Considering a new set of wheels. Debating if the 353 NSW is worth double the cost of the 303 Firecrest. the NSW are double the cost of the Firecrest’s. The NSW are about 100g lighter, I can’t find any info on how much added aero benefit the NSW’s have though. Anyone with input?
My friend got a pair of the 454 because he claims the 404 he had “blew around in the wind too much” but we all know he only did it for looks. Personally I don’t think the incremental improvements (if they are even there) are worth the cost and I find their design to be ugly as sin
No. But they are sweet.
Almost no gear in cycling is “worth the cost”
Do it for show. Live a little. We won’t judge.
Maybe I worded my question wrong. I just need some kind of proof of a performance increase
Is there any new aero gear you could buy instead with the difference? Even a pair of aero socks would save a few watts at fairly normal speeds for £20/$30. I’d also look into top performing wax-based lubes (or actually waxing your chain).
These would give you way more benefit than NSW over Firecrest. But if it makes you happy then do it.
Main difference is probably the hubs, rather than any aerodynamic difference which is likely pretty small and impossible to prove for your individual case with your choice of tyres etc etc. The NSW wheels seem to not have the reliability issues of previous gen hubs, and they claim that freewheeling you’ll gain with the cognition ‘clutch’ system.
I’d say none that can be noticed or proven outside a wind tunnel (which is not a realistic test to begin with)
$2k for better hubs?!? LOL.
Think I’m leaning towards the firecrests. Mostly because I’d be able to get them for some use yet this season(NSW back ordered until spring 2022)
I have a buddy who has a pair of 404 NSW for sale if you’re interested. He’s got them on consignment with a shop here. I can vouch for the fact he has way too much disposable income and buys and sells stuff like new frequently. Redirecting...
The 404’s are too deep for my riding
The comparison between 404 and 454 NSW where the NSW performed markedly worse in terms of aerodynamics would lead me to say “No” unless you want them for the look. Granted the 404 is 3mm deeper but that doesn’t explain a 6W difference at 30kph or 12W at 50kph.
NSW, IMO, is cycling industry marketing at its “best”.
No, $2k for slightly better hubs, maybe better aero, but for sure more bling Not sure what you’re hoping for, because I don’t think anyone here will be able to justify a performance/cost benefit there. It’s an emotional call to go for the NSWs.
No. The FC 303s are amazing. No sense in spending 2k more.
I’ve used both and the difference is marginal. The free hub has less drag on the NSW’s but not enough to make a huge difference in the real world. The braking surface has been improved and whilst it’s been a long time since I ran the firecrest wheels, I can’t remember the difference being that noticeable.
I didn’t mention, but i’ll be running disc brakes.
thanks for the real world input!
found a set of the 303 Firecrest’s instock and pulled the trigger.
I have a set on my gravel bike and they’ve held up very well so far.
I don’t think so. While I don’t have experience with Zipp wheels, my carbon wheels are made by 3T, the cheaper Firecrest 303S tick all the boxes: 45 mm deep (the goldilocks depth IMHO), reasonably light, 23 mm internal with (i. e. made to take wide tires), comparatively affordable and tubeless ready. Price-wise, they are a steal (MSRP $1,300/€1,100).
The non-S models are slightly wider (25 mm vs. 23 mm) and about 260 g lighter, but cost significantly more.
If you look at other brands, there are plenty of options. Enve’s Foundation series with their 45 mm and 65 mm deep offerings seem like a no brainer, and at $1,600 they do not break the bank. My weapon of choice, 3T’s Discus 45|32 LTD, are amazing, too, which are 45 mm deep, have 25 mm internal width, etc. They cost $2,000. Another brand that come to mind is Hunt.
So no, I would not pay the extra. There are plenty of great choices out there.
I considered the ENVE’s but they are boat anchors compared to the zipp’s. The S models are a killer bargain but I was looking for something a touch nicer. Honestly, If Zipp would ‘authorize’ the new 404 for gravel, I would have went with them.