Zipp Speed Weaponry 404 Tubular Wheels - 2011 - $621.00

Zipp's mission of constantly improving and refining the aerodynamics of its wheels is once again beautifully illustrated with the 404. The 58mm rim is nothing new; in fact, this profile was first introduced more than 20 years ago. But with the introduction of the new 404, Zipp's latest innovations are represented to the fullest, as its new 58mm wheels balance aerodynamics, stiffness, light weight, and durability with an exceptionally stable and comfortable ride. With a 58mm-deep rim, the 404s have long been the go-to wheels for riders who need an aerodynamic rim that they don't have to wrestle with as soon as the wind picks up. That's why Zipp uses them to test its newest rim shape. The new design comes from Zipp's knowledge that the back half of the rim can become a second leading edge to improve aerodynamics. With Zipp being Zipp, this meant that it went through numerous versions before finalizing the Firecrest shape. And though its profile may appear a little bland, it's anything but. The complexity of the rim shape performed so well in the wind tunnel that the Firecrest 404s returned better numbers than the 808s used in the 2010 Tour. In fact, they performed exponentially well across the board, regardless of tire width or wind direction. Not only were the aerodynamic benefits off the charts, it became clear that at critical yaw angles, the handling became more stable than any Zipp wheel, or for that matter, any competitor's wheel. For example, the 404s are now easier to handle in cross winds than the 303s. By optimizing the back half of the rim, the center of pressure caused by the wind is pulled back behind the hub so that the crosswind becomes much more predictable. Essentially, the wind hits the wheel on the steering axis, taking away the lever effect that happens when the wind catches the front half of the rim. - $621.00