Campagnolo’s new Bora Ultra WTO road wheels are now lighter, stiffer, faster & more aerodynamic, improving on the already race-proven Bora carbon wheel family in every aspect. Effectively combining together many seemingly small improvements to the already excellent Bora WTO, the new Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO disc brake road wheel range comes out greater than the sum of its parts…
Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO aero carbon disc road bike wheels
Campagnolo has put close to thirty years into the development of their road race-focused Bora wheel family, and these three latest Bora Ultra WTO wheelsets show that evolution taking another leap forward. While there are many hints of classic Campy Bora technologies, the new wheels make a noticeable leap forward in performance thanks to their new tech.
At a first glance, they don’t look all that different from the previous disc brake Bora WTO wheels, but the subtle graphics and copper-colored Ultra detailing signal several technical improvements lurking inside. Check out all-new aero, but accessible hidden nipples, carbon hub, and ultra-light aero carbon rims…
All-new Tech detail
Carrying over Campagnolo’s unique position of producing all parts of their wheels in-house (hubs, spokes, nipples & rims), Campy is generally able to build a more integrated whole than most wheel-makers.
Starting with the rim, new Handmade Ultra-Light Carbon (HULC) tech has trimmed weight off the mixed UD & woven carbon layup itself, saving as much as 50g off a single rim in fact allowing for thinner rim beads. Campy says it’s not the use of new material actually, just a more optimized material combination and improved assembly process that yields lighter rims with the same strength.
The rims still use the Campagnolo’s straight out-of-the-mold finish that requires no filler, paint, or tubeless rim tape to minimize weight. On the Ultras Campy calls it a new C-Lux finish now that is even more precise also thanks to the improved HULC carbon, and only gets the gray & copper water transfer graphics to complete the new discrete look.
Probably the biggest visible tech update is the lack of external nipples. The Bora Ultra WTO wheels feature a new Aero Mo-Mag hidden internal spoke nipple that maintains full external adjustability.
Externally accessible nipples was a pre-requisite for creating a useable, serviceable tubeless wheel, so Campy developed a new hidden nipple that can be adjusted with a special slotted spoke wrench.
New larger spoke holes are molded into the HULC rim to maintain carbon strength & integrity (not drilled), then inside, new glass-fiber reinforced composite (eliminating the possibility of galvanic corrosion) nipple seats are molded into the carbon layup, angled specifically to align with spoke tension. Bringing the spoke thread-to-nipple contact area inside the rim is even said to better distribute peak loads, incrementally improving wheel durability.
The nipples themselves are installed with a magnet through the valve hole like previous Campy Mo-Mag setups, but now also snap into place to make wheel builds or spoke replacement easier than ever.
The result, as before, is an uninterrupted rim bed that can be made lighter without compromising on strength and never needs rim tape to create a perfect tubeless tire seal.
The last big change is a new superlight carbon thru-axle front hub body, incorporating a carbon driveside straight-pull radial spoke flange. The disc side still uses an oversized alloy centerlock flange with 2x lacing to transfer higher braking stresses, which is now bonded to the new carbon shell.
Carry-over Tech details
Not to be overlooked, the new Bora Ultra WTO wheels also use plenty of proven Campy wheel tech. Probably most importantly in my mind, the new road wheels deliver secure hooked-tubeless 2-Way Fit compatibility – tubeless-ready out of the box with valves included and no tape needed, cyclists can also fit any clincher tires and tubes if they so desire.
The new premium Bora wheels get the WTO name, which means they are Wind Tunnel Optimized for low aerodynamic drag. Said to incrementally faster than the standard Bora WTO, Campy claims you could still save 7 or 8 seconds either on a 20km hill climb or 150km hilly road stage by upgrading to this newest version. Compared to the Swiss Side Hadron 485 wheels, Campagnolo says the new Bora Ultra WTO 45 creates less drag in the wind tunnel across a wide range of wind conditions.
