Zipp 404 tubular wheelset £1900

Aero tubs

BikeRadar score 4/5

You'll see loads of Zipp wheels anywhere that max speed is a priority, and after our testing on the 404s we know there’s a very good reason for that.

The 404s are a 60mm-deep rim, not a 40mm, but you wouldn’t know it from their weight or rapid acceleration. The deeper, dimpled surface section reduces straightline drag, but the bulged toroidal cross section still gives excellent manoeuvrability.

They stay stable even in gusting crosswinds too. The wider tyre track and a layer of shock-absorbing material makes them quietly comfortable on the road, so they work well for short-blast legs and long-haul use.

Kevlar thread reinforcement helps shrug off knocks and potholes, and there’s a 20 front, 24 rear spoke (rather than 16/20) ‘Max’ version for heavier riders. Our only grumble is with the supplied Zipp brake pads that aren’t as powerful as aftermarket options we’ve used.

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