Firecrest - A better wheel in every way - For every rider, every discipline, and every ability level, aero wheels make a difference. Every test Zipp ever run has confirmed this basic truth and they never seen data from anyone else that argues differently.
At 1171g per wheelset, the 303 is even lighter than certain dedicated 'climbing wheels' that sacrifice ride quality, durability, and aerodynamics in the name of light weight. Amazingly, the 303 optimizes all four metrics - with the results to match. Those historic successes in the Cobbled Classics marked the culmination of an impressive run for the latest version of the versatile 303.
The 303 owes its toughness to a 27.5mm-wide rim profile designed to absorb bumps by flexing like a leaf spring. This improves on the already superb impact resistance of Zipp's Carbon Bridge technology while offering a comfortable, forgiving radial compliance. At the same time, the wide rim increases the 303's lateral stiffness for sprinting, cornering, and accelerations.
Especially with 23-25mm tires, the 303's width also provides a significant aerodynamic advantage over narrower rims - even ones with much deeper profiles. With a fully toroidal aero shape, the 303 did its part over 40 windy miles of solo breakaways at the 2010 Flanders and Roubaix to build up a combined margin of victory of more than 3 minutes - including the victory celebrations. Despite its aero performance, the 45-mm rim depth and ABLC dimples keep the 303 stable in crosswinds, even for smaller riders like Snowsill.
Meanwhile, the 303's tire bed has been designed to protect against tire damage and pinch flats at low pressure, and for more precise mounting of tubulars. In poor weather, riders will appreciate the improved brake modulation and stopping power of the angled brake track.
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