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Zipp 404 or Something Else?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of getting some Zipp 404s. I will use them as an all-around wheel for climbing, crits, road races, etc. Does anyone have any feedback on these wheels or other brand of wheels that might be better or better value for money? Just looking for some real feedback from real riders rather than the usual hype found on most sites.
post #2 of 8

Re: Zipp 404 or Something Else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesaif View Post
I'm thinking of getting some Zipp 404s. I will use them as an all-around wheel for climbing, crits, road races, etc. Does anyone have any feedback on these wheels or other brand of wheels that might be better or better value for money? Just looking for some real feedback from real riders rather than the usual hype found on most sites.
I am riding 404s, and they work fine for both training and racing. Like with most aero wheels, it is possible to buy or build more lightweight wheels, but the 404s are pretty light as well. I would not hesitate riding them in just about any event. I think the only exception might be a pure uphill race, where you stay significantly below 20mph most of the time.

Oh, I have a 303 in the front out concern about cross-wind situations, and I have no issues for any wind I have ever ridden in. I know people who have the 404 in front as well, and that have told me they have no problems with wind, either.
post #3 of 8

Re: Zipp 404 or Something Else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesaif View Post
I'm thinking of getting some Zipp 404s. I will use them as an all-around wheel for climbing, crits, road races, etc. Does anyone have any feedback on these wheels or other brand of wheels that might be better or better value for money?...
Mike,
I raced 404's as my go-to road wheels for a couple of seasons. They're great wheels and for the most part I loved them. Unlike Dietmar, I had some scary experiences when riding fast in gusty crosswind situations with a 404 up front, especially in fast moving echelons during races. But that was riding and racing in Utah and Wyoming which can be pretty windy places. I eventually sold the front, relegated the 404 rear to my TT bike with a cover and went to American Classic 420s as my race wheels. I see lots of folks racing 404s out here near Seattle but we don't get the same kind of windy conditions here.

The 404s are pretty expensive and not terribly light if that's important to you but I generally didn't ride them in crits after watching too many riders destroy thousand dollar carbon wheels while contesting a pizza prime.

In terms of value, you can do a lot better than Zipp wheels, they're fine wheels but they get a premium for that name. Check out a good local wheelbuilder or check out some of the offerings by:

(Neuvation)Wheels
Welcome to Williams Cycling
american classic - ROAD WHEELS

or others for decent deals. A lot of those wheels are actually built on Zipp rims.

BTW, I love my American Classic 420s and have no qualms racing them in heavy winds or even crits as they're fairly tough and not too expensive to replace. I also really like Kinlin rims, DT Swiss 1.2s, and have a Neuvation wheel on my cyclocross bike that I'm real happy with.

I like Zipps just fine, but there are better values out there including most custom built wheels which are less expensive than many folks realize and personally I wouldn't ride day to day on my 404s nor crits but that's just me.

Good luck,
-Dave
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Zipp 404 or Something Else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveryanwyoming View Post
Mike,
I raced 404's as my go-to road wheels for a couple of seasons. They're great wheels and for the most part I loved them. Unlike Dietmar, I had some scary experiences when riding fast in gusty crosswind situations with a 404 up front, especially in fast moving echelons during races. But that was riding and racing in Utah and Wyoming which can be pretty windy places. I eventually sold the front, relegated the 404 rear to my TT bike with a cover and went to American Classic 420s as my race wheels. I see lots of folks racing 404s out here near Seattle but we don't get the same kind of windy conditions here.

The 404s are pretty expensive and not terribly light if that's important to you but I generally didn't ride them in crits after watching too many riders destroy thousand dollar carbon wheels while contesting a pizza prime.

In terms of value, you can do a lot better than Zipp wheels, they're fine wheels but they get a premium for that name. Check out a good local wheelbuilder or check out some of the offerings by:

(Neuvation)Wheels
Welcome to Williams Cycling
american classic - ROAD WHEELS

or others for decent deals. A lot of those wheels are actually built on Zipp rims.

BTW, I love my American Classic 420s and have no qualms racing them in heavy winds or even crits as they're fairly tough and not too expensive to replace. I also really like Kinlin rims, DT Swiss 1.2s, and have a Neuvation wheel on my cyclocross bike that I'm real happy with.

I like Zipps just fine, but there are better values out there including most custom built wheels which are less expensive than many folks realize and personally I wouldn't ride day to day on my 404s nor crits but that's just me.

Good luck,
-Dave
Thanks Dave. Does anyone else have experience with custom wheels from the places Dave mentions. I have looked at the sites and they seem fine but don't see any reviews or comparisons.
post #5 of 8

Re: Zipp 404 or Something Else?

I would strongly recommend *against* Neuvation because John Nugent does not do business in an ethical manner, doesn't stand behind his services, and has stolen my property under the guise of a warranty return. His website warranty and money back guarantee mean absolutely nothing as relates to his carbon wheel sales.

I know there are plenty of good reviews out there for Neuvation wheels (mostly the alloys, as far as I've seen), but possibly those people have never had to return product, or Neuvation has since gotten large enough that customer service is no longer a priority.

That said, one of my C48 clinchers (alloy braking surface, like the Zipps) is still in service after 1 year -- there's the positive. The other failed after 3 months of use and has been confiscated by John Nugent after requesting that I return it for warranty inspection at my expense and *numerous* e-mails and unreturned voice mails requesting support.

You've been warned. I've been meaning to begin a thread outlaying my thorough documentation in handling this issue but just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe this will help bring me to putting the rest of this story out there for others to see.
post #6 of 8

Re: Zipp 404 or Something Else?

We could add Fast Forward to the mix. As well as Bontrager, Bouwmeester and HED. There really is a heap of them. Zipps just have the advantage of a name and having been one of the more prominent early manufacturers.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Zipp 404 or Something Else?

Has anyone had any experience or knowledge of Grammo Viper 50C wheels?
post #8 of 8

Re: Zipp 404 or Something Else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesaif View Post
Thanks Dave. Does anyone else have experience with custom wheels from the places Dave mentions. I have looked at the sites and they seem fine but don't see any reviews or comparisons.
I`ve just ordered a set of williams 58 tubulars w/ a powertap SL+. To give you my review:

- The serivce pre-order was great. I had alot of questions reagrding the wheels, when trying to figure out what wheelset to buy.

- The order was swiftly handled. The wheels where shipped to Norway, even though williams do not include Norway on their "regular" shipping list.

- I recieved the wheels fairly promptly (well - this should probably be a + to USPS and not williams, but hey ). The wheels look and feel great. I have not yet been able to test them on the road.

So far I can give you two thumbs up for williams. I could give a more extensive review when i get the wheels on the road (however, that could be a while, given the snow is still 2 ft deep here!)
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