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View Full Version : Zipp 303 Firecrest tubular or Enve 25 tubular?


uber
03-20-2012, 06:43 PM
I am looking for an everyday wheel that will be light, fast, and not be prone to cracking if I hit a bump in the road. Anyone try both?

FixedNotBroken
03-20-2012, 06:47 PM
I have the 303 firecrest tubulars..nothing negative to say along with a comfortable ride. Great warranty, customer service and dependable product.

akelman
03-20-2012, 06:52 PM
FNB, I meant to say to you that if you want to buy a set of used 101s, just let me know. They're very low mileage, and I have both the Shimano and Campy freehub. That said, I still think handbuilts are the way to go.

As for the OP, the new 303s are really pretty spectacular. I have no experience with the Enves, but I'm sure they're great, too. And neither will be anything like delicate, I wouldn't think.

AngryScientist
03-20-2012, 07:43 PM
i think you should define what you mean by everyday wheel.

what type of riding are you doing, how much do you weigh, what kind of roads, etc?

FixedNotBroken
03-20-2012, 07:45 PM
i think you should define what you mean by everyday wheel.

what type of riding are you doing, how much do you weigh, what kind of roads, etc?

Good questions..my 303's aren't an everyday type of wheel because i like having the weight difference and feel compared to my training wheel sets.

uber
03-20-2012, 07:51 PM
Thanks. I am 6'2", 168 lbs. Steel frame. I ride in the Northeast; group rides (paceline), solo training. No climbs are more than 1-2 miles. In season, probably about 150 miles/week. More of a spinner than sprinter. I am not looking for race day only wheels, and would pick a wheel less likely to get
damaged by rough roads.

beeatnik
03-20-2012, 07:54 PM
ZIPP 303s. No question. I ride my 404s on the worst roads in the US and they feel bombproof.

I think I just jinxed myself.

DRietz
03-20-2012, 08:03 PM
The wheel less likely to get damaged is definitely the Enve set, but unless you're going up mountains with Andy Schleck, I don't think you need a set of wheels that shallow.

The Zipp 303 is a deeper wheel, and thus more applicable to "all around" riding.

benitosan1972
03-20-2012, 08:04 PM
you must have some really deep pockets to consider Zipps or Enve's "everyday wheels" :eek:

FixedNotBroken
03-20-2012, 08:21 PM
Thanks. I am 6'2", 168 lbs. Steel frame. I ride in the Northeast; group rides (paceline), solo training. No climbs are more than 1-2 miles. In season, probably about 150 miles/week. More of a spinner than sprinter. I am not looking for race day only wheels, and would pick a wheel less likely to get
damaged by rough roads.

I have done some fast paced training rides with the 303's and they are pretty bombproof, especially for the northwest. I love them..and I have also had the Enve 45's..both great brands but I would have to pick the Zipps over them. They seem more sturdy and reliable, but that's my opinion.

wooly
03-21-2012, 01:10 AM
I agree with FNB. I've been really impressed with Zipp's latest offerings. But I've had Enve's in the past too and they were impressive. However, I think the firecrest design is intriguing and would go that direction.

fatallightning
03-21-2012, 01:14 AM
Why not compare against the enve 3.4? The zipp 303s were made to be toughest of all the carbon rims they made, the Spring classics wheel of choice for zipp teams.

happycampyer
03-21-2012, 07:03 AM
I recently purchased 303 Firecrests and have the 1.25's as well, and the 1.25's are currently not being used. It's not because they aren't great wheels and can't be ridden every day, it's just that I find the combination of light + semi-aero to be more useful than super-light + low-profile for most of the riding I do. For extended climbs or really, really windy days they may be better.


Regarding the 3.4's vs. the 303's, I tested both on gusty days, and ended up getting the Firecrests, but I'd say it's a close call. They are both better than their predecessors (i.e., 1.45's and standard 303's) in handling gusts, and are more comfortable, too. Both are very strong—Enve's have always been super strong, and it seems that the latest Zipp designs have overcome fragility issues (I have owned Zipp wheels in the past and haven't had any problems, but the internet is littered with complaints about durability regarding previous wheels). Braking is also excellent, so either makes a great all-around wheel.

EDS
03-21-2012, 09:50 AM
The wheel less likely to get damaged is definitely the Enve set, but unless you're going up mountains with Andy Schleck, I don't think you need a set of wheels that shallow.

The Zipp 303 is a deeper wheel, and thus more applicable to "all around" riding.

How is the Enve less likely to get damaged?

firerescuefin
03-21-2012, 10:01 AM
http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=9255


Remember reading this last year....very thorough.

DRietz
03-21-2012, 10:06 AM
How is the Enve less likely to get damaged?

I was straight wrong on that one - I've only ever ridden Zipp 404's, and they're the only wheel I've ever cracked. Figured it'd transfer over to the 303 when it hit me that they're an all new shape and designed to take abuse.

