High-end Italian bicycle component manufacturer Campagnolo has just announced its latest wheelset: The new Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO series. The disc brake-only, top-of-the-line wheels will come in 33, 45 and 60mm rim-depth formats.
The wheels, secretly already in use by UAE Team Emirates, Lotto-Soudal and Ag2R-Citroen Team, were ridden by Caleb Ewan when he took the win in a tightly-contested bunch sprint finish on Stage 7 of the UAE Tour. Designed to be stiffer, lighter and more areo, the high-end wheels, decorated with copper-shaded Campagnolo branding will cost $4,270-$4,280.
A long time coming
Campagnolo’s Bora series has existed since 1994. Now on its eleventh iteration, the company says that 20 years of research and development have culminated in the Bora Ultra WTO series.
Designed, developed, tested and produced at Campagnolo’s Vicenza, Italy headquarters, the updated wheelsets include new internal nipples, a redesigned hub and new rims made from proprietary ultra-light carbon fiber.
The Bora Ultra WTO (Wind Tunnel Optimized) wheels are three years in the making—Campagnolo designs all the components of the wheels and, for the Bora Ultra WTO series, the company used several of its patented technologies.
These wheels were built from the ground up for disc brake systems using AFS (centerlock compatible) rotors. While rim brake users can purchase Campagnolo Bora Ultra, currently on the market for about a third of the price of the Bora Ultra WTO, the company has decided to focus its highest-end efforts on disc brake bikes only.
The newly designed disc-only hubs (used on all three rim profiles), spin on Campagnolo’s CULT ceramic bearings and use the common 100/142mm thru-axle standard. According to the company, Spinning from a speed of 78km/h, a Campagnolo wheel using CULT bearings takes two hours and 45 minutes to reach a standstill (compared to 30 minutes with regular sealed bearings). The bearings don’t require grease, only a drop of oil, which reduces the maintenance requirements.
Another ease-of-maintenance component of the wheels is the externally adjustable system on Campagnolo’s new Aero Mo-Mag internal nipples. A tool that comes with the wheels allows riders to increase or decrease spoke tension with the tire still in place.
The Aero Mo-Mag internal nipples are a hidden aerodynamic nipple system, which seats the spoke nipple inside of the rim. The aerodynamic design allows Campagnolo to mold the nipple and valve holes into the rims and avoid drilling holes in the carbon fiber. The design increases rim strength and eliminates the need for rim tape.
The Bora Ultra WTO wheels are laced with elliptical aero spokes in Campagnolo’s G3 design, which has now been optimized for disc brake use.
Aerodynamics and weight
With an internal width of 21 mm, the Bora Ultra WTO’s rims are aerodynamically optimized for 25mm tires and constructed from Campagnolo’s patented Ultra-Light Carbon. While the aerodynamics of the wheel are similar to the Swiss Side Hadron 485 at a 0 degree wind angle, the Bora Ultra WTO excels aerodynamically at a wind angle of between 10 to 20 degrees (which Campagnolo says is the condition for about 80 per cent of the time spent in the saddle).
In terms of weight, the wheels, which feature a 4 unidirectional lacquer-free carbon rim, come in at 1,425g for the 45mm rim format. The rim (and front hub) sport the mirror-like Campagnolo Luxury (C-LUX) finish, which does not require lacquer and contributes to weight savings.
The aluminium Thru-axle rear hub uses an integrated 36 tooth pawl ratchet in combination with Campagnolo’s Next 3 Ways (N3W) freehub body, released last year. N3W is a patented standard for a freewheel body engineered to house Campagnolo 11, 12 and
13-speed cassettes. The wheelset is also available with freehub drivers for Shimano HG and SRAM XDR.
Weight (pair, N3W™, exc. lockring/valve): 1385g (33mm), 1425g (45mm), 1530g (60mm)
Max. recommended system weight: 120kg
ASTM classification: 1
Material: H.U.L.C UD high-strength carbon fibre, C-LUX finish
Tyre compatibility: 2-Way Fit – Tubeless, tubeless-ready, clincher
Recommended tyre size: 700c, aerodynamically optimised for 25mm
Rim height: 33mm / 45mm / 60mm
Internal width: 21mm (33) – 19mm (45-60)
External width: 27.4mm (33) – 26.1mm (45-60)
Front hub type: Carbon body with integrated radial flange
Front hub width: 12 x 100mm
Rear hub type: Aluminium body, 36 tooth ratchet freehub
Rear hub width: 12 x 142mm
Axle type: Aluminium thru axle
Bearings: CULT™ ceramic, cup and cone
Brake interface: AFS disc
Freehub compatibility: N3W™, XDR, HG
Spokes & Nipples
Spokes: 24, elliptical, straight-pull, double-butted, 1.5mm
Spoke pattern: G3™
Nipples: Aluminium Aero Mo-Mag™, self-locking, internal
Aero Mo-Mag™ nipple maintenance kit, tubeless valves, AFS lockrings, Campagnolo wheel
bags, Campagnolo accessories bag, tyre levers, Campagnolo N3W™ Z11 adapter (with N3W™
Campagnolo N3W freehub:$4,270
Shimano HG freehub: $4,275
Sram XDR freehub: $4,280