The latest addition to the Campagnolo range of wheels, the Bora Ultra WTO, has us enthusiastic about the reachable improvements this wheelset can have on your performance. The question of weight is certainly on the minds of most riders, especially when upgrading or buying a new bike. Yet the Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO will have you flying for reasons beyond lightness. Lets discover why we rate this addition to the Campy Family as worth its price when it comes to enhancing your ride experience.
Firstly, these wheel are beautiful. Smooth, light and sleek, the carbon depth to the finish is more than pleasing to the eye. Campy have gone a minimal aesthetic with an overall black finish. A subtle copper shine in the logo is visible only with the right angle of light. This is easily one of the best looking wheels on the market. The so called C-Lux ( Campagnolo Luxury) mirror finish sheds previous need for layers of protective lacquers, adding to its decent weight advantage.
Beyond aesthetics, the Campy bora Ultra WTO's come in 3 depths, low (33), medium (45) and high (60). We recently chose the 45 mid depth to complement the profile and ride of the Wilier Filante. To do justice you really need to complement it with a worthy frame and build ... or you're guaranteeing wrath from Campagnolo purists. (See a review of our Filante build here)
There is extensive technical data and explanation for the overarching performance gains of these wheels. We've listed some here and we've also collected a few notable articles below to appease that internal tech within us all. But most riders target three key areas when choosing cycling gear.
Are the Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO Wheels lighter, faster and worth investing?
Before we ask our in-house Campagnolo technical expert David Piacenti his opinion, lets look at these three points of common riding interest.
Lighter, Faster and Worth the Investment?
Claimed weights of WTO wheelsets are as low as 1385g (for the Ultra WTO 33mm). Campy boasts using their latest H.U.L.C. Handmade ultra light carbon weave material. Its been years in the making to gain the perfect recipe of both fibre and bonding resin for devising balance and optimising strength, stiffness against lightness in weight. Yet the weight gains are also a result of combining intelligent weight shaving from existing features while installing lighter improved parts.
From the already stated elimination of a lacquer layer, getting rid of a need for rim tape, to the Superlight Carbon thru-axle front hub body, the added benefits are in the math. Weights are quoted 1385g for the 33mm, 1425g for the 45mm and 1530g for the 60mm profile, per pair
Campy have designed a wheel with improved aerodynamic efficiencies. How? A revised engineered rim profile plus a beautifully sculpted carbon fibre hub design. But there's more than structural changes, and the internal workings of the hub cannot be dismissed. CULT bearings (Ceramic) are fitted for frictionless rotation and speed. There's a hidden aerodynamic nipple system and laced with elliptical aero spokes adds to the speed efficiency.
Campagnolo claims the combined technologies allow the wheels to continue spinning for 2 hours and 45 minutes from speeds reached at 78km/h.
For a client we recently built the super light aero Wilier Filante with Campy Bora Ultra WTO. The request was a complete build that in every detail satisfied his need for lightweight, high performance. The bike was also required to emanate elegance and aesthetic appeal. As his experience attests, the rolling capability of the Campy Bora WTO as well as its stunning appearance left nothing unturned.
Look, spending over 4000 Aus for a set of wheels will never be for everyone. But why should it be? Not everyone shares the same aspirations or prioirities when it comes to luxury high performance product. Saying this, Campagnolo have designed their very best and we'd argue most beautiful wheel yet. With a thoroughly proved race pedigree, they certainly will impress most riders who followed the latest 2022 TDF win by Tadej Pogocar using both the Bora One Tubular as well as the Bora Ultra WTO.
I recently had words with our Campagnolo Tech, David Piacenti at Chainsmith. In his opinion the Bora Ultra WTO are a stand out. Here's why,
"Since 1994 Bora has been the wheel to set the standard. Having the highest stiffness to weight ratio alongside reliable hubs with the addition of the CULT ceramic bearings, this is in my opinion the best wheel ever.
The Ultra WTO is a disc version of many years in development by professionals. Its important to say the rims are without holes because of the engineered internal spoke design - so there's no need for tape. That means reliability. Also, tubeless, tubeless ready or clincher tires fit perfectly.
With the new spoke installation system and internal nipple thread in the rim, the wheels aren't the cheapest. But they're much more functional than most when it comes to repair and maintenance. You can actually replace and true a wheel without the difficulties other internal spoke systems use. The Bora Ultra WTO's in this way are different.
With other wheels its a pain and takes time to replace spokes. You need to take off the tyre and tape. With the Campy Bora Ultra WTO, no need to do this as you can work externally.
The reason I think this wheel is best? It ticks the boxes
- Ceramic Bearings
- Tubeless Ready
- Great Graphics
Now, a few other niche manufacturers as well as the leading market Zipp claim lower weight on for example their NSW tubeless wheelset. But there are some drawbacks. The rim is designed for tubeless and while you can use a tube you also need rim tape to cover the exposed drill points which, unlike the Campy WTO adds to weight. Also, not all tyre manufactures produce compatible product with the very specific tolerance in tyre measurements. On a good note, the construction process of Zipp hookless means reusable metal molds can be used (rather than once only use for the hook). This means less wasted material and cheaper manufacturing process.
However, when looking at the details of the hub you could argue the Zipp NSW are not as performance driven. An example is the bearings on Zipp NSW being steel. Yes you can upgrade to Ceramic, but the cost begins to add up. Whereas the Campagnolo WTO range have ceramic bearings as standard practice and the initial rolling abilities are superior."
Closing the review here of the Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO, we understand they're faster, smoother, stiffer and lighter than predecessors. And while they certainly come at a price, this won't be a deterrent when riders claim these improved benefits.
For more information or to buy, install or service any product from the Campy range or specifically Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO Wheels, you're welcome to contact the Chainsmith Team. Also, for product reviews and launches we welcome your subscription below.