Staff rider Tim Wiggins has been attempting to ride the new Campagnolo C17 Disc Brake Wheels into the ground. We're pleased to say they have endured. They've also shown some impressive performance gains. Here is his 1,000 kilometre test review.
Last year, I spec'd a set of Campagnolo's Zonda Two-Way Fit wheels onto my Eastway Emitter R0.
The wheels were bombproof, and faultless in their performance; providing a lightweight clincher option that was ready to set up tubeless.
This year, I have traded tarmac for gravel for most of my riding, and subsequently opted for disc brakes, for more consistent and reliable off-road braking.
Coincidentally, and fortuitously, Campagnolo released their new Zonda C17 Disc Brake Wheelset last year. With its new wider rim profile, the ability to accommodate thru-axle designs, and the same patented spoke pattern that provides great strength and rigidity to the original Zondas, it looked set to be a winner…
Wider rims for wider tyres
I set my original Campagnolo Zonda Wheelset up with Hutchinson Sector 28 tubeless road tyres. The combination was fantastic; both for the rough roads of the UK, and also for semi-gravel sportive events like the Strade Bianche (Read my 'Spring Classics Kit Guide' here).
Over the last few years, we've seen a universal trend for both professional and amateur road riders to move towards wider tyres, even on the smooth roads of central Europe. Wider tyres sit better on wider rims, so this has created a logical trend for wheel manufacturers to also develop wider profile rims.
The original Campagnolo Zonda Wheelset had an internal rim width of 15mm; making it a little on the skinny side, and only really suitable for tyres up to 28mm in width. The new C17 Zonda wheelsets have an internal width of 17mm, which allows them to comfortably take tyres of up to 32mm width. I have really pushed this to the limit though, and have actually tested these with 35c and 40c tyres - 'Go Big or Go Home', they say.
The wider rim width allows the tyre to sit more comfortably on the rim, and provides a better tyre profile as a result. If you're using these with 25 or 28c tyres, they also look super sleek, as the external width matches well with the width of the tyre, creating a flush aero finish.
Built to last
The original Zonda wheelset was famed for its popularity as a do-it-all set of clinchers. Used by the professionals as a training wheel, but light enough to race on; the Campagnolo hub, bearings and spoke design are renowned to last the test of time, and abusive riding.
The new Zonda C17 adopts a similar set-up in terms of the hubs and spoke pattern, and as a result should have, and does have, a similar bombproof level of reliability. I've battered these on a 200 kilometre gravel race (read my blog on the Dirty Reiver), and they are still running perfectly true and perfectly smooth.
The spoke pattern seems to retain that stiffness that was found on the original Zonda wheelset, too. Climbing, sprinting and cornering on these has been reassuringly stable and 'planted'.
The Campagnolo Zonda C17 Wheelset is available in a whole host of options:
- Campagnolo Zonda C17 Disc Wheelset - Quick Release with 6 Bolt rotor mounts
- Campagnolo Zonda C17 Disc Wheelset - Quick Release with Centerlock rotor mounts
- Campagnolo Zonda C17 Disc Wheelset - Bolt Thru (12mm front and rear) with 6 Bolt rotor mounts
- Campagnolo Zonda C17 Disc Wheelset - Bolt Thru (12mm front and rear) with Centerlock rotor mounts
I've been testing the 12mm bolt-thru front, with a QR adaptor cap added to the rear wheelset to make them QR compatible. The Centerlock disc rotor mount is super easy to use, and requires just a normal cassette lockring tool.
The mixture of axle options available for the Campagnolo Zonda C17 Disc Wheelset means that they should be usable on most road, cyclocross and gravel disc brake bikes.
To wrap up, the new Campagnolo Zonda C17 Wheelset is impressive. At 1,675 grams for the centerlock version, this is an impressively light disc brake wheelset option. Yet, it is also stiff, strong, and with top quality hubs and bearings.
Whether you're thundering down gravel tracks, blasting up tarmac climbs, or sprinting on cobbled lanes; the Campagnolo Zonda C17 Disc wheelset should give you the same reassuring top performance. Just as the disc brakes that are fitted to them should keep you safely in control.
This is a great development of a classic wheelset from Campagnolo.