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Zipp’s Disc-Brake Game Just Got Stronger

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March 6, 2015 — Last year we saw a slew of high-end wheel companies fulfill riders’ demands for a race-worthy road disc wheelset. A year later we are seeing refined versions making these welcome options even sweeter. Today, Zipp launches its latest iteration of disc-equipped road wheels: the 202 Firecrest Disc-Brake clincher, 303 Firecrest Disc-Brake clincher, and tubular version, into an all-new hub system: the 77-177D.

peloton/images courtesy Zipp

Rotating around the new hubs are the same successful Firecrest rims we’ve loved in the past because of their predictability, weight, and rigidity, although aesthetically you’ll notice the rim-braking track is unfinished giving the rim a consistent gloss finish up to the bead.  Another difference seen in this year’s 202 is the addition of brass nipples, an upgrade that gives the wheel set added durability. According to Zipp engineers, because the 202s use a shallower rim profile than the 303s, the spoke nipples are subject to more stress; therefore they chose to go with a more robust Sapim brass secure lock nipple compared to the aluminum ones used on the 303s.

RELATED: Zipp alloy got a redesign

The new 202 Disc Carbon Clincher with Matte-White decal.
The new 202 Disc Carbon Clincher with Matte-White decal.

Overall weight is down 35g for the 303 set, which comes directly from the new hub system. The 77-177D is really a step up from the older system, being lighter, stronger, and having more compatibility options than the predecessor 88-188s. The new hubs accept a 6-bolt disc rotor and come with thru-axle conversion caps if you aren’t running quick releases. According to Zipp, the 77-177D hub seals have been improved to keep the elements out, which translates into longer bearing life and increased durability.

303 Disc Carbon Clincher with Matte-White decal.
303 Disc Carbon Clincher with Matte-White decal.

Not that the old skewers needed improving, but the levers on the new skewers are now wider and more ergonomic, which should help make wheel changes a bit easier, especially in the nasty, cold weather in which discs thrive. One upgrade we were a bit surprised was left off the run sheet was a move tubeless compatibility. Zipp feels the peloton has yet to speak definitively on the need or desire for tubeless; they also sited a lack of good tire options as another reason to hold off on tubeless. We ask Zipp to add us to the “yes” column on the tubeless question. We’d love to see all the performance of a Zipp carbon clincher boosted by tubeless.

Shipping on the new wheelsets begins this month, so if you still haven’t homed in on that high-end wheel upgrade for your ‘cross or disc-equipped road bike, you might consider chatting with your local Zipp dealer. The final bit of good news for those who’ve waited is Zipp has slashed the price almost $400 from last year’s version.

The Details

77/177D Hubs
• Bearing preload precision set – that means no pre-load adjustment is needed.
• Improved bearing protection and sealant.
• Includes newly designed quick-release skewers with a wider more ergonomic handle to provide more leverage for opening and closing. When closed, lever contours neatly with the frame.
• Thru-axle compatible. Comes with thru-axle end caps that can be swapped by hand:
 Front – 12x100mm 15x100mm
/Rear – 12x135mm 12x142mm
• Proprietary flange geometry and spoke hole attachment pattern with Sapim® CX-Ray® spokes to optimize torsional and lateral stiffness without sacrificing weight or robustness.
• New distinctive hub graphics.
• 17mm axle
• SRAM XD driver body for 177D available separately.

202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc

• 1,495g per Wheelset
• 32mm Wheel Depth
• 25.40mm Max Width
• 24 Rear Spoke Count
• 24 Front Spoke Count
• Sapim® Brass Secure-lock nipples
• Sapim® CX-Ray® Spokes
• 77/177D
• Available in 10/11-Speed Cassette Body
• Retail Availability: March 2015
• MSRP: $2400

303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc
• 1,645g per Wheelset
• 45mm Wheel Depth
• 28.50mm Max Width
• 24 Rear Spoke Count
• 24 Front Spoke Count
• Sapim® Secure-lock nipples
• Sapim® CX-Ray® Spokes
• 77/177D
• Available in 10/11-Speed Cassette Body
• Retail Availability: March 2015
• MSRP: $2400

303 Firecrest Tubular Disc
• 1,400g per Wheelset
• 45mm Wheel Depth
• 28.50mm Max Width
• 24 Rear Spoke Count
• 24 Front Spoke Count
• Sapim® Secure-lock nipples
• Sapim® CX-Ray® Spokes
• 77/177D
• Available in 10/11-Speed Cassette Body
• Retail Availability: March 2015
• MSRP USA: $2300

For more, hit up Zipp.com

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