The Right Clincher Rims

12 top hoops that will im­prove your road ride

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - IN DEPTH - Stan­dard clincher, ($1,750 for

It was on a grav­elly de­scent on the is­land of Gran Ca­naria that I was first in­tro­duced to Cam­pag­nolo’s lat­est ver­sion of the Shamal Ul­tra wheelset. The moun­tain road was per­fectly pleas­ant on the way up with the grades some­times get­ting into the low 20s. My group took a break at the top and then started the down­ward run, roughly 1,600 m down. The first few kilo­me­tres were rough be­cause the sur­face, my speed and the stiff­ness of the bike made hold­ing onto the han­dle­bars as pleas­ant as op­er­at­ing a jack­ham­mer. I was glad to have such solid wheels.

Cam­pag­nolo had just in­tro­duced the new Shamal Ul­tras to my group that morn­ing. The alu­minum wheelset has been in the Ital­ian com­po­nent com­pany’s lineup for more than 20 years. Since then, car­bon-fi­bre hoops have be­come the ma­te­rial of choice for climb­ing and rid­ing fast. While the Shamals, with a claimed weight of 1,495 g for the stan­dard clincher set, will lose the weight bat­tle with car­bon wheels, the Campys are still high-per­for­mance wheels that can line up against com­pos­ite hoops. At the cen­tre of each wheel are car­bon-fi­bre hub bod­ies with Ul­tra Smooth Bear­ings in­side. The usbs work re­ally well, al­low­ing you to spin up quickly and al­low­ing the wheel to keep rolling. I might even blame them a bit for get­ting me to “jack­ham­mer speed” so quickly on that de­scent. Still, they were fan­tas­tic for help­ing me get to the top of that climb.

On the de­scent, the solid con­struc­tion of the wheels meant I didn’t have to worry about them. The hubs are con­nected to the rims with aero­dy­namic alu­minum spokes. The rim bed of each wheel is hole-free; spoke nip­ples are slid into place on the lower sec­tion of the rims via a mag­net. The rear wheel has the G3 pat­tern with 14 spokes on the drive side and seven on the non-drive side, keep­ing the whole sys­tem strong and stiff. For the new wheels, the in­ner rim width has in­creased from 15 mm to 17 mm. The width im­proves the shap­ing of 25-mm tires, giv­ing them a more semi­cir­cle profile in­stead of that of a light­bulb, mak­ing the Shamals feel more planted in the turns.

While my first test on the Ca­nary Is­land was dra­matic, it was the nu­mer­ous and less-dra­matic miles I logged on my lo­cal roads that proved the Shamals’ qual­ity. They con­tin­ued to roll quickly, al­low­ing me to stay ac­tive, maybe even ag­gres­sive some­times, in the group rides. I didn’t hes­i­tate to take them on the rough stuff. They are high-per­for­mance hoops, and it’s per­for­mance you can rely on.

cam­pag­–matthew­pi­oro Shi­mano RX830 Gi­ant SLR 0

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