Despite the Air 9.9’s weight, I clocked one of my fastest times up a steep local climb
was a heavy wheelset, and whether it was down to flex in the wheel or frame, the brake pads rubbed the rear rim with even the slightest of standing efforts. By contrast, the switch to Zipp’s extremely capable 404 Firecrest wheels means the new bike feels stiffer and delivers power more acutely to generate speed. They’re aerodynamic enough to make the most of the frame’s curves while being light and stiff under pressure.
The finishing kit also complements the build in terms of performance. That said, I might have expected carbon at this price, and the Tektro Bb-mounted rear brake is also a little basic for the level of build elsewhere. Ultimately, though, the alloy finishing kit is light enough and stiff enough to do the job, and works well with the bike as a whole.
Personally I’d like to see the 44cm bars trimmed a little for a more wind-cheating profile when riding