By our count, there are four big trends in wheel technology that are relevant to cyclocross and gravel cyclists: disc brakes; tubeless; wide rims; and thru axles.
Zipp Speed Weaponry has already embraced disc brakes, with the 303 Firecrest clincher and tubular wheels released in 2013, and the 202 Firecrest clincher wheelset we first saw last June.
As of today, the Indianapolis-based SRAM company embraces thru axles, and has updated the disc brake versions of its 202 Firecrest clincher and 303 Firecrest clincher and tubular carbon wheels with new thru axle hubs that it calls the 77 (front) and 177 (rear).
77/177 Hubs Support Thru Axles
The biggest news, at least for thru-axle adopters, is that the new hubset features replaceable end caps that adapt the hubs between quick releases and thru axles.
The caps are replaceable without tools, and were relatively easy for us to remove, and support the most popular 15 x 100mm front and 12 x 142mm rear thru axle options. They’ll also support 12 x 100mm and 12 x 135mm options, which might help future proof your investment if those configurations take off.
So whether you’ve got the new Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie frameset, or the new Focus Mares CX Disc bike as ridden by Jeremy Powers, the new 77/177 hubset will allow you to upgrade to the 303 or 202 Firecrest wheelsets should you need a carbon wheel for cyclocross or gravel adventures.