Zipp 404 Clincher, Tubular and Carbon Review

Zipp 404 Clincher

The Zipp 404 clincher is available in two different sizes, first is a front 650c wheel with 16 spokes or a front 700c wheel with 18 spokes, while the rear is available with 650c wheels with 24 spokes or a rear 700c wheel with 28 spokes, all of the wheels have been given the optimum number of spokes in ordinance to there weight to create an equilibrium between strength and weight. More importantly, all wheels feature ovalised, rolled stainless steel spokes as well as extremely lightweight alloy nipples. The rims of all wheels are 58mm deep, which are precisely drilled and hand finished with the most advantageous level of stiffness to maximise the power transfer between the pedal and wheel. While the black anodized hubs have been precision built and created using the Zipp propriety design for a smoother spin. All of these features and Zipp details have ensured that the wheels are extremely light in weight, making them extremely fast and studies showed that they added between 2-4mph to a cyclists ride.

Furthermore, while the Zipp 404 clinchers are very light they are also extremely stiff making them perfect for climbing, moreover, when tested the wheels they absorbed road vibrations for a more comfortable ride. The single weakness cyclists have found with these wheels is that on occasion the spokes and spoke nipples break during intensive sessions and prolonged use. Nevertheless, these wheels are still an excellent choice, and are more effective when breaking during wet conditions especially when compared to the alternatives.

Zipp 404 Tubular

Zipp’s attention to detail can be seen in the Zipp 404 Tubular wheelset, each rim is 60mm deep and feature 20 spokes on the front and 24 spokes on the rear wheel. These wheels are exceptionally light in weight; this ensures that the wheels deliver rapid acceleration both in declines and flat conditions. The Zipp 404 Tubular possesses a bulged toroidal cross section and provides excellent manoeuvring.

The wheels are extremely stable, even during strong crosswinds, while the Kelvar thread reinforcement, a shock absorbing material, reduces the effects of road elements such as pot holes making a more comfortable ride especially for short blast legs and long haul use. Another bonus found by testing was the deeper, dimpled surface section reduces straightline drag. All in all the Zipp 404 Tubular are an excellent and reliable wheelset and perfect for creating and maintaining high speeds with little effort required from the rider.

Zipp 404 Carbon Clincher

Weighing a mere 718 grams at the front and 830 grams on the rear wheel, the Zipp 404 Carbon Clincher possess a range of features which put these wheel ahead of other carbon wheelsets. Firstly, the wheels feature the Zipps 88/188 hubs and the Sapim Cx-Ray straight-pull bladed stainless steel spokes. The rims of the wheels are the perfect depth, measuring 58mm deep and measure 25.5mm across at the tyre bead. With 18 per cent greater air volume the wheels offer the most comfortable ride on the market. While the high temperature thermoplastic resins create a greater braking performance and strength that cannot be found on any other carbon model.

There is no rider weight restriction and despite the excellent features and improved comfort the wheels are very light and fast to spin up. Moreover, the strength of the wheels ensures that they are easy to handle in strong cross winds. Zipp proudly state that they are the “strongest carbon clincher on the market.”


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