Cam­pag­nolo Zonda

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - IN DEPTH - 755,

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. ($ cam­pag­—mp

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