Zipp's new 303-S wheelset

Zipp just announced a new version of the 303. Hookless bead (so tubeless tires only), 23mm internal, disc-only, 45mm deep. $1300.

Going after the ENVE 45s HARD with these. They look amazing.

https://www.zipp.com/wheels/303-s-tubeless-disc-brake/

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Nice to see another high end wheel company come in with an “affordable” option. The more options in the 1500ish and under range the better. Wonder if they always had the $1300 price take in mind or if the Enve Foundation offering at $1600 led them to set the price where it is

I personally prefer the safety and versatility of a hooked rim (I recently went with some Bontrager Aeolus 3V’s that I got a great deal on - 35 mm deep, 25mm internal, hooked head, my set came in at 1553) . But if you are all-in on tubeless and don’t think you’ll be running pressures above say 70-ish I suppose it isn’t a big deal.

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At $1200, these are sufficiently low priced to be OEM on sub-$5K bikes.

Since Zipp is owned by SRAM, they could package 'em together with a Force groupset for a song.

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The very thought of it makes me tingle.

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The thing I find interesting here, is that Zipp says that any tubeless tire is compatible with the wheels, while Enve has very specific requirements about what tires you can or can’t use. I wonder what’s different? Regardless, these will likely find there way onto one of my bikes in the not too distant future.

Nope…one of the major reasons SRAM is in business today is because they successfully sued Shimano back in the late 90’s for “grouppo pricing”, which was illegally blocking SRAM from the OEM market. No way they could now do the same thing.

While they are undercutting the new ENVE 45/65 that are made in the USA by a US company, the new 303s are made in Taiwan by a US company. One of the ways they saved some costs.

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Just got these yesterday (haven’t even had a chance to set them up yet).

Early, non-ride impressions:

They look really nice in person. You can tell that they’re manufactured using a different process than higher-end wheelsets. For example, the UD finish is a little offset at the very top of one of my wheels (it doesn’t wrap all the way around the top), but that shouldn’t be visible with a tire. But for the price they feel and look excellent.

They come pre-taped with valves, but that’s it. I’m putting these on a quick release bike, so I had to order new end caps too.

Like I said, I haven’t even put tires on them yet (out of town till tonight) but I’m very pleased after my initial inspection. Hub sounds good too.

I hope I get to set them up tonight, but it may be tomorrow or Friday before I get a chance. Still waiting on the new rotors to show up, but I hope to get out on these by the weekend. If anyone is interested in ride impressions after, I’ll be happy to share. For reference, I have ENVE 3.4 SES Disc on my main road bike, and these are going on my “allroad” bike.

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Enve should do the same, would save a lot of headaches I think.

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I recall hearing that Continental was not comfortable with their tires on hookless rims.
I’m likely to wait for actual tubeless rim and tire standards that are designed to work together, rather than everybody doing what they think better, and then producing compatibility charts. There are so many asterisks with road tubeless working I’m not interested at this point. I don’t get many flats, so the cost/benefit is just not there for me.

Even ENVE says the 25c GP5000 is fine on the Foundation series. It’s the 28 where it starts to have issues.

From what I can tell, this is very much a Conti issue, not an industry issue.

Yes, this is Conti specific, but they are a major player in the tire market.
If I recall from the podcast, the issue at hand is minimum tire pressures, so the higher pressure for the 25c tires is likely what makes them work.

What are your ride impressions of the new 303s? I’m curious as I’m looking to upgrade to these, the Enve 45’s, or maybe the Reynolds AR41’s.

I’ve only been out on them a few times, but I really like them. I put these on my CAADX with Gravel King Slick 32s and I have ENVE 3.4 SES Discs on my SuperSix with GP4000 25s for comparison.

The Zipps are smooth, responsive, and stiff. They roll like clouds and handle crosswinds very well. I’m really happy with them, especially for the type of riding I do on this bike. I wanted comfort and efficiency, and they nail that.

That said, I can tell a difference between these and my ENVEs, but they’re also half the price so I expected as much. They still punch far above their price suggests. They’re 85% of what I get from my ENVEs at literally half the cost. They’re an incredible value.

I can’t speak to how they would compare to the ENVE 45s or Reynolds, but I will say that those were two wheelsets that were on my list, too (along with building up a set of custom Light Bike hoops). Ultimately, the Zipps hit all the points I wanted—great depth, wide internal width, and hookless bead. I’d love to compare them to the 45s at some point, but that would indeed be a pricey comparison, haha.

But ultimately, I haven’t thought “I wonder if I should’ve gone with the ENVEs…” one time since I got these Zipps. That’s usually the biggest sign of a great purchase for me—when I don’t question my decision, I know I made the right call.

Plus, they looks sexy as hell.

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Thanks! This is exactly the feedback I was hoping for. I don’t race and its hard for me to justify the $2k+ bracket of wheels. For half the price, I’ll be glad to take 85% of the performance. My LBS appears to have the 303S in stock and its Father’s Day weekend so who knows maybe I’ll get lucky.

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I’m old enough to remember when $2K would get you a damn-near top of the line complete race bike.

:man_shrugging:

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