A stalwart in the Campagnolo wheel range is the Zonda wheelset. Robust for training as well as lightweight and fast, these wheels are an easy upgrade. And one that won’t cost the earth. We take a closer look…
The Italian company, Campagnolo, needs little introduction. It’s not just a bit part in the rich history of bike racing; it’s the lead role. Since Campag’s inception in 1933 by Trullio Campagnolo, it’s produced arguably the best groupsets in the world. The connoisseur’s choice.
It was in the nineties that Campagnolo first ventured into wheel manufacturing, and straight away it produced some of the coolest wheels in the peloton. Anyone remember the gleaming Shamal wheelset that the Gewiss team rode? They were – and still are – extremely stylish. Proof that style never goes out of fashion.
The wheel rim and hub are made from lightweight aluminum and for the pair tip the scales at 1470g. At this weight – and cost – it’s easy to see why the Zonda is a benchmark to which other manufacturers measure themselves.
On the Zonda wheelset is Campagnolo’s revered Mega-G3 technology. We’ll explain. This development – compared to a tradition wheel – improves energy transfer with greater stiffness. The right-hand side of the rear wheel, or drive side if you wish, is fitted with twice as many steel spokes as the left. To obtain the best power to weight ratio, the engineers have bolstered the wheel where it’s needed most. Maximum rigidity for torque, meaning nothing is lost when the rider puts the power down, but whilst keeping weight to a minimum.
For an aerodynamic advantage, Campagnolo has used something called, MoMag. It means that there aren’t any holes in the rim, which cause drag and can be detrimental to the rims structural integrity. It also means that the wheels don’t need rim tape, so there’s a saving on weight and friction within the wheel that hampers rolling resistance. The spokes are also designed so they don’t twist and are held firm in the most advantageous position.
Each wheel has a slightly different profile; 30mm in the rear and 26mm up front. Again, this is designed to increase stiffness where it’s needed – at the back – while keeping the weight down up front. Also, the lower profile on the front wheel means that it’s less troubled by crosswinds for better handling. Both rims have a 20.5mm diameter.
The Zonda has Campagnolo’s Dynamic Balance that ensures the wheels are counter-balanced. This gives the wheels their stability, even at high speeds.
The hubs are made from a similar lightweight aluminum and house a traditional steel cup and cone bearing. This is a fairly basic set up, but one which is super easy to maintain. They’re smart, though. The rear hub is oversized on the drive side to yet again, increase rigidity for better power transfer.
So there you have our Campagnolo Zonda review; easy to maintain, as well as easy to ride in all weathers and landscapes. The Campagnolo Zonda is a medium profile wheel that is just at home racing as it is on the club run. A can-do wheel at a can afford price.