Winter Trainer to Crit Season: Zipp 404 Wheel Rebuild. 

Cascadia Wheel Co.

I have seen a few rear wheels come in the last couple of months that have a good carbon rim, but with a hub that just doesn’t meet the riders needs anymore. In this case, a recently overhauled Powertap hub, laced to a Zipp 404 Firecrest with CX-Ray spokes and alloy nipples.


The rider wanted to lighten the wheelset, but more importantly, stiffen the rear wheel for sprints and have good tracking capabilities in tight corners.

There are many options for hub upgrades out in the market, but the best in weight to cost ratio was my own branded rear hub. They come in at 210g and retail for much less than the other competitors out there. Lastly, there are no proprietary sizes or parts, so servicing is simple and fast.

The build was straightforward: Indigenous Wheel Co. 11s rear hub, CX-Ray spokes, 14mm Brass Secure Lock nipples, and alloy washers to better distribute tension where the nipples mate with the bed of the rim.


*I choose Sapim Secure Lock nipples on most builds as they hold in place for many miles without fail. Some pre-built or larger scale wheel-building companies choose a light grade of Loctite to prevent the nipples from backing out. This however can result in being unable to true the wheel down the road as the nipples can  sometimes “freeze’ onto the spokes.


Joey Mullan

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