Zip303S Question

Hi. Can anyone tell me if Zipp 303s wheels are much of an upgrade from HED Ardennes for a gravel bike?

I’ve had both. Both are good, but the 303S hold speed quite a bit better than the HED’s do.

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Depends what you are looking for in an “upgrade”….weight? Ride quality? Aero?

I haven’t looked at the weights, but my guess is that the Zipps are a bit lighter…whether that is worth the price is a subjective opinion, but in terms of outright performance, you won’t see much of a difference.

Ride comfort is affected by tire choice / pressure as much as anything else.

Aero is questionable on a gravel bike…tire choice (knobby vs. slicks, etc) and width are going to be larger determining factors than wheels.

In Australia they are $1900. Why would people pay that if there is not going to be a noticeable difference in some way

I think you mean the 303 firecast. Maybe people are willing to pay this much for them being dope wheels. And they have the dimples which according to ZIPPs marketing department make you faster. The 303s are the low budget version without dimples and cost around 1000€ in Europe. I find it cool that Zipp introduced a more affordable model. I would definitely consider them for my next pair. But it will be a hard decision because I prefer the appearance of the 303 firecast version.

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A whole host of reasons, but to name just a few:

  • Mistaken belief that reducing weight (especially rotating weight) makes a meaningful difference in performance
  • They “feel” lighter / faster
  • Poor understanding of the impact of tire design / size on aerodynamics (deeper rims are faster, right?)
  • Bling factor

Now, I’m not certian what the internal width of the Ardennes are, but if there is a wider internal width for the Zipps, that will likely add some advantages (depending on the tire choice, etc)


No I mean the 303s. 303 Firecrest are closer to $3000 here in Australia

This is insane. :flushed:

Remember AUD not USD…

On topic, I have the 303S on my Topstone gravel bike. They replaced a low end alloy set. They do roll noticeably faster on the road, but otherwise I haven’t felt a huge difference on gravel, it’s too hard to compare over different terrain and tyre choices. The aforementioned bling factor definitely helps too. Whether the extra performance on tarmac and bling factor make them good value is up to you!

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Well they do look really good. I’m just not sure if it’s $2000 good. Mind you a lifetime warranty is a big plus for me.

I definitely noticed a difference going from the stock wheels that came on my checkpoint to the Ardennes when going up Hill. If I was rich I’d probably look at Enve’s because they are super light.

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I just bought at set of the 303s from Probike Kit which had them for ~1200 Canadian.

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Put the 303s on my gravel bike. Love them.


Still waiting on Zipp to release an Ekar compatible freehub - if they don’t release it before summer I’ll probably buy something else :disappointed_relieved:

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They do look :fire:


What tires are you running there?

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WTB Raddler 40mm ~ highly recommend.