In the fast-paced world of cycling, where cutting-edge technology and performance advancements are the order of the day, Campagnolo continues to make waves. Following the groundbreaking release of the Super Record Wireless groupset in 2023, the Italian cycling giant has now taken the wraps off the latest iterations of its acclaimed Bora Ultra WTO and Bora WTO wheelsets. The cycling community has been buzzing with anticipation, and the wheels have finally hit the market with a promise of elevated performance.
Evolution of Excellence
Campagnolo introduced the Bora wheel series over three decades ago, and since then, these wheels have evolved to meet the ever-changing demands of cyclists. According to the brand, the latest versions represent the pinnacle of performance, offering a blend of aerodynamics and lightweight design that surpasses their predecessors.
A distinguishing feature of these wheels is the G3 spoke layout, which not only imparts a signature aesthetic but also delivers significant performance benefits. However, in a move that might raise eyebrows among rim-brake enthusiasts, the new Bora wheelsets are exclusively available in a disc-brake version. The shift towards disc brakes aligns with the evolving preferences of cyclists and provides an opportunity for enhanced stopping power and control.
The Quest for Lightness and Aerodynamics
In the realm of modern cycling, where every gram counts, the Campagnolo Bora wheels have undergone a remarkable transformation to shed weight without compromising strength. The Ultra WTO are said to weigh just 1,285g a pair. The adoption of the Handmade Ultra-Light Carbon (H.U.L.C.) molding process is a key contributor to this weight reduction. According to Campagnolo, this process achieves an optimal balance of carbon fiber and resin, ensuring top-tier performance across various pedaling conditions—slipstream, uphill, and downhill.
Aerodynamic gains have also been a focal point of the redesign. The integration between the rim and the tire has been reimagined, featuring a drop-shaped profile in the contact area. Campagnolo claims a 13% reduction in air resistance compared to the previous model, a figure that skyrockets to 80% at a 15-degree side wind. This small yet impactful change illustrates Campagnolo's commitment to maximising efficiency and speed.
The Unseen Engineering: Aero Mo-Mag Technology
Delving into the details, Campagnolo has introduced Aero Mo-Mag technology using internal fibreglass-reinforced polymer seats for the spoke nipples to achieve completely concealed spoke nipples. Both the H.U.L.C moulding, hidden nipples are only offered on the Ultra WTO model. This not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of the wheel but also contributes to a more streamlined airflow, further enhancing aerodynamic performance. Such meticulous engineering highlights Campagnolo's dedication to innovation and pushing the boundaries of what's possible in cycling technology. Importantly for our Chainsmith mechanics accessing the nipples doesn’t require we remove the tyre but, instead, use a tool to access from the outer. This will increase mechanical efficiency from the workshop and have riders back on the bike in no time.
A Familiar Look with Enhanced Features
While the Bora wheelsets maintain a familiar aesthetic with the retained G3 spoke pattern, they have been optimised rather than completely overhauled. The G3 structure, with spokes grouped in threes and significant gaps between each group, enhances stiffness, leading to improved energy efficiency. The Ultra WTO use seven groups of three spokes, while the WTO uses eight groups. This distinctive look not only sets them apart from other wheels but also underscores Campagnolo's commitment to blending tradition with innovation.
However, it's worth noting that despite the changes and enhancements, the Bora wheels maintain a visual resemblance to their predecessors. This is intentional, as the focus has been on optimising key features rather than a radical redesign. Concerning the overall finish of the WTO Ultra’s, the C-Lux finish is unquestionably beautiful. It also plays a dual role in enhancing the wheel's reduced weight – as it doesn't necessitate lacquer – and in promoting an improved seal between the tubeless tire and rim. Campagnolo asserts that the precision of this finish leads to an enhanced pressure seal, ensuring the "utmost secure placement of tubeless tires."
Is this goodbye? Campagnolo Bora WTO Rim Brake, Breadwinner
Photo: Alison McGregor, Jan 2024
Addressing the Trends: Wide Tyre Compatibility
Over the years, the cycling landscape has witnessed a shift in tyre preferences. While narrow tires were the norm when the Bora wheels were first introduced, the trend has moved towards wider tires. Pro riders have settled on 28mm, with some opting for even wider options. In response to this trend, Campagnolo has adapted by offering a 23mm internal rim width for the new Bora wheelsets. This wider internal width ensures better contact with the road, benefiting both aerodynamics and trajectory control.
The Bora Lineup: Options and Availability
One notable change in the lineup is the introduction of three sizes for both the Bora WTO and Bora Ultra WTO wheelsets. The 77mm option has been excluded from the updates, and the 33mm size has transformed into a more versatile 35mm. Cyclists can now choose between 35mm, 45mm, or 60mm rim depths to suit their riding preferences.
The Bora Ultra WTO stands out as the range-topping option, boasting additional technological features, including CULT (Ceramic Ultimate Level Technology) bearings. This advanced technology contributes to smoother rolling and improved durability.
Chainsmith: Your Partner in Cycling Evolution
As an avid cyclist with impeccable taste, you might be wondering where to turn for the latest Campagnolo innovations. Look no further than Chainsmith, your trusted cycling partner. Our team of highly skilled mechanics is well-versed in Campagnolo technology, ensuring you receive expert assistance with any inquiries or upgrades.
At Chainsmith, we don't just offer products; we provide an immersive cycling experience. Our commitment to staying ahead of industry trends and delivering expert mechanical repairs and advice aligns perfectly with the ethos of Campagnolo. When you choose Chainsmith, you're choosing a community that shares your passion for cycling excellence.
The unveiling of the Campagnolo Bora wheelsets marks another chapter in the brand's storied history. With a keen focus on aerodynamics, weight reduction, and adapting to evolving cycling trends, Campagnolo continues to set the bar for premium cycling components. Whether you're a seasoned professional or an enthusiastic amateur, the Bora wheelsets promise a thrilling and high-performance ride.
As you embark on your cycling journey with Campagnolo, remember that Chainsmith is here to support you every step of the way. Explore the latest Bora wheelsets, experience the thrill of cutting-edge technology, and trust Chainsmith to be your cycling partner in innovation.
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