Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheels is an all-around wheelset in every way. It’s rich in heritage yet loaded with innovations.

It’s as adept in the mountains as it is on rolling hills, windswept farm lanes, or ferocious field sprints.  

At Zipp, they never rest on laurels. Their engineers can’t sit still long enough to – they’re too busy innovating. Think lighter weight. Think greater speed and control. Think increased stopping power.  One of their all-time best-selling wheelsets, the 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher offers dramatic improvements over its predecessors: 

Features

More Speed - Revised rim profile for reduced aerodynamic drag developed by their advanced development team in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. 

Greater AeroBalance - ABLC Sawtooth Technology, a complex dimpling pattern first developed for their top-level NSW wheel lineup. This technology helps to achieve the optimization of low aerodynamic drag and crosswind stability, which they call AeroBalance. 

Better braking - Zipp’s ShowStopper textured braking surface delivers unrivalled rim braking performance in wet or dry conditions. 

Lighter Weight - The 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher is 145 grams lighter than its previous iteration. 

Every Firecrest rim is designed and made by hand in Indianapolis. Zipp’s original 303 Tubular made history by becoming the first carbon wheelset to win cycling’s two most famous Cobbled Classics, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Its wider rim provided extra durability, and improved aerodynamics. That wider rim also led to the development of their revolutionary Firecrest® technology. 

At the center of these wheels is the pro-proven 77/177 hubset. Its optimized flange geometry and spoke hole attachment pattern is paired with Sapim CX Sprint spokes to optimize torsional and lateral stiffness and robustness. Each wheel includes a quick-release skewer with a wide, more ergonomic handle to provide more leverage for opening and closing. When closed, the lever contours neatly with the frame. For those looking for a wider gear range, or tackling especially extreme terrain, they now offer their Firecrest Carbon Clincher wheels with a XDR driver body allowing for more cassette options including a 10-42. 

Zipp’s Carbon Clincher technology preserves the aerodynamic advantages of the 303 Firecrest’s tubular brother, while adding the convenience of a clincher tire. And at just 1,480grams, it’s light enough to dance up the steepest gradients with ease as a go-to all-around wheelset. 

The Firecrest rim shape optimizes the aerodynamic profile of both the front half and the back half of the wheel. In addition, Firecrest moves the center of pressure of the wheel backwards, giving the 45 mm-deep rim the crosswind stability a box-section rim. At the same time, the 26.4 mm-wide brake track (at center) allows the clincher tire to take on a wider, more stable shape without compromising rolling resistance. It’s faster, simpler, and more stable.  

Exposed spoke nipples sit in the aerodynamic shadow of the rims, keeping serviceability simple without compromising speed. Each 303 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. The Zipp Tangente R25 Road tire is a perfect match for this wheelset to deliver exceptionally low rolling resistance and high cornering grip.  

Heavy continuous braking on carbon surfaces can cause spikes in rim temperature and tire pressure that impact performance and handling – especially with clincher tires. To solve this challenge,their composites supplier created a heat-resistant resin exclusively for Zipp. This technology improves heat dissipation so substantially that their Carbon Clinchers have never had a heat-related failure. 

Product note

The rear 303 Firecrest may present some fitment issues for a small number of older road and triathlon frames, including 2012 Specialized Tarmac SL4 and Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge. The clearance between the chainstay and the rim may not be adequate to avoid contact between each other when ridden under load.

Each 303 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.

Technologies

Showstopper - is a complimenting pairing of a directional, molded-in, texture with silicon carbide particles suspended in the surface resin. 

ABLC SawTooth Technology  (Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control) - Their new Sawtooth dimple design consists of 12 nodes that are specifically clocked to start aerodynamic shearing at a rate of 50hz at a rider speed of 20mph. Sawtooth accomplishes this by inducing small sheet vortices that shed at a low magnitude, but at a higher natural frequency, thus decreasing the laminar bubble effect on the aerodynamically shielded side of the rim’s profile to further reduce high yaw drag and improve crosswind stability.

FirecrestWith the new proprietary Firecrest rim shape in their 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.

Carbon Clincher - Their superior Carbon Clincher technology is the culmination of two years of intensive prototyping and testing. They worked with their 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. 

Specifications

Set Weight: 1480g

Max recommended rider weight (lbs): 250lbs

Max recommended rider weight (kg): 115kg

Front Wheel

Weight: 645g

Hub Used: 77

Rim Depth: 45mm

Brake Track Width (center): 26.4mm

Max Width: 26.4mm

Internal Width: 17mm

Spokes: Sapim CX-Sprint

Spoke Count: 18

Spoke Pattern: Radial

Spoke Length: 260mm

Max Tire Pressure: 125psi

Max Tire Pressure: 8.62bars

Track Adaptable: No

Dimple Surface: ABLC SawTooth

Nipples: Sapim Secure-Lock

Tubeless: No

Rotor Interface: N/A

Rear Wheel

Weight: 835g

Hub Used: 177

Rim Depth: 45mm

Brake Track Width (center): 26.4mm

Max Width: 26.4mm

Internal Width: 17mm

Spokes: Sapim CX-Sprint

Spoke Count: 24

Spoke Pattern Non-Drive: 2 Cross

Spoke Pattern Drive: 2 Cross

Spoke Length NDS: 272mm

Spoke Length DS: 270mm

Max Tire Pressure: 125psi

Max Tire Pressure: 8.62bars

11-speed compatible hub: Yes

XDR Compatible: Yes

Track Adaptable: No

Dimpled Surface: ABLC SawTooth

Nipples: Sapim Secure-Lock

Tubeless: No

Rotor Interface: N/A

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