Zipp FC 404 or something else?

Hi All,

First post and tried to find some related posts before.

I’m riding a Rose Xlite 06, that’s probably not a thing outside of Germany. The wheelset is stock Rose 21mm RC60 (tubeless with Conti 5000s). The rims are a disaster to ride in windy conditions. Other than that I’m fine with them, but don’t really have experience with other deep wheelsets.

I’m thinking about upgrading to Zipp Firecrest 404 (just due to familiarity) assuming they are significantly more comfy to ride in windy conditions and potentially feel like an upgrade overall.

I do triathlon (Sprint and OD) and like riding passes when in relevant areas in the Alps. Current wheels can feel like a hazard on declines. Most rides are rather flat just outside of Munich, Germany.

Any recent recommendations that I should consider or should I just go for the 404s?


Aren’t Zipps 58mm? I’d look for something less than 45mm for training in the Alps maybe preferably around 38mm. I also wouldn’t touch hookless but we can save that for the Thomas de Gendt topic.

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Thanks! 21mm is the inner width of the rims. The current wheelset is 60mm in height. I’m debating going down to less than that for more stability on descends, indeed.

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I have 50mm wheels and generally they are fine in most conditions. They did scare the crap out of me once while descending down a mountain on a gusty day. If I were training in the Alps I’d be looking for 38mm rims.

I’ve noticed that the top Tour de France riders all seem to be riding shallower wheels most of the time though Pogacar rode deeper rims for Strade Bianchi - like he knew he was going to be off the front. Vingegard is usually on pretty shallow wheels. It’s an interesting trend.

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Hunt make decent wheels and they come at a good pricepoint.

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Reserve has now their lower profile wheels 20% off (see the image of Vingegard above).

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Appreciate the perspective by everyone.
I’ve opted for ENVE SES 4.5 (front is 50mm and back is 56mm). Funnily these past days were extremely windy and I was able to test them in worst case conditions. They’re definitely more forgiving than the 60mm RC SIXTY wheels the Rose came with. Heavy winds, of course, still feel scary.
In terms of riding comfort and acceleration they feel like a definite upgrade. I’m happy so far.

Kind of offtopic: Had them installed tubeless and first the back and then the front tire kept losing air. Riding on Conti GP5000 STR. Now it looks like the Milk has sealed small gaps and the tires are holding the pressure.

Good choice (though probably not terribly economical :wink: ) My ENVE 6.7s were surprisingly stable even in pretty serious gusts. I never had a moment where I felt I was getting pushed around more than I could handle, though, admittedly, I never a) did it descending a mountain, or b) used the ENVE’s in any serious gusts (I remember taking them off and using shallow rim wheels for one race).

I don’t know what ENVE is doing with their manufacturing / design, but they do seem to have some sort of special sauce that allows the wheels to cut through turbulance more than their depth would lead you to believe. I replaced my ENVEs with LightBicycle rims of almost the same depth and I’m not sure if I would take them out in the same conditions.

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AFAIK most 45~50 mm deep wheels these days are great in wind. I have 3T Discus 45 | 32 LTDs and I only feel wind steer when wind becomes an issue even without the wheels (your body is a pretty big sail). I have riding buddies with similarly specced wheels (e. g. Zipp 303S) and they all said the same. FWIW I used to live in Japan where I sometimes rode along the windy coast or could ride in decent mountains.

I’d be open to trying deeper wheels.

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Those RC-Sixty wheels are 29.5mm wide external, so they’re probably close to any other current wheel as far as crosswinds. Back when some rims were V shaped and most were narrow, there was some difference.
I’m guessing constant winds aren’t the problem as much as gusts are. The wider rim will help.

What brake discs are you using? Maybe try a more open disc if it’s one of the less air-y ones. What tire are you using? If 32, maybe try 28rear/25front.

Front tire losing air- GP5000 fit loose and tapes come in different thicknesses. Put another round of tape on the rim. You don’t need to pull the valve, just go 350deg around the rim. It doesn’t even need to be TL tape.

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I know the problem is already solved, but I am surprised how well my road bike handles in the wind with 404’s. Way better than my 2014 road bike with 40mm deep wheels.

I live in a windy area.

Definitely not economical, but it was a present to myself from a substantial bonus.

I remember a triathlon from last summer where I had to break consistently for fear of crashing due to strong winds. Not sure if there is much to gain in extreme situations, but the first test rides (at least subjectively) seem to confirm the ENVE have an edge over the old wheels.

And I found someone who was really happy to buy my old ones and put them on his cube bike. I couldn’t compare ENVE to Zipp, Discus et al. But it’s definitely interesting that there seem to be significant differences.

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Thank you!
Luckily the air loss seems to be resolved now, but I will consider for future maintenance of the tires.
The disk brakes are Ultegra and the disks Dura Ace (just because the inner is black).
28 on both front and rear tires.