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Zipp 303 - views on clincher version?

Rich.HRich.H Posts: 443
edited March 2008 in Workshop
Any feedback from those who have ridden them?

Comparison with Kysrium SL / ES?

Main use will be on UK Sportives (Gran Fondo / Polka Dot / Dragon etc) and Etape.

Now that the new Dura Ace clinchers are not avaiable until mid July, I am thinking of taking a look at the new 2008 model. Need to find a good price though....




  • MorpethMorpeth Posts: 104
    Not convinced by deep section carbon clinchers, Alu OK. I'd look at getting some AC 420 rims laced onto decent hubs with CX rays. I run Carbon Tubs (boras) for racing and low section alu for training and distance.
  • DuraAce carbon clinchers will be in counrty before end of month,not june or july. My LBS spoke to the man last week.If there pre ordered you should be ok, if not end of july.
    ding dang do
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Its a bit of a half way house isnt it ? For maximum benefit - you want the wheel light - so get a tub ?

    If you're doing Sportives, then do you need the aero benefit that much - you'll prob be riding wheels anyway and the air will be all messed up ?
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    303s are a shallower rim more akin to Ksyrium and designed for climbing. ksyriums are't that good - they are a good strong all-round (well it would be round)wheel but they are neither aero nor a 'great' climbing wheel. A set of handbuilts would prob. be lighter.The Campag.Neutrons are good and those new HED Ardennes look interesting.
  • araceraracer Posts: 1,649
    303s are nothing like Ksyriums - they're actually aero for a start! Can't see why you'd think a 40mm deep aero section rim is anything like a much shallower non-aero one.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    303 clinchers aren't worth it. The tub version are the real deal but the clincher version is significantly heavier at close to 1600g. Paying £1250 for this is daylight robbery.

    Personally I'd go for Neutrons, the best factory built wheels in my opinion. If you want to spend a lot, look at the Campagnolo Hyperons, like Neutrons but with carbon rims you save 150g, they're 1350g and rock solid clinchers.

    But if you want aero wheels, look at the Mavic Cosmics, they are bombproof and fast. Alternatively, US composites manufacturer Egde has a new clincher rim that is aero and 400g, apparently it's strong but it's only just out. You could build up a nice pair of wheels with DT hubs and CX / CX-ray spokes for £750.
  • Rich.HRich.H Posts: 443
    Its back to the "holy grail" isn't it - light and aero with the convenience of a clincher

    I definitely prefer clinchers and also an alloy brake surface - all of which I know impacts on the weight.

    As regards aero...well, thats why i have asked the question of those who have ridden the 303's

    I do most of my "training" mileage solo and average around 17.5 - 18 mph on the big UK sportives (Dragon / Polka Dot etc). This is with Kysrium ES. The run out to the Tourmalet on this years Etape is a fairly flat 80km.....I guess what I am after is a liitle more speed on the flats with no penalty going up hill. i.e a performance gain overall - hence the possible aero route

    And lets be honest about it, I fancy some new kit 8)

    By the way, I would not pay more that £1000 for the Zipp's....

  • synchronicitysynchronicity Posts: 1,415
    I wouldn't buy zipp clinchers. Tubulars yes, but clinchers no. Like someone else already mentioned, they're significantly heavier than their tubular counterparts. I'd look for another brand of clincher personally.

    Why not consider a Planet X Pro carbon 50 wheelset? Not sure of the weight though.

    Rolf prima vigor clincher wheels are also cheaper and lighter than zipp. Ther are lots of other brands to choose from! :)
  • araceraracer Posts: 1,649 ... hp?t=35795
    and ... hp?t=35946
    are the reasons I personally wouldn't buy any Rolf wheel. If you're after something like that a better choice is AC420s (which use the same rim extrusion) or better yet, handbuilts on AC420 rims, which is what I have :D

    I would guess PX-50 clinchers are even more weighty than the 303 clinchers - though they are obviously much better value.
  • MorpethMorpeth Posts: 104
    i'd take a step back and consider training and general pootling on the ES's. And a carbon tub wheelset for races, look at Corima or Planet X. Mixing clinchers with carbon rims doesnt appeal to me without spending loadsamoney (lightweights).
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    You can buy factory wheels (e.g. Campag Shamals) that are as light as the Zipps for a fraction of the price - and they won't anything like as flexy. IMO carbon clincher rims with aluminium brake tracks are purely for bike tarts - if you want fast wheels for racing, then tubs ride better and you can run on flat without risking serious damage to the rim. If you want aero wheels - you need to look at rims nearer to 50mm in section, but might be a problem in cross winds. For a sportive, I'd go for an aluminium rim for assured braking in any conditions and given that you're likely to be riding in a bunch, I'd put stiffness and reliability ahead of any perceived aero benefit - aero wheels don't make much difference below 20mph anyway.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Rich.HRich.H Posts: 443
    Just to clarify a couple of things again:

    I want to stick with clinchers and an alloy brake surface. The new wheels will be used alongside the Ksyriums

    I do not race regularly, but will take part in 7 or 8 sportives this year, including the Etape.

    I have run a version of Ksyrium for the last 3 years, laterly the ES.