As a featherweight, I really enjoy shallow wheels, but even I'm contemplating building some 38mm suckers.

fatallightning
03-21-2012, 11:59 AM
http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=9255


Remember reading this last year....very thorough.
It should be noted that these aren't Firecrest. While last years 303 was an evolutionary step towards the FC shape, it's more like a wider version of the "classic" zipp toroidal profile.

Johnnyg
03-21-2012, 01:56 PM
I am looking for an everyday wheel that will be light, fast, and not be prone to cracking if I hit a bump in the road. Anyone try both?
I've been riding over 8,000 miles a year for three years on the Envy wheels and have not had to true them, only replace bearings. They are strong light and very well made and built with DT Swiss 240s by Envy. Zipps are way over rated. IOP. Good luck

wooly
03-21-2012, 02:09 PM
I recently purchased 303 Firecrests and have the 1.25's as well, and the 1.25's are currently not being used. It's not because they aren't great wheels and can't be ridden every day, it's just that I find the combination of light + semi-aero to be more useful than super-light + low-profile for most of the riding I do. For extended climbs or really, really windy days they may be better.


Regarding the 3.4's vs. the 303's, I tested both on gusty days, and ended up getting the Firecrests, but I'd say it's a close call. They are both better than their predecessors (i.e., 1.45's and standard 303's) in handling gusts, and are more comfortable, too. Both are very strong—Enve's have always been super strong, and it seems that the latest Zipp designs have overcome fragility issues (I have owned Zipp wheels in the past and haven't had any problems, but the internet is littered with complaints about durability regarding previous wheels). Braking is also excellent, so either makes a great all-around wheel.

I put a lot of value on what Bill is saying. First, he's got crazy good taste in bikes and has ridden a lot of different types of gear. I'm seriously thinking of getting some 303's now. Just gotta figure out if I should go tubie or carbon clincher... DOH :D ...Joking. Don't want to highjack this thread.

FixedNotBroken
03-21-2012, 09:21 PM
I've been riding over 8,000 miles a year for three years on the Envy wheels and have not had to true them, only replace bearings. They are strong light and very well made and built with DT Swiss 240s by Envy. Zipps are way over rated. IOP. Good luck

Over rated? Hm..how many miles have you put on a set of Zipps? I've had both Enve's and currently have the FC 303's and i'm not sure how you can say they are over rated? When they are in the same price range and pretty much at the same level..

uber
03-21-2012, 10:11 PM
Many thanks to all who have helped me out. I think I will go with the 303 Firecrests from all the positive comments. As I said, I would choose a bit less performance for a wheel less likely to get damaged by potholes. The consensus seems to be they are both robust sets with the 303 FC offering the aero advantage. Thanks again.

benitosan1972
03-21-2012, 10:50 PM
I've been riding over 8,000 miles a year for three years on the Envy wheels and have not had to true them, only replace bearings. They are strong light and very well made and built with DT Swiss 240s by Envy. Zipps are way over rated. IOP. Good luck

if you're gonna laud them, at least spell the name right? :p

oldpotatoe
03-22-2012, 08:38 AM
Many thanks to all who have helped me out. I think I will go with the 303 Firecrests from all the positive comments. As I said, I would choose a bit less performance for a wheel less likely to get damaged by potholes. The consensus seems to be they are both robust sets with the 303 FC offering the aero advantage. Thanks again.

A suggestion. Open all the cart earings, pry off seal, grease in there, seal on...all 6 of them.

FixedNotBroken
03-23-2012, 11:02 PM
Do you guys think the 303's are a good everyday wheel set? I don't use them as one but am considering it..

FixedNotBroken
03-23-2012, 11:03 PM
A suggestion. Open all the cart earings, pry off seal, grease in there, seal on...all 6 of them.

Even though the wheels are brand new Peter? Should I do this?

jpw
03-24-2012, 05:24 AM
http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=9255


Remember reading this last year....very thorough.

He makes them seem very tempting. How is braking in the wet?

jpw
03-24-2012, 05:26 AM
if you're gonna laud them, at least spell the name right? :p

With a 'g', right?

oldpotatoe
03-24-2012, 08:52 AM
Even though the wheels are brand new Peter? Should I do this?

Yes, small pearings and limited grasso in there.

All new wheels/hups.

rnhood
03-24-2012, 09:44 AM
Do you guys think the 303's are a good everyday wheel set? I don't use them as one but am considering it..


They most certainly are, but the cost is considerable for these wheels and and there is always risk associated with riding. There is always that unavoidable accident that could damage the wheels and it could be expensive to replace or repair. And any realizable performance gain on these wheels is likely to be very small unless you typically cruise in the upper 20's.

