The 303 Firecrest has been the company’s workhorse cyclocross tubular for years now. We first reviewed the carbon tubular seven years ago when rim brakes and quick release axles were the norm, and we saw them still winning titles in Reno in January.
This year, the company has a re-designed carbon 303 Firecrest cyclocross tubular that still offers a light weight and aero profile for both rim and disc brake models.
Zipp also has new ergo models of the Service Course 80 and SL-80 handlebars displayed at Sea Otter.
Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular Wheelset
The biggest change to the 303 Firecrest tubular is a re-designed rims for both the rim and disc brake models. Both models have a new dimple design, and Zipp updated the brake track on the rim brake model.
Zipp also says both have increased impact resistance. The new carbon rims are also narrower than last year’s model, with a max width of 25mm, which is 3.5mm narrower than the 2017 rim.
Zipp said the changes added a small amount of weight to the rims, but a comparison with the 2017 models shows that is partly true. The new disc rims have a claimed weight of 1,410g, which is 5g per rim higher than the previous model, but the 1,339g rim brake model appears to shave off 25g per rim with the changes to the brake track and narrower profile.
The 303 Firecrest keeps its 45mm depth, and the rim bed profile also remains the same. The disc model comes with end caps for front 12mm and 15mm thru-axles and quick release and rear 12mm thru-axle and quick release. The rim brake model has quick release axles. The wheels use Zipp’s 77/177 (rim) and 77/177D (disc) hubsets that allow room for up to 10-42t cassettes for cyclocrossers who want extra cogs for climbing or fewer for mashing.
The disc wheelset retails for $2,500 and the rim brake wheelset is $2,300.
Zipp Ergo Service Course 80 Handlebar
Zipp has also added new ergo versions of its Service Course 80 and SL-80 alloy handlebars.
The ergo bars have a flat top and a three-degree backsweep for a neutral wrist position when your hands are on the top of the bar. They also have a seven-degree ramp angle at the hoods and a four-degree flare at the drops. The bar keeps the 80mm reach and 125mm drop of the regular Service Course model.
The new handlebars are built for compatibility with modern add-ons. Want to run some Mat Stephens (and now Jake Wells) aero bars at Dirty Kanza? The new ergo bars have a wide clamp area. Running Di2? They also have a wire port hole for your electronic shifting control.
The $110 7050 aluminum SL-80 weighs 275g and the $55 6061 aluminum 80 weighs 325g. Both models are available in 38, 40, 42 and 44mm center-to-center widths.
More info: zipp.com
Want real-time tire pressure measurements for your new wheelset? Check out our coverage of the new Quarq TyreWiz pressure sensor. Also see our coverage of new wheels from Boyd Cycling and Knight Composites.
See what’s new this year with our coverage of the 2018 Sea Otter trade show.