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Mora Bora per favore.
Let's get one thing out of the way: yes, the Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 Tubular Wheelset costs over $4000. Now that you're sure your eyes aren't deceiving you, let's try and answer the obvious question: why?
The simple answer is that the Bora Ultra 35 is a pro-level race-day rim, as in "I'm leading the Tour into the final few days, so I'd better go all out with my wheel selection today." Tubular rims are incredibly light and provide unbeatable feel on the road, and with a rim depth of just 35mm, 15mm less than the classic Bora 50, the Bora 35 cuts down even more weight, so there's nothing slowing down the rotation of your tires. Shortening the depth of the rim also reduces material and corresponding weight.
Not only is the Bora Ultra 35 lighter than almost any other wheel, but it's slightly wider than most (24.2mm), which actually means less rolling resistance and improved aerodynamics compared to standard skinnier wheels (trust us, it's science). Less paradoxically, wider wheels also provide better grip and cornering, and they accommodate wider tires for an even plusher and more durable ride.
Size isn't everything, though. The Bora 35 employs Campagnolo's legendary CULT bearings, which help add more power to every stroke — indeed, Campagnolo calls them the lowest-friction bearings in the world, and we're not inclined to doubt them. Carbon wheels are also notoriously finicky with regards to braking, but Campagnolo has employed its 3Diamant braking surface, which actually uses diamonds to polish the brake track, to increase friction and decrease pulsing. It's also claimed to reduce wet braking by up to 40%, and dry braking by 20%. Finally, long flanges add extra stiffness to the G3 spokes, which are also engineered to help absorb road vibration.
- Carbon fiber
- 1170g per wheelset
- 35mm rip depth
- 24.2mm width
- CULT bearings
- Cronitect races
- 3Diamant braking surface
- G3 aerodynamic spokes
- Item #CPG002X
- Q & A
Outstanding - Fast, strong, light
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Got that as my first "real" wheel upgrades after an attempt at the Zipp 303s with Chris King ceramic hubs, and the Boras have not disappointed. The Ultra version is super light, but also strong enough for everyday use, and easily serviceable just in case. As soon as I put those wheels on I could feel a big difference when compared to the Zipps, as they accelerate faster, are more rigid and roll as nicely as the Chris Kings (kudos to the Kings here as they are super smooth). As a result I actually grabbed quite a few PRs the first time I rode the Boras, in a series of nice flats I ride almost everyday back at home. The only thing I have not tested extensively is braking under extreme conditions, as I am not a big fan of using carbon wheels continuously on big descents where there is the need to brake due to road roughness issues. So far, one of the best wheelsets I have ever used. As a comparison, just recently I started using a pair of LW Meilenstein SchwarzEd on my other bike, and the LWs are faster to accelerate and a little more rigid specially when cornering, but the Boras certianly handle heavy cross-winds much better.