One look at Campagnolo’s new Bora WTO range indicates it has only one purpose in mind: speed.
Spotting a set of Bora’s in the wild can be rare but belief in its performance goes unchallenged. Look no further than the abundance in the professional peloton or instead pick out the numerous sightings of the popular and often more economical cousins, Fulcrum. As anyone with first-hand experience will attest, the build, ride quality, and components are second to none. But with the always competitive wheel market facing constant change, the Bora has had to update to beat the wind.
In come’s the latest initialism, WTO, Wind Tunnel Optimised, the Italians took the wheels into the chamber and went full aero, 77mm aero (the 77mm is front wheel only, and a full set is available in 60mm). It looked as if the trend to tall wheelsets were fading with the flooded market of 40-50mm models, but Campagnolo are not known to take cues from others. To really sink the point, they’ve also done away with the trend of a wide parabolic profile, opting for a more pointed shape.
Short of cutting one of these luxury wheels in half, the rim profile appears to come to a more slender edge, an almost tangent ogive shape, what you might see on the end of a hobby rocket and closer to conical tip than a wide-arcing parabolic curve. It seems counterintuitive, especially with the abundance of data on nose-cone profiles, but what these have missed and Campagnolo have taken into account, is the wheel isn’t always facing straight into the wind. There’s even data supporting its performance claims from encounters during crosswind at certain angles where the rim creates negative drag.
The profiling isn’t limited to the rim, the 77 features a sleek hub with Campy’s CULT ceramic bearings and the 66 with Ultra Smooth Bearing technology, and lacing it all together are diamond profile spokes. Why not flat or bladed? Remember those crosswinds. Same goes for braking, currently the WTO models are rim brake only, Cyclist can only guess the discs would compromise all that aero. The snubbing goes for tubulars too, opting to a 19mm internal width accommodating up to 28mm tyres, clinchers or tubeless, the 2-way-fit can handle both.
The Bora WTO 77 weighs in at a claimed 755g and is available as front wheel only, advertised as TT or Tri specific, Cyclist assumes it should be matched with a full disc on the back.
The Bora WTO 60 whilst comes in at 670g for the front and 880g on the rear, a total package of 1,550gm – all claimed, of course.
Australian prices and availability to be confirmed, for more information visit the Campagnolo site here.