Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Zipp - Speed Weaponry | Wheels | 303 Tubular
The latest version of the Zipp 303 Tubular wheelset was engineered for the rough roads and rugged weather of the spring classics. But, at 1171grams, it’s lighter than many pure climbing wheelsets. So we weren’t surprised that Cervélo TestTeam’s Heinrich Haussler picked 303s for the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix and then rode them to win a Tour de France mountain stage by more than 4 minutes.
Introduced in April 2009, the current 303 tubular is more than 5mm wider and 1mm deeper than its predecessor. Without adding a gram, these changes substantially improved the already superb impact resistance of Zipp’s Carbon Bridge™ technology while offering a more comfortable, forgiving radial stiffness. At the same time, the wider, deeper rim increased the 303’s lateral stiffness for sprinting, cornering, and accelerations. Another benefit is that wider tires have minimal impact on the wheel’s superior aerodynamics.
Meanwhile, the 303’s tire bed has been redesigned 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 of the new 303’s angled brake track.
Especially for smaller riders like Olympic champion Emma Snowsill, the 303’s stability in crosswinds – combined with its lightness and aero advantages – makes it an ideal choice for draft-legal triathlons on the ITU circuit. It’s equally at home on the muddiest, most rutted of cyclocross courses with top US riders Katie Compton, Todd Wells, and the Cyclocrossworld.com team of Tim Johnson, Jeremy Powers, and Jamey Driscoll.