Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon (Rim Brakes)

Hi Experts,

I have a Specialized 2018 SL 5 (Expert). Earlier in the year, I bought Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon rims for the bike and love it. I now (finally) have a SL 7 Pro (2021) which has disc breaks Love the Roval wheels that come with it equally as well.

I'd like to keep the Zipp 404 Firecrest to have a second set of wheels for the SL 7 and curious if there's anything that can be done to convert them from rim to disc ? I don't know much at all about bike mechanics but my simplistic view is that brake rotors just need to be added :) .

Any tips greatly appreciated. I did go to the Zipp web site , but didn't see anything helpful.

Thank you so much in advance.


  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    In theory you could get the rims built onto new disc brake hubs, but in practice that's not really going to be practical. You'd need to buy new hubs and spokes, then find someone to take the wheels apart and rebuild them, all of which is going to be pricey. The bigger problem is going to find compatible parts. The front rim brake wheel appears to have 18 spokes, which rules out most (if not all) disc brake hubs. The rear has 24 so could potentially be rebuilt, but as you'd already be needing a whole new front wheel and the bits for the rear, you're better off selling the set and buying a new disc compatible set if you want 404s on the new bike.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644

    You have to a) buy new wheels or b) ignore the marketing and realise that rim brake just as well as disc and buy another rim braked bike to match the wheels.
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • suaro
    suaro Posts: 2
    Thanks everyone. Yeah, sounds like more trouble than its worth. Thanks for the responses. Really appreciate it!
  • the main issue is spoke count... the 404 for rim brakes are 18/24, which means the front cannot be built on a disc brake hub, unless you can find one for 18 spokes, which seems unlikely to me...
    One could attempt a bodge, using a 36 holes front hub and using every other hole, but it's far from ideal and it might not be very durable.
    The rear can be rebuilt easily.
    Either way, it's costly... £ 200 for a pair of decent hubs, 100 for CX ray spokes, add another 60 or so of labour...
    left the forum March 2023