Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset Review 

Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset

In the ever-evolving world of cycling, advancements are constantly being made. And Zipp has emerged as a true pioneer in that journey. Their latest creation, the Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset, is a game-changer in more ways than one.

With a focus on real-world performance rather than mere wind tunnel numbers, Zipp has taken a holistic approach with their Total System Efficiency philosophy. This means that every aspect affecting your riding speed has been carefully considered, from wind resistance to gravity, rolling resistance, and even vibrational losses.

It’s refreshing to see a major brand like Zipp challenging the status quo and delivering a wheelset that combines cutting-edge technology, exceptional performance, and a lifetime warranty, all at an unexpectedly competitive price point.

But how does the brand bring so much within a good price range? Like you, we are also curious. So, let’s try to find out in our detailed review.

Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset Features

Here’s a table describing the features of the ZIPP 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset:

WheelsetZIPP 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset
Rim MaterialWheelset, disc rotors, tubeless valves, and quick-release skewers
Rim Depth45mm depth for improved aerodynamics and stability
Brake TypeDisc brake compatibility for consistent and powerful braking
Tubeless ReadyAllows for easy setup of tubeless tires for enhanced performance
Internal WidthWide internal rim width for optimized tire support and traction
Hub CompatibilityDesigned for various axle configurations and disc brake rotor sizes
Spoke CountAvailable in different spoke count options for added strength
WeightLightweight design for improved climbing and acceleration
Firecrest TechnologyEnhanced aerodynamics and stability across various wind conditions
CompatibilityCompatible with modern drivetrain systems and axle standards
Included ComponentsWheelset, disc rotors, tubeless valves, and quick release skewers

Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset

The ZIPP 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset is popular due to its combination of high-quality construction, aerodynamic design, and versatile functionality. The combination brings great features and we are going to talk about them right now.

Balanced Weight

The Zipp 303S wheelset strikes a balance between weight and strength, tipping the scales at a reasonable 1,558 grams.

Zipp 303 Balanced Weight

The rim has a depth of 45.3mm front and rear, with a maximum external width of 27.3mm. Then comes the profile tapers, providing improved aerodynamics without sacrificing stability.

So, it’s a good wheelset that won’t add extra weight to your bike.

Two-cross Pattern Spokes and Lacing

The Zipp 303S wheelset boasts 24 bladed Sapim spokes per wheel, laced in a two-cross pattern. This design makes sure of its strength and durability while allowing for easy maintenance.

The J-bend spokes and external nipples simplify adjustments and servicing. Also, the wheelset’s lacing pattern and spoke configuration contribute to its overall stability and reliability, providing cyclists with confidence on the road or trail.

Hub Design

The Zipp 303S wheelset features hubs designed for convenience and ease of maintenance. With removable end caps that can be taken off by hand, cleaning and re-greasing the drive system is a straightforward task.

Zipp’s these hubs incorporate three leaf-sprung pawls that engage with 36 teeth, resulting in a solid 10-degree engagement. This hub design ensures efficient power transfer and responsiveness.

Zipp 303 Hub Design

Moreover, the compatibility with Shimano and SRAM cassettes further enhances the versatility of the wheelset, making it suitable for a wide range of cycling disciplines and preferences.

Tubeless-Ready Rim

The Zipp 303S wheels are designed exclusively for tubeless tires due to their hookless rim walls.

This design choice is well-suited for the current trend of tubeless-ready tires with reinforced beads, ensuring a secure fit and reducing the risk of tire blow-offs.

Mounting tubeless tires is made easier by the generous 9.9mm depth of the rim trough.

Performance and Ride Quality

The Zipp 303S wheelset delivers a snappy and direct performance that inspires confidence. Whether you’re sprinting, climbing out of the saddle, or navigating corners, these wheels provide a predictable and assured ride.

However, on rough surfaces, the lateral stiffness of the wheels can result in some vibrations. Despite this, the overall ride remains comfortable and enjoyable.

Zipp 303 Performance and Ride Quality

Cyclists will appreciate the responsiveness and power transfer offered by the 303S wheelset, as it enhances their ability to maintain speed and tackle challenging terrain with ease.

Durability and Tolerance

The Zipp 303S wheelset demonstrates impressive durability and consistency in spoke tension. With a minimal variance in spoke tension and maintained trueness and roundness, these wheels offer stability and reliability even under demanding conditions.

While the front wheel may exhibit slightly more tension variance compared to the rear wheel, it does not significantly impact overall performance.

Cyclists can rely on the 303S wheelset to withstand challenging terrains and long-distance rides without compromising its integrity. This durability factor contributes to the long-term value and longevity of the wheelset, ensuring a reliable and enjoyable cycling experience.

Accessories and Convenience

To enhance the overall package, the Zipp 303S wheels come with a double-wheel bag that includes Velcro straps for secure transportation and a small pocket for quick-release skewers.

The rims are pre-taped for tubeless installation, and rotor lockrings are also included, saving you time and effort during setup.

Zipp 303 Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake

While the Zipp 303S excels in many aspects, it’s important to consider certain limitations. The lateral stiffness that enhances power transfer can result in a slightly harsher ride on rough surfaces.

Zipp 303 Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake

Additionally, the front wheel may exhibit greater tension variance compared to the rear wheel, although this does not significantly impact overall performance.

Real-life Scenarios

The wheelset offers confident and predictable cornering, providing control and stability. However, on rough surfaces, some vibrations may be felt due to the lateral stiffness of the wheels.

Despite this, the wheels maintain a comfortable ride overall. Cyclists may also notice improved speeds with comparable effort levels, indicating the efficiency of the wheelset.

In demanding conditions and on challenging roads, the durability and spoke tension consistency of the 303S wheelset ensure reliable performance.


Q. Are Zipp 303 good for climbing?

Ans: The Zipp Firecrest 303 disc wheelset is a valuable choice for gravel and alpine climbing.

Q. What is the difference between Zipp 303 S and Firecrest?

Ans: Zipp enhanced the width of their popular 303 wheelsets, with the 303 Firecrest now at 25mm internal width and the 303 S at 23mm. These adjustments position both wheelsets as top contenders in the road wheel market.

Q. Is Zipp owned by SRAM?

Ans: Yes. SRAM acquired Zipp in 2007 and subsequently introduced the SRAM RED road wheelset in 2008.


The Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset offers a winning combination of performance, usability, and affordability. With its well-designed spokes and lacing, user-friendly hub system, and impressive durability, it stands out among its competitors.

While the lateral stiffness may transmit some vibrations on rough surfaces, the overall ride quality remains comfortable.

Whether you’re a road racer, time trialist, or multi-surface adventurer, the Zipp 303S offers a high-ticket option with excellent value.

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