Thursday, March 5, 2015

Campagnolo Zonda Review -- 2,000 miles


UPDATE <April 28, 2015>:  After having done two centuries on this wheelset this year, I can attest that it's pretty smooth, handles well, and climbs extremely well.  I recently did the Sea Otter Classic Granfondo and it handled 12-16% climbs really nicely!

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I weigh 220 pounds at this point = 100 kg.  So finding a light(er) wheelset for my road bike was somewhat of a challenge.  I was not happy with the stock Shimano R501 wheelset with a weight of 1,900 grams.  I could definitely feel that rotational weight during the climbs and it struggled a little while accelerating.

Campagnolo Zonda Review
So after looking at different wheelsets, I settled on Campagnolo Zondas at 1,594 grams.  I bought them from Wiggle for $322.

Here is the summary after roughly a thousand miles.

Appearance. The wheels look really unique and awesome on the bike.  Definitely makes the bike stand out, adding a distinctive look to it.


Climbing.  Makes a big difference when climbing.  I was able to conquer my biggest "climb nemesis" with these wheels.

Straight Line.  Makes less of a difference in a straight line.  It's not quite an aero wheel, but it accelerates pretty nicely.

Flex.  There seems to be no flex whatsoever with these wheels -- even with my 220 pounds.  I have done normal roads, rough roads, and light off-road.  The wheels are as true as they were out of the box.

Ride Quality. I would give it 4 out of 5.  My only slight complaint about these wheels is that they are a little on the stiff side in terms of the ride quality.  Not terrible. Even not bad.  I have done several 100-mile rides on these with a 5,000 ft climb and they were fine.    But they feel a little stiffer than the original Shimano R501 wheels.

Summary:  A good wheelset overall for the money.  Especially for a heavier rider.




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