Campagnolo's Shamal Mille Wheelset may be the most feted aerodynamic
aluminum wheelset still on the market today. That's because at its
inception in the 1990s, it played a big role in revolutionizing what a
rim's cross section could—and should—look like, ushering in the era
of aerodynamic wheels. The newest iteration of this venerable line
resembles that original model in name only, returning for 2017 with the
accumulated advancements of two decades in Campagnolo's R&D labs
with one major change over the 2015 model: more internal width.
Expanded tire size is unarguably one of the most significant advancements in recent road tech. After all, there's only so much benefit that we creatures of sinew and muscle can derive from aeronautical materials and industrial-grade ceramic bearings—though both are, of course, represented here. The wider internal rim width lets today's trend of wider tires sit fuller, straightening the side walls and increasing air volume. That results in more comfort, lower rolling resistance, and better cornering at speed.
Racing's not all about speed and stealthy comfort, though; you've also got to stop. The Shamal Mille's dark matte finish comes into play here. Campagnolo calls this Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation, and—as far as we
can tell—it serves two purposes: it looks good and it signals that
your wheels feature the new, spiral-grooved brake track, which is what
sets these apart from the competition. We should note that, while early
reports indicated the Shamal Mille would be compatible with Campagnolo's carbon-specific brake pads, the company has since released special red
brake pads for use with the aluminum Shamal Milles only. For safety's sake,
we recommend not deviating from those pads.
The Shamal Milles' brake track bears a distinctly noticeable spiral
design that Campy claims reduces braking distances in all conditions,
regardless of brake-hampering dampness. The Italian manufacturer also
claims that this is the quietest brake system it's ever developed, which
is akin to Armani claiming that a newly designed suit is the most
well-fitting article to roll off of its tailors' work benches. While
we're primarily interested in the improved braking, a quieter operation
is the kind of unlooked-for but appreciated perk that the Vicenza-based
brand has made its name with.
New features aside, the wheels wouldn't be Shamals without the iconic
Mega G3 Geometry, which places an emphasis on perfect spoke tension for
efficient, vibration-free rolling, even at speed. Mega G3 also accounts
for the different stresses placed on drive- and non-drive spokes,
doubling the drive-side spoke count and increasing tension load. This
architecture creates a shared load balance for a structural reliability
that gives the best power transmission possible.
The wide, carbon hub bodies and oversized aluminum rear hub flange
further increase torsional and lateral rigidity. The Shamal Milles use
Campy's ceramic Ultra Smooth Bearings (USB) on the front and rear hubs.
While they aren't as perfectly efficient as the best-in-the-world CULT
bearings on the Bora line, Campagnolo claims that USB are an amazing 50%
smoother than standard bearings, which means less energy dissipation as
a result of friction.
- The aero aluminum wheel that started it all
- New rim width increases comfort and rolling efficiency
- Oxidized ceramic brake track improves stopping
- USB ceramic bearings are industrial-grade smooth
- Aluminum spokes boost stiffness without adding grams
- G3 spoke lacing and asymmetrical rims add more stiffness
- Carbon hub bodies for efficient hammering and spinning