Campagnolo’s Bora series of wheels has been one of the Italian brand’s top-of-the-line offerings for years, and, at long last, it now includes some modern, tubeless disc-brake hoops. Check out the tech behind Campy’s latest all-out effort at a high-performance disc brake specific wheelset.
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Since 1994, Campagnolo’s Bora series has set the standard for high-performance racing wheels, with each evolution bringing considerable real-world performance increases. The iconic Italian cycling brand now unveils its latest iteration in the range, the new Bora Ultra WTO series, a range-topping wheelset available disc brake-only, in 33, 45 and 60mm rim-depth formats. The new model takes an evolutionary leap ahead of its predecessors, with significant improvements to aerodynamics, stiffness and weight, unlocked by a forward-thinking design process at the brand’s Vicenza HQ.
The introduction of aerodynamic (and easy to maintain) internal nipples, a redesigned hub and new rim made from proprietary ultra-light carbon fiber, all adds up to an extraordinarily fast wheelset. Beauty is the brand’s forte however, and aesthetics certainly haven’t been forgotten amid the innovation. Elegant copper-shaded Campagnolo branding decorates the wheel’s rim and hub, complete with a timeless and discrete desaturation effect that hints at something truly special beneath the surface.
Like all Campagnolo wheels and groupsets, the Bora Ultra WTO has been designed, developed, tested and produced – from start to finish – entirely in house. Every element is Campagnolo’s own – be it spoke, rim or hub – and part of a cohesive and uncompromising vision for speed. The new wheels have been nearly 3 years of dedicated research and development in the making and employ several innovative Campagnolo-patented technologies designed to increase speed, improve aerodynamics and reduce weight.
The Bora Ultra WTO (WTO denoting ‘Wind Tunnel Optimized’) is designed to offer unparalleled aerodynamic performance in real-world conditions. To achieve this, Campagnolo has introduced Aero Mo-Mag internal nipples. Hidden inside the rim, this latest iteration of Campagnolo’s Mo-Mag technology allows for cleaner and more efficient airflow when coupled with Campagnolo’s aero elliptical spokes. Aerodynamics isn’t the only benefit of the patented technology, as the Mo-Mag system allows Campagnolo to mold the nipple and valve holes into the rims, negating entirely the need to drill holes in the carbon fiber. This increases internal strength, and reduces localised stress, which in turn increases the wheelset’s fatigue life. Internalizing the nipples in such a way also guarantees perfect alignment, resulting in an even more accurate wheel build.
The benefits don’t stop there however, as no drilled holes in the 2-Way Fit rim bed means no need for rim tape, so fitting tubeless, tubeless-ready and clincher tires proves a seamless affair. The Aero Mo-Mag system even averts the traditional pitfalls of internal nipples by guaranteeing ease-of-adjustment with a supplied tool, meaning spoke tension can be increased or decreased, even with the tire still in place. Equally important is Campagnolo’s construction with glass-fiber reinforced polymer plates between the rim and the nipple to improve the leaning and the fatigue life of the system reducing loads and corrosion probability.
The Bora Ultra WTO’s rims have been completely redesigned across the range with both weight-loss and continued WTO performance in mind. The new rims, aerodynamically optimized for 25mm tires, are constructed from Campagnolo’s Hand Made Ultra-Light Carbon. H.U.L.C is the result of extensive development over decades of in-house carbon fiber molding, enabling Campagnolo’s engineers to optimize the usage of both fiber and bonding resin for the perfect blend of strength, stiffness and light weight. This means the Bora Ultra WTO tips the scales at just 1425g in the 45mm rim format.
Fast wheels must look the part too however, so the rim (and front hub) also sports a stunning mirror-like Campagnolo Luxury (C-LUX) finish. This C-LUX finish is so pristinely smooth that it doesn’t require lacquer, saving weight. When applied to the rim bed, as Campagnolo has done for the first time with its new Bora Ultra WTO, the scientific precision of C-LUX also helps to ensure the safest possible seating of tubeless tires and further reduces the risk of abrasions to the bead.
The Bora Ultra WTO benefits from Campagnolo’s Ceramic Ultimate Level Technology (CULT) bearings in both hubs, which are now aerodynamically optimized with a narrower flange. CULT’s precisely engineered ceramic bearings are more durable than traditional steel bearings, reduce wear and tear and are more efficient – offering 5 ½ times less friction than their standard sealed steel counterparts. Spinning from a speed of 78km/h, a Campagnolo wheel using CULT bearings takes a staggering 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach a standstill. Contrast this with a mere 30 minutes for regular sealed bearings and the performance benefits of CULT become crystal clear.
Aerodynamics, light weight and ease-of-maintenance are a must of course but stiffness is equally crucial for a wheelset of this caliber. No premium Campagnolo wheel is complete without the brand’s iconic and torsion-negating G3 spoke pattern – a design born from science as much as it is from art. Campagnolo’s asymmetric G3 system, optimized for disc brakes, improves power transfer and reduces stress during sprinting as well as under heavy braking. This unique approach, when combined with a truly integrated system – from hub, to spoke, to nipple, and rim – makes the Bora Ultra WTO immensely stiff under load, and as fast as it is beautiful.
The new wheelset utilizes Campagnolo’s Next 3 Ways (N3W) freehub body, first seen in July last year. N3W is a patented standard for a freewheel body engineered to house Campagnolo 11, 12 and 13-speed cassettes. The wheelset is also available with freehub drivers for Shimano HG and SRAM XDR.
A race-winning wheelset
As a mainstay of the sport, Campagnolo’s deep-rooted relationship with the very best WorldTour cycling teams has allowed for extensive race testing prior to launch, courtesy of UAE Team Emirates, Lotto-Soudal and Ag2R-Citroen Team. The Bora Ultra WTO has, unbeknownst to many, already won a WorldTour stage; converting Caleb Ewan’s explosive power into substantial speed in a tightly-contested bunch sprint finish on Stage 7 of the UAE Tour. The wheels have also earned the respect of Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar. The young Slovenian rode the Bora Ultra WTO to a convincing overall victory at the first WorldTour race of the season, adding yet another win to his impressive palmarès. Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet has also put the wheelset through its paces throughout the Spring Classics.
The Bora Ultra WTO will be available immediately and is priced at $3585