Campagnolo have just launched an updated Bora 50 wheelset, borrowing the wider rim profile and improved braking surface from the Bora 35 introduced last year.
One of the most significant developments for the updated Bora 50 wheelset is to incorporate the same 3Diamant treatment they first introduced on the shallower Bora 35 wheels. This surface treatment, reckons Campagnolo, improves “carbon braking performance to the point of feeling similar to aluminum in all conditions.”
Essentially, Campagnolo use diamond-tipped tools to eliminate imperfections and thereby remove the breaking in period. They reckon that this improves braking in both wet and dry conditions, giving you a more linear and smooth overall performance. We’ve yet to test a carbon wheelset that offers braking anywhere near that of a conventional aluminium rim, so we're obviously eager to try these.
Rims are getting wider, most leading wheel manufacturers are moving to a wider rim profile. Campagnolo did the same with their Bora 35 wheelset last year, and the new Bora 50 gets the same treatment. The external rim width increases from 20.5 to 24.2m.
Campagnolo says this increased width not only offers improved aerodynamics, but also allows wider tubular tyres to be used, as wider tyres are the current trend at the moment, both in the pro peloton as we spotted at the Tour de France and with amateurs. Wider tyres are good, says Campagnolo, because they “increase control as the contact area between tyre and asphalt is increased, thus improving grip in addition to creating a more comfortable ride.”
In addition, Campagnolo also says “the larger profile of the Bora rim creates a stronger structure with less need for material intended for structural reinforcement.” What they’re saying is that the new profile has allowed them to get away with using less carbon fibre to provide the necessary strength, and the weight has dropped as a result.
Campagnolo have also designed a smaller profile front hub which saves a bit more weight and they’ve even used water transfer decals which they reckon saves an extra 15g.
Those changes mean a lighter wheelset. The Bora Ultra 50 weighs a claimed 1,267g, that’s down from 1,310g, with the Bora One 50 a claimed 1,313g. Those weights compare well to the Bora Ultra 35 (1,179g) and Bora One 35 (1,223g). The Ultra refers to the ceramic bearings while the One wheels use regular steel ball bearings in the hubs.
No word on pricing or availability yet. More at www.campagnolo.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.