Zipp 303 Clincher and Tubular Review

Zipp 303 Clincher

Zipp is a leading manufacturer of wheelsets, using innovative designs and technologically advanced materials to make great wheels, and the Zipp 303 Clincher continue this tradition. The front wheel is expertly built with 20 spokes, while the rear 700c wheel features 24 spokes and the 650c wheels have 24 spokes, with a pair weighing on average 1174 grams. The wheels feature carefully selected ovalised rolled stainless steel spokes, this balance of weight and spokes create a perfect strength wheel for professional cyclists.

The clincher rims are slip bonded and the wheels possess a superbly constructed machine braking system, to improve the stopping ability even at great speeds. Right in the middle of the wheels are the Zipps proprietary lightweight, precision machined, black anodized, performance, sealed bearing hubs, providing the cyclist with a totally maintenance free and long lasting wheel presenting the rider with years of performance enhancing rides. These aero wheels are extremely lightweight, and perform with the aerodynamics of a wheel that is 45mm deep. The wheels low weight provide an air light feel, perfect for climbing steep inclines and are a great, very quick ride during fast descents. Upon testing the wheels showed no visible flex, no movement making them one of the straightest wheels during fast acceleration available for cyclists today.

The wheels are performance enhancing with very little effort required from the cyclist to produce and maintain high speeds. The only weakness found upon testing was the wheels cannot withstand a heavier rider although this is deputed by some heavier rider who found that the wheels performed the same as for a lighter rider, still maintaining strength, durability and speed when power was applied. Despite this arguable problem these wheels are fantastic, they are visually pleasing and would improve the style of any frame and are the perfect wheels for both training and racing.

Zipp 303 Tubular

The Zipp 303 Tubular is a perfect example of Zipps dedication to cycling products, and one of the toughest wheels around, surviving the troublesome cobblestones of the of the Paris-Roubaix, they dominate the road wheel market. Weighing a mere 510 grams on the Front and 642 grams on the rear, plus 120 grams for the skewers, the Zipp 303 Tubular has withstood months of testing and has shown to be the most versatile wheelset. Arguably the Zipp 303 is the best carbon tubular to date, beating competitors in durability, lightness and speed. The 27.5mm wide rims have created a resilient and tough wheel that absorbs the elements of the road easily making the 303’s exceptionally comfortable. Furthermore, the wide rim has increased the lateral stiffness for improved cornering, sprinting as well as allowing for quick and easy acceleration.

Upon testing the best feature of the Zipp 303 Tubular was the significant improvements in aerodynamics, a noteworthy advantage over narrower rims. The wheelset handled impressively in strong crosswinds, with gusts reaching over 48km/h, the wheels, with there dimple technology, withstood and remained extremely steady during the flurry, suggesting that these wheels uphold their slippery aerodynamics at higher yaw angles where deeper wheels often stall out. While the aerodynamics of the Zipp 303’s are a fantastic achievement, the wheels have other benefits, in particular they are light ensuring that riders can accelerate fast during steep inclines, while the stiffness of the wheels also maximises power transfer between the rider and the wheel.

Lastly, testers explained that the Zipp 303’s offer great braking, especially when compared to other carbon wheelsets and perform extremely well during fast declines. In conclusion, both testers and professionals agree the Zipp 303’s are the lightest, fastest and most durable carbon wheel made by any manufacturer.


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