review

202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher gets the gold  April 2013 [pdf]

UK-based Triathlon Plus magazine gave the Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher as its  Gold Award. “The best all-round wheelset now available,” the magazine stated. "...
where they excel is in blustery conditions, handling crosswinds better than the leading aluminium wheels we’ve tried."

Click on PDF for full review

Praised as all-rounder  February 2013 [pdf]

Great Britain's Cycling Plus magazine welcomes the Zipp 202 Carbon Clincher, saying that it "could well be the most usable all-rounder in the current clincher line-up."

Zipp called leader in carbon clinchers  January 2013 [pdf]

Great Britain's Cycling Plus magazine reports Zipp at forefront of testing and developing carbon clinchers.

Pez does a deep dive on 202 Firecrest  December 2012 takes an in-depth look at the 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher and at Zipp's culture of innovation. READ REVIEW HERE

Carbon Clinchers come of age  November 2012 [pdf]

The December 2012 issue of Cycle Sport (UK) features the Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher, calling the wheel "a viable alternative to tubulars capable of offering performance good enough for the fastest pro racers." Click on PDF to read full feature


Eurobike highlights  November 2012 [pdf]

Grinta magazine, from Belgium and the Netherlands, featured the Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher in its 2012 Eurobike highlights. The magazine also produced a short video with Zipp Technical PR Manager David Ripley. Click on PDF to read the feature or here to view video.



Peloton praises 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher  October 2012 [pdf]

Peloton Magazine, in its December 2012 issue, writes that with the 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Zipp has discovered elusive all-around wheelset that measures up even to Big Foot. Click on PDF to read full review. 

Cycling Weekly takes 202 Firecrest for First Ride  September 2012 [pdf]

Cycling Weekly (UK) magazine was one of the first to take our new 202 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers out for a ride. Click on the PDF to read the magazine's First Ride feature. 

Review highlights:

“…acceleration from stationary is rapid and when at speed offers a real punch to accelerations.“

“Quite surprising, given the rim’s depth, was the direct feel it had, not only because of the stiff rim, though sidewalls/ braking track, tight build but also because of the near vertical sidewalls of the tyre itself, meaning more of the road make up is passed into the frame.”

“As with previous Zipp carbon clinchers, brake performance is super, highly repeatable…”

“Following the first few rides it’s clear that Zipp has pulled it off again and delivered an amazing all-round wheel suitable for climbers looking for an aero advantage. Impressive stuff.”

Pleasantly impressed with 202 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers  September 2012 [pdf]

The Italian magazine GranFondo, in its October 2012 issue, provided the attached review of the 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher following the Eurobike Demo Day test.

Click on image for full review or read translated highlights below: 

"Even if we have used them for few kilometers, the Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers have pleasantly impressed us for their easy handling. Responsive but not too much, stable in the descents, curves and changes of directions. That’s also due to the Zipp Tangente with their very pronounced profile: Excellent braking performance, smooth and without annoying noises. On purpose after a pretty high speed descent, we have braked harder and much longer than we would normally had in order to test the brakes. And we didn’t notice an excessive increase of the temperature. The combination of the new brake pads and the new rim shape seems to work very well."


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.

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Carbon Clincher

Our superior Carbon Clincher technology is the culmination of two years of intensive prototyping and testing. We worked with our composites supplier to develop an exclusive heat-resistant resin based on the materials used in motorsports brake systems. This proprietary technology improves heat management so substantially that all Zipp Carbon Clinchers pass stringent CEN safety standards.

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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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Wire EDM

Electron Discharge Machining allows us to cut the materials for our rear hub drive internals after they’ve been hardened through heat treating, negating the warping and imprecision caused by the heat-treating process.

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