    I average around 17.5 / 18 mph on the longer Sportives - therefore, a lot of miles at 20 mph plus, some of this invariably solo......I also take in a few club "10's", more as speed work than anything, where I now average 25mph on a standard road bike. I will probably tackle a few 25's as well this year as prep for the Etape

    Therefore, I see the Zipp 303 as a (fair enough, expensive) option that may give me a bit me more speed on the flats whilst still rolling well on the climbs

    So, I am still looking for an objective comment from anyone who has actual experience of the Zipp's.

    I am also definitely interested in the new Dura Ace clinchers (lighter and more aero than the Ksyriums according to reports) but they are not out until mid July....


  • simbil1simbil1 Posts: 620

    Have you considered the Mavic Cosmic Carbone? I know they are no where near as light but you could try a mix like Soler did in last year's TDF; Cosmic Carbone on the back where the braking is less important (it's got an alu surface too) and something else on the front (like stick with your ES, or use an R-Sys like Soler).

    I think you are right to go clincher as tubs aren't going to be much use for you on a sportive as you would need to carry a spare and so negate the weight saving.

    I would not get wheels that have a rider weight limit personally (like the zipps).
  • Rich.HRich.H Posts: 443
    simbil1 wrote:

    Have you considered the Mavic Cosmic Carbone?

    I would not get wheels that have a rider weight limit personally (like the zipps).

    I have given a lot of thought to the Carbone but they are over 200g heavier than what I have.....

    In terms of the weight limit for the 303's, I have quite a bit in my favour as I weigh 160lbs. They have also made them stronger for 2008, according to the company blurb.

    I really wish Zipp (and others actually) would arrange some kind of test program in the UK. Mavic have done it with the R-Sys so it is possible. It would really help the decision making...

  • hmmm... pretty sure zipp do a test program over in the uk

    certainly one of my lbs in belfast has the yellow decal test zipps available for prospective customers to try. check the zipp dealers.
  • PirahnaPirahna Posts: 1,315
    If you want opinions on the Zipps have a look on the Weight Weenies forum.

    For 16 pages of lightweight clinchers have a read of this: ... her+weight
  • wildmoustachewildmoustache Posts: 4,010
    rich - there's also the bontrager aeolus alloy clincher ... deep section. looks interesting . bonty wheels are very good IME. weight about the same as the zipp 303/404 clinchers i think.

    the deal is that if you want alloy brake track deep section it's going to be 1600g + . that's where things are right now. the alternative to save weight is to go slightly less deep/aero, or go carbon clinchers. the 46mm reynolds assault look very interesting for £899 ... appearing in April according to reynolds.

    I rate the cosmic carbones. I'm not joking that over a course like the 08 etape they would for sure save a bit of time compared to ksyriums for example. they hold their speed nicely and feel very stiff.
  • PhilBixbyPhilBixby Posts: 697
    I've never ridden on Zipps, but I *do* know people who have, and they've had problems with them (which have included rims falling apart etc - not just the odd loose spoke).

    Someone's mentioned Rolf Vigors - I ride on these as my summer wheels. They're lovely; robust, alloy deep-section rim, significantly lighter than the Zipps. Only downside is the brake track is narrow so brakes need careful setting up. Mike Vaughan has a pair of Vigor SLs on special offer.

    Phil B
    York, UK
  • wheeler585wheeler585 Posts: 552
    I would leave the carbon rims for racing and use just clinchers for sportives! I know some people would disagree,but alot of these sportives rides ride over alot of bumpy pot hole roads. And if you hit these with your brand new zipp carbon rims,there will only be one outcome. Ive heard some bad reports about zipp carbon rims as they crack quite easily. I would agree with monty dog and go for shamal ultra's Es wheels ,dt swiss 1450's or anything like that for sportives. But hey thats just my opinion,if you race i would get some Bora's or some cosmic carbone sl's or even better a set of lightweights!! strong and expensive!! :wink:
    Up hup hup hup.....fricking hate that!
  • Rich.HRich.H Posts: 443
    Well, I am still going back and forth with this.

    I had already read a lot of the reviews / forums posted above. Reviews on the Zipps appear quite polarised - some swear by them, some swear at them....

    After 3 years on Ksyriums, part of me really wants to try something aero but I do not want to give too much weight away.

    The Shamals look a great wheel but are similar to what I have already, although they are a bit lighter

    If I was riding purely flat courses, I would take a punt on the Mavic Carbones - reviews always seem to be positive and I like the look of them. They are relatively heavy though

    As it is, I will be riding the Grand Fondo Cymru / Polka Dot / Dragon / Etape his year and may well carry on with the Kysrium ES until the new Dura Ace clinchers become available in July. Light at 1380 grams and more aero than the Kysrium according to reports - priced at around c.£500.

    Trouble is, I still can't shake of the Zipps....

    Thanks for the input

  • wheeler585wheeler585 Posts: 552
    Well i use the shamal ultras and i think there a fantastic wheel!!!! Beat the ksyriums by along way in every way!! In weight (1350grms),stiffness and durability. I must admit the zipps do look bling,but if i was spending that money on some carbon rims i would defo go for the Easton bora's or the new cosmic carbone sl wheels!
    Up hup hup hup.....fricking hate that!
  • you could check out the edge composites rims and get them built up somewhere?
    they've had very good reviews so far.... light, strong and stiff as hell apparently.

    might be worth a look?
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