Zipp 404 Firestrike Clincher Wheel - Front
The biggest advance though is the braking performance. Carbon wheels have come a long way since the early days, but traditionally they still lag behind aluminum rims--especially in the wet. The new Zipp Showstopper brake track technology applies a molded brake track pattern and introduces silicon carbide into the surface for wet weather braking performance that is easily on par with aluminum braking surfaces. With this innovation, Zipp singlehandedly leaped frogged the competition again, by creating a wheel that is not only fast, but can slow down quickly as well.
The Firestrike has also been engineered to be one of the toughest carbon clinchers ever, with a rim design that is resistant to cracks and chipping, over even the roughest surfaces. Simply put, it sets a new standard for strength and durability for carbon clinchers, and combined with the Showstoppertechnology, the Firestrike takes carbon wheels out of the "race day only" and into the "everyday" realm for any rider.
Other updates include a new ImPress graphic treatment that reduces weight and looks better than traditional decals, CeramicSpeed bearings with incredibly low rolling resistance and a longer wear life, and an all-new ABLC (aerodynamic boundary layer) control system that smooths airflow more precisely for better stability and control and handling, even in windy conditions. This, combined with the new CFD (computation fluid dynamics) modeling results in a 34% reduction in side force, while maintaining excellent, race-ready performance.