There’s no reason that only rim-brake bikes get the lightest, aero clinchers. The Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc-Brake delivers the everyday uphill and aero awesome of the 202 Firecrest rim, but with the 77/177D hub set to fix this wheel in your disc-brake dropouts.
The Firecrest rim shape is something that not only tests well in the wind-tunnel, but out on the road. The shape is 32mm deep by 25.4mm wide at the widest point. The blunt end closely matches the curve of the tire, meaning whether the rim is the trailing or leading edge, it retains the same aero characteristics. This is the shallowest aero profile Zipp makes, which also means this is the lightest wheel set of Zipp’s lineup. It is lighter than most aluminum box-section clinchers, but it’s also less-sensitive to crosswinds, and much stronger. And if you haven’t heard about the benefits of wide rims, we’ll give you a quick rundown. Wider rims are more aero with the 22-25mm wide tires that most ride. They result in larger air volume inside the tire, which is not only more comfortable, but lowers rolling resistance.
In terms of grams, the 202 Disc-Brake is 1530g for the set, 705g for the front, 825g for the rear.
The 303 Firecrest Clincher rim is the same you’ll find on the rim-brake versions for an important reason. The rims were already light, and removing material would reduce strength and stiffness. The rim has to contain the tire, which is being pushed outward by the tube. And it also has to be strong enough to survive a vertical hit to the sidewalls of the rim.
The hubs are where most of the differences occur. Zipp employs their 77/177D hub set, which was purpose-built for disc braking. There are 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes, both front and rear. A cross pattern is necessary in front to counter the forces of braking. The flanges are slightly taller to work around the six-hole rotor mounts and the 17mm axle. While you can see that the spokes have a two-cross pattern, it actually possesses the lateral stiffness of a three-cross thanks to the size of the flanges and the orientation of the spokes. The benefits of the design are more aero and shorter spokes.
For rear wheels, Zipp offers both a Campagnolo-compatible, and Shimano/SRAM-compatible cassette body. The latter comes with a spacer for 8/9/10-speed cassettes. In both cases, the 177D hub body allows you to install a SRAM XD-cassette body for super-wide range gearing.
The wheel comes with quick release, endcaps to convert the hub for thru-axle use (endcaps are hand swappable), rim strip, valve extender, and Zipp Tangente tube. Zipp has taken innovation in their system to a new level with these tubes, which feature an aluminum, rather than brass, stem. Lighter, better machined, and possessing a removable valve core. It also improves the balance of the spinning wheel. The wheels are not designed for compatibility with tubeless systems.
The Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc is an everyday wheel that excels in all conditions.