On the other hand, if money is not a problem then get them and enjoy them. Zipp says they can be used for everyday wheels and I'm sure they will stand by their words. I'm thinking about a pair myself, although I've been very happy with my DA wheels.

wooly
03-24-2012, 01:19 PM
I know a couple of folks that use them as everyday wheels. All of them are the last version, prior to the firecrest, which are the ones that Pez reviewed. They love em and swear by them. I may pick up a pair too. We should do a group buy. I have an "in" so let me know! :banana:

uber
03-24-2012, 04:20 PM
For those of you about to try the 303's for everyday use, several recommended that I use 25mm tires. The claim is that they would offer a more comfortable ride, but more importantly, might give extra protection to the wheel from pothole damage.

FixedNotBroken
03-25-2012, 03:43 AM
For those of you about to try the 303's for everyday use, several recommended that I use 25mm tires. The claim is that they would offer a more comfortable ride, but more importantly, might give extra protection to the wheel from pothole damage.

I run 25mm currently. I'd like to try out some new tubular tires though..any suggestions? Durable and comfortable?

gearguywb
03-25-2012, 07:12 AM
If we can do a group buy on the 303's...well, I'm in!

happycampyer
03-25-2012, 07:48 AM
The 303's are certainly strong enough to be ridden every day. If you do end up damaging a rim, Zipp has a crash replacement policy, so you can get it replaced at a reduced cost, which is some consolation. Some time ago, I damaged an Enve rim (an Edge 1.38), and they provided a replacement rim. Granted, it was still more expensive than an aluminum rim, but it was pretty reasonable.

Personally, I wouldn't own a set of carbon wheels if it was the only set of wheels I owned. I would still have some back-up wheels, even if it's just for salted winter roads, etc. The trend I've noticed with both Zipp and Enve is that the newer brake tracks, especially combined with their specific brake pads, work better than previous generations. I haven't ridden the 303's in the rain yet, but I have ridden others and it seems that braking in the wet is generally getting better, too. That said, if the forecast calls for potentially heavy rain, or it's already raining at the outset of a ride, I'll take different wheels.

Regarding tires, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Along the comfort vs. durability spectrum, I tend towards comfort, but I have been fortunate in not getting lots of flats. Veloflex Carbon's are one of my favorites, but if you're thinking if 25mm tires, I also like the Vittoria Corsa Evo CX's. Although not as supple as the Vittorias, the Continental Competitions in 25mm are very nice, too, and have a reputation for being more durable.

happycampyer
03-25-2012, 08:05 AM
Oh, and regarding the bearings in Zipp hubs, I've never had any issues with them from the factory, so I asked a couple of local mechanics if they were familiar with the issues that Oldpotatoe mentioned. None of them thought that it was necessary (or even prudent) to do anything to the bearing when new. The consensus seemed to be that this was more likely a problem for people who use the wheels for 'cross or if you washed the wheels with a power washer, etc. The older hub design also had a pretty loose cap, which has changed with the newer hub design.

oldpotatoe
03-25-2012, 08:10 AM
Oh, and regarding the bearings in Zipp hubs, I've never had any issues with them from the factory, so I asked a couple of local mechanics if they were familiar with the issues that Oldpotatoe mentioned. None of them thought that it was necessary (or even prudent) to do anything to the bearing when new. The consensus seemed to be that this was more likely a problem for people who use the wheels for 'cross or if you washed the wheels with a power washer, etc. The older hub design also had a pretty loose cap, which has changed with the newer hub design.

I had 2 customers who traveled to Florida to train...unfortunately, they had to ride in 2-3 days of rain. When I saw the wheels, all the bearings in all 4 wheels were toasted. It's really easy to take these apart, sharp knife to pry the seals off, grease gun, grease in there, seals back on as well as grease around the axles as they go into the bearings and oil the pawls. Not sure why they said it wasn't prudent, these hubs come pretty dry from the factory. I add grease to just about every hub when new, when I build the wheel. Most have too little grease, some(ksyrium) have none at all around the axles.

uber
03-25-2012, 12:37 PM
I am a big fan of the Veloflex carbon tubulars. They recently changed that tire from 22 to 23mm, but I ordered the Veloflex 25mm's for the 303's. May be overkill, but if I got the Carbons or Extremes and cracked a wheel, I would be miserable.

jpw
03-25-2012, 03:41 PM
Zipp seems to get the thumbs up for product and service and warranty. What Out of curiosity what kind of issues is Zipp not taking warranty responsibility for? If I accidentally dive down a big hole in the road and the rim fails is that a failure or just wear and tear?

happycampyer
03-25-2012, 04:49 PM
I think the question you pose is the same for any carbon rim manufacturer. In the case of the Enve rim that I damaged, it was pretty obvious that the damage was caused by a sharp impact (which I doubt any aluminum rim would have survived). Otoh, the replacement rim developed deformations at some of the spoke holes (determined to be a manufacturing defect, since the builder confirmed that it wasn't due to improper spoke tension), and Enve ultimately replaced both of my rims with 1.45's since they didn't have any more 1.38's.

So the line between defect on the one and and wear and tear or user/builder error on the other can be fuzzy, and I think Zipp is in the same boat as everyone else when it comes to determining whether a problem is removed with a warranty or a (reduced cost) crash replacement.