The 58mm rim profile is a classic in Zipp’s arsenal that dates back to the early ‘90s. These days, the 404 Tubular still winning races from the Queen K to L’Alpe d’Huez. Now, with the advanced Firecrest aero rim shape, our leading all-around performer is an even greater threat to win any race on any terrain.
By controlling airflow around the back half of the wheel, Firecrest makes the latest version of the 404 9 seconds faster than its predecessor over 40km at a moderate 10-degree wind angle. At higher wind angles, the improvements are even more dramatic in terms of both speed and stability. That’s because Firecrest moves the center of pressure closer to the steering axis, so crosswinds exert lower side force on the wheel.
Aerodynamics aside, the 404’s new 27mm-wide profile offers a slew of other benefits on the road. The upgraded lateral stiffness makes the 404 even more responsive to accelerations and more precise when cornering. And its composite structure is designed to absorb impacts by flexing slightly outward – which gives you a comfortable ride and long-term durability.
Even with all these improvements, Firecrest technology hasn’t added a gram to the 404 Tubular’s weight of just 1278g. On the climbs, it goes toe-to-toe with shallower, less aero rivals. On the flats, it hangs with deeper, less nimble competitors. If any one wheelset can do it all, it’s the 404.
Firecrest: With the new Firecrest rim shape in our 404 and 808 Tubulars and Carbon Clinchers, 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, wheel strength, and overall ride quality.
ABLC™ (Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control): Advanced Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) refers to the patented and instantly recognizable dimpled pattern found on most of our rims. ABLC smoothes airflow across the rim's surface and is tailored to every model from the 202 to the Sub9 disc.
VCLC™ (Visco-Elastic Constrained Layer Control): Visco-Elastic Constrained Layer Control (VCLC) uses a vibration-absorbing material sandwiched between layers of rigid carbon laminate in the rim. When the wheel receives an impact from the road, much of the shock is absorbed by the VCLC system, delivering a 10% reduction in vibration.
Carbon Bridge™: Carbon Bridge uses a Kevlar® thread in a co-axial helix stitch to bind sheets of carbon to each other in our tubular rims. Because Kevlar is 350% more impact resistant than carbon, it can disperse shock more evenly throughout the carbon laminate, making for a rim that is practically bulletproof. In particular, Carbon Bridge reduces the vulnerability of the rim's tire bed, the area most susceptible to damage from impact.
88/188 Hub Technology: Every aspect of our 88 and 188 hubs sets a new benchmark. The standard steel bearings are the roundest in the industry. The 17mm axle is the stiffest of any road hub we've tested. The wire EDM-cut hub internals are the most precise. The SHIFT spoke hole technology is the most durable. When it comes to precision and performance, there's really no comparison.