Campagnolo has relaunched the Hyperon Ultra wheelset, which it says adds a “super lightweight, high performance wheel” to its range.
In this age of aerodynamically enhanced wheels, at first glance the redesigned model sounds much like the Hyperons of old, which were a featherweight set of climbing hoops created for when the road pointed up; the new wheels weigh just 1,240g after all, or 1,160g if your opt for the tubs, which is certainly light.
A certain ratio
However, Campagnolo claim that in the latest Hyperon it’s created “the magic ratio of performance” - something we definitely want in the best road bike wheels, even we're not 100 per cent sure what it is.
In Campagnolo's view, though, it's a blend of “lightness, handling and reactivity.” This suggests more of an all-rounder perhaps, designed to offer its customers an equally high-end alternative to the watt-saving aero Bora Ultras.
Truth be told, the days of the off-the-peg climbing wheels are probably numbered. The proliferation of disc brakes and wider tyres on road bikes has seen to that. Instead wheel brands are more likely to promote the aforementioned categories, the all-rounder and the aero.
Handmade aerospace carbon and tubeless ready
Looking at the tale of the tape and the Hyperon Ultras are suitably modern. Disc only and made using aerospace grade carbon, they have a rim depth of 37mm and an internal width of 21mm. Neither are extreme of course by today’s standards but certainly point to a wheel that appears well-equipped to run wider tubeless tires and work across a variety of riding conditions.
Campagnolo says the wheels are crafted using an exclusive technique, a handmade ultra-light carbon process that apparently “ensures optimisation of the profiles, balancing the quantity of carbon fibre and proprietary resin for increased stiffness and control”. It uses a single-joint construction with a asymmetric rim profile combined with advanced aerodynamics aided by spokes that are seated internally - although Campag don't give any figures to support this.
Likewise the hubs also feature details unique to Campagnolo. They use what the Italian brand calls its Head-2-Bay total tension management system - in essence it’s how the spokes are joined to the hubs. What this looks like is something akin to a ball and socket joint, with the spoke nipple acting as the ball as it interfaces with the ‘sockets’ on the hub. Campag says it’s used to “prevent spoke inelastic shearing and to ensure optimal power is transferred to the road.” As for spoke count, the Hyperon’s use 21 spokes on the front and 24 on the rear
The hubs are also home to a set of ceramic bearings, called CULT (Ceramic Ultimate Level Technology), as well as a redesigned skeletal freehub body, called N3W Light, that’s designed to save weight, while still matching the spline pattern of old to ensure it’s compatible with current Campag cassette. Naturally, SRAM and Shimano freehub options are also offered.
Finally the wheels are treated with the brand’s C-Lux coating, which delivers a high-gloss surface finish.
The Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra tubeless ready clinchers retail for $4,099.5 /£3,2000, while the tubular version costs $4,349.95 / £3,400.00.
For more information visit campagnolo.com
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