We do a lot of Zipp wheel repairs at XLR8.
They are very common, and some models have some very specific issues that come up. Hub replacements are a common occurrence, but it’s fair to say the carbon technology is not usually the weakest part of Zipp Wheelsets.
That said, everything will fatigue over time, and Mike’s Zipp 404 Alloy/Carbon hybrids have taken a beating, and a small crack developed at the nipple on the front wheel. He’s a big bloke, and 18 spoke front wheels are really not a great idea for his weight (unless used for very specific application), and a tension spike had been the end of this rim.
Mike was looking for a short term replacement front wheel, to couple with his current Zipp 404 rear – to keep him going until he upgrades his bike/drivetrain to 11s sometime this year.
We have been working with a carbon manufacturer for some months to spec a road clincher that we can trust. It’s been an interesting journey, and Mike is now part of our testing team.
The prototype he is testing is toroidal – 50mm deep, 25mm wide at the braketracks, and 28mm wide at the widest point – and very aero. It’s also tubeless ready and very competitive weight wise. Coupled with an XLR8 MD Aero front hub and Sapim Race spokes and brass nipples, this wheel will be as fast as it looks, and an ideal replacement for his old Zipp 404.