The new Bora Ultra WTO rims profiles are all optimized for 25mm road tires, effectively keeping the same shape for the 45mm & 60mm versions, as compared to the original WTOs. But the shallow 33mm wheelset actually gets a bit wider, tweaked for improved stiffness and the lower rolling resistance of a wider tire volume.
The aero wheels are all laced with elliptical aero, butted steel spokes in Campagnolo’s signature G3 lacing pattern. Optimized for disc brakes, you get 2:1 lacing with more spokes on the front disc side, and more on in the rear on the driveside.
Bora Ultra WTO wheels are only available for disc brakes, and use centerlock (AFS) hubs. The one-piece alloy rear hub features quick 36T pawl ratchet engagement, with freehub bodies available for Campy N3W, Shimano HG, or SRAM XDR cassettes – for full 10-13-speed drivetrain compatibility.
The Ultra in the name suggests top-spec bearings, to the Bora Ultra WTO wheels all spin on Campagnolo’s CULT (Ceramic Ultimate Level Technology) ceramic bearings in premium coated-steel races for the lowest internal drag. No grease inside, just a light oil, CULT bearings spin incredibly smoothly and have proven themselves for us to be long-lasting in even the worst conditions.
Bora Ultra WTO 33mm, 45mm & 60mm wheelset options
Three rim depths are available in Campagnolo’s new top Bora Ultra WTO wheel range – 33mm, 45mm & 60mm.
The lightweight Bora Ultra WTO 33 is the biggest departure from previous Bora WTO wheels, getting a new wider c21, 21mm internal rim. Campy says they expanded the 33mm deep rims out to a new 27.4mm external width to increase wheel stiffness (not hard with the deeper rims) while also benefiting from the lower rolling resistance of increased volume from the same tires.
The new Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO 33 wheelset has a 1385g claimed weight, down 100g from the narrower Bora WTO 33 DB. It is recommended for a minimum 25c tire.
The all-rounder Bora Ultra WTO 45 shares the same profile as the original Bora WTO wheel, with a 45mm depth, 26.1mm external, and c19 19mm internal width optimized for 25mm tires, but compatible down to 23c, as well. The Ultra 45s have a claimed weight of 1425g, a 95g savings over the Bora WTO 45 DB.
For reference, our Bora Ultra WTO 45 test wheels come in with an actual weight 1g lighter than claimed.
The deepest, most aero Bora Ultra WTO 60 again shares the original 60mm deep Bora WTO profile, with 26.1mm external, and c19 19mm internal width. The Ultra 60 wheelset has a claimed weight of 1530g, for a smaller 60g savings over the Bora WTO 60 DB.
All of the Bora Ultra WTO wheels are entirely made in-house, in the EU in Campagnolo’s production facilities in Vicenza, Italy & Argeș, Romania. Both locations produce all parts – hubs, spokes, nipples & rims – simply in higher volumes in Romania.
Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO 33, 45 & 60 wheels – Pricing & availability
The new Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO wheels are available from today, coming only in dark, copper graphics, and all retail for the same price no matter their depth. The new Bora Ultra WTO wheelsets retail for $3585 / 3150€ with Campy’s N3W freehub, and for the time being will initially only be sold in pairs. Shimano HG bodies will cost an extra $5€, or an extra $10€ for a SRAM XDR driver. Campy does expect to sell wheels individually in the future, for those looking for a mixed depth setup.
Three Campy-equipped pro teams have already been racing and winning on the new Bora Ultra WTO wheels – ridden to a UAE Tour stage 7 win under Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan, with UAE Emirates’ Tadej Pogačar taking the overall victory in the stage race, and popping up as unbranded all-black wheels recently Milano San Remo under Ag2R-Citroen’s Greg Van Avermaet.
Typically conservative AG2R even specifically have extensively compared existing tubular vs. new tubeless Bora Ultra WTO over the French cobbles and some riders will race on each throughout the Classics after several preferred the comfort & control of lower tubeless pressures.
Campagnolo is saying that “it takes time to make wheels this fast”, and it takes time to really appreciate all those relatively small upgrades coming together as one. We’ve been test riding the 45mm mid-depth all-rounders this spring, and will share our fast first impressions soon.