My poor pair of Campy Zondas. One of their first test rides was on a loop that took me down some logging roads before things got really rough.
In Spring 2016, Campy relaunched its alloy Shamal wheels. A few months later, the Zondas came out, sporting many of the features seen in the Shamals. The internal rim width is 17 mm so that 25c tires would sit properly and form a semicircle shape (instead of a lightbulb shape) when hooked in, and thus perform at their best on the road. Both rear alloy hoops use the G3 spoke pattern, with seven three-spoke clusters. The rim beds don’t have any holes in them. The wheel builder has to slide spoke nipples into place with a magnet. Each rim is weighted to counter the mass of the inner tube’s valve stem.
The most significant difference between the Shamals and the Zondas is at the centre of each wheel: the hubs. Where a Shamal wheel has a carbon-fibre hub body with Ultra Smooth Bearings (usb) inside, a Zonda features a classic and durable cup-and-cone setup. The hubs don’t have the same snap as the usb ceramic-based ones, but they do roll along nicely when you are up to speed.
The whole arrangement weighs 1,596 g, 137 g heavier than the Shamals. The Zondas also cost $755, almost $1,000 less than a pair of their aluminum siblings
On that first test ride, the logging road turned into – I’m not sure what. Maybe it was a skidoo or atv trail. Whatever it was, it was rocky, not the place I should have been riding road wheels with 25c tires. Still, who wants to turn around? The Zondas took a beating for 2 km and then rolled along well when I finally found smooth asphalt. You want everyday wheels that can take a beating? These are the wheels for you. ($ campagnolo.com)—mp