Posted August 14, 2021 at 10:45 pm by Husmanita Tanjung


Zipp has expanded their Firecrest line to include a climbing disc-brake compatible tubeless clincher wheel. The 202 Firecrest Disc Tubeless Clincher is that wheel. It’s not a mere re-naming of a 202 Firecrest, but an extensive redesign that keeps the 202 rim principles, but modifies and optimizes for not only disc brakes, but aerodynamics, and tubeless tires.

The 202 is the shallowest and lightest rim of the Firecrest line. It is good for climbing, for low-speed riding, for cyclocross, and any time feel that weight savings takes a premium over aerodynamics. Before embarking on designing carbon clinchers, Zipp benchmarked impact strength of aluminum rims. They knew they had to exceed that impact strength before they’d feel ready bringing a carbon clincher to market. They exceeded and then some.

The rim is disc-brake specific. Take notice of the brake track. That’s right, it’s gone and ABLC dimples go all the way up the sides for better aerodynamics. this is Zipp’s third-generation dimpling, and is specific to the wheel depth and shape. This is a new design all the way through, with not only the rim shape changed, but the material moved around. The rim remains 32mm deep, but the width has mushroomed out to 28.9mm from 25.4mm, and the internal width 21mm. As you can imagine the shape means wider tires. 25mm is as narrow as you’ll want to go, but the 28mm width offers better aerodynamics still and going even wider still offers great aerodynamics. This rim works best with wide tires.

It’s also stronger. Without having to deal with the force of brakes squeezing the rim, they were able to move material around. And the strength you can rely on. Feel free to drop the tire pressure. Not only will the rim withstand whatever you’re putting in front of it, but the molded internal ridges lock tires in place, even at low pressures.

Zipp employs their 77/177D hub set, which was purpose-built for disc braking. There are 24 aero 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. The rotor mounting method is six-bolt.

The front wheel weighs in at 705g, the rear 825g. Maximum recommended tire pressure is 125psi, which should be overkill for any tire you’d want to install on this wheel. Maximum recommended rider weight is 250lbs.

For rear wheels, Zipp offers both a Campagnolo-compatible, and Shimano/SRAM-compatible cassette body. The latter comes with a spacer for 9/10/11-speed cassettes. In both cases, the 177D hub body allows you to install a SRAM XDR Driver body for super-wide range gearing.

The wheel comes with quick releases and endcaps to convert the hub for thru-axle or quick-release use. The included endcaps can convert the front wheel from 100x12mm to 100x15mm to quick release. The rear has endcaps for 142x12mm and quick release. They also include a spacer to convert the cassette body from eleven-speed to ten-speed. Also included are: rim strip and a tubeless valve, both installed at the factory, and a valve core removal tool.

The Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Tubeless Disc Brake wheelset is light, aero, and tough enough for the roughest cyclocross, or gravel racing, has to offer

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