Zipp introduced a new wheel set at the 2014 Press Camp outside of Park City, Utah. Dubbed Firestrike 404 - it features a new dimple pattern, a textured brake track, a new molding process, a wider rim shape and much more. They are only available in limited numbers, but can be had as we speak.
From a distance it is not so obvious, but the devil is in the details when you look closer.
Zipp had brought a whole fleet of bikes with Firestrike 404 wheels to the 2014 Press Camp, including this Aussie themed Specialized Shiv.
Here you can see the new ABLC dimple pattern, a frequency tuned wave pattern that according to Zipp is timed to shed vortices at higher frequency and shorten the duration. An optimal frequency that is meant to serve rider stability. We rode a bike set up with these wheels and they felt good despite windy conditions.
In addition to the ABLC Dimple Pattern the new Firestrike wheels also feature a new Showstopper™ Technology. Look closer at the brake track and you notice a textured pattern. This was designed to enhance wet weather braking performance, and according to Zipp now brings leading aluminum rim stopping power.
That pattern is even more apparent in this image, plus you can also see how the logo is now printed and no longer a sticker. That allows the logo to conform nicely to the dimples.
As we said earlier, when you look closer, all the details become apparent.
In early January Zipp went to the A2 wind tunnel in Mooresville, NC with these Firestrike wheels to do final testing.
All day long different tire and wheel combinations were tested and logged.
Head of Zipp Advanced Development Michael Hall was in charge of the project Firestrike.
Another Zipp wheel awaits the countdown in the A2 wind tunnel.
The chart below shows the rim shape numbers of the new Firestrike 404 compared to Firecrest 303 and 404.
Comparing drag numbers of the Firecrest 404 and the Firestrike 404. This chart and the chart above are courtesy of Zipp.
Weight for the Firestrike 404 was listed as 1620 grams. They are 58mm deep and 27.8mm at the widest section of the rim. Brake track width is 26.4mm at the center.
MSRP is $3,600 and they are available immediately. Included for that MSRP are titanium quick releases, Zipp rim tape, Tangente tubes, Tangente valve extensions, Tangente Platinum Pro Evo brake pads and wheel bags.
All images except for #11, #12 © Herbert Krabel / slowtwitch.com