Zipp’s 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher 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, we never rest on laurels. Our 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 our all-time best-selling wheelsets, the 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher offers dramatic improvements over its predecessors:
More Speed: Revised rim profile for reduced aerodynamic drag developed by our advanced development team in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
Greater AeroBalance™: ABLC™ Sawtooth™ Technology, a complex dimpling pattern first developed for our top-level NSW wheel lineup. This technology helps to achieve the optimization of low aerodynamic drag and crosswind stability, which we 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 our 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, we now offer our 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, our composites supplier created a heat-resistant resin exclusively for Zipp. This technology improves heat dissipation so substantially that our Carbon Clinchers have never had a heat-related failure.
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.