The Fast Get Faster.
We still fall into the camp of tubular wheels and tires for racing and clinchers for training but admit that the gap that once spanned ride quality, rolling resistance, and weight has certainly closed. If you're looking for the ultimate race and everyday wheelset, please have a look at the Campagnolo Bora Ultra 50 Clincher Wheelset. Naturally, the clinchers are more user-friendly and boast the ability to change a flat in the field. On the Ultra 50's, Campagnolo has bumped the rims' width up to 24.2 millimeters wide at the brake track. In doing so, the Italian firm modernizes the Bora ensuring more wins in store for this storied wheelset.
The rim's increased width helps improve handling, lowers the rolling resistance, and offers a smoother ride. The increased tire sidewall support nets these gains. Additionally, we see an increase in lateral stiffness and improved aerodynamics with wider tires. Campagnolo saves a little bit of weight too since it can build a more structurally sound rim with less material, and it means you can mount bigger tires, up to 27 millimeters, for tubular-like cush.
Cup and cone bearings are behind Campagnolo hubs' legendary rolling performance and CULT technology ups the ante. It marries the smoothest ceramic ball bearings with thermochemically treated Cronitect races for a claimed 3.5 saved watts over non-CULT bearings. The ceramic balls and Cronitect races are so smooth that they virtually don't wear and only require a thin film of oil instead of grease. All told, Campagnolo touts these as the lowest friction bearings in the world. While we normally approach anything that smacks of marketing hyperbole with healthy skepticism, spinning the Boras up to speed and the reduced effort to get there leads credence to their claims.
A fast wheel has to slow down quickly too, and the new 3Diamant braking surface addresses some of the key issues we've had with braking on carbon rims in the past. Campagnolo hones the brake track with diamonds to remove imperfections and resin on the surface so that the pads make contact with a strip of slightly textured carbon. This increases brake pad bite and increases stopping power by 40% in wet conditions and 20% when it's dry.
Campagnolo finishes off the Bora Ultra 50s with a few more nice touches. The oversized rear hub flanges gain additional stiffness for power transfer. The included quick releases have also been redesigned with an eye toward weight loss and aerodynamics. Returning features include the signature G3 spoke pattern on the rear which balances tension and improves power transfer and rim balancing that offsets the nominal imbalance caused by the valve stem hole. Campy constructs and lays up all of the carbon for the Boras in Vicenza, and every piece is X-rayed to scan for imperfections.
- A carbon fiber wheelset that injects a dose of speed
- 50mm depth is fast but still stable in the wind
- 24.2mm width works with modern, wider tires
- Ceramic USB bearings are 50% smoother than steel for speed
- 3Diamant brake track for more powerful braking in wet and dry
- G3 rear spoke pattern for optimized tension and stiffness