Campagnolo reshapes their workhorse road wheels with all-new wider Shamal Carbon DB wheels in a significant shift towards endurance all-road riding. Now also in carbon for the first time for the Shamal family, the new endurance road wheelset clearly opens up to all-roads, including some proper gravel…
Campagnolo Shamal Carbon DB, wide endurance all-road & gravel wheels
Campy has always been all about road racing first, often saying they wouldn’t release a new product until it was race-proven on the World Tour. But this pandemic year has been a good example of how that’s not always really a sustainable approach – there are plenty of us out riding our bikes for fitness & escape, while the pros remain locked out of racing.
And while you could says Campagnolo has been conservative on the road in recent years, even a bit resistant to rapid change in the recent past, this new set of wheels (much like last year’s sub-compact Chorus gruppo) signals a renewed commitment by the Italian drivetrain maker to serving the real needs of real enthusiast cyclists, out riding all the roads for pleasure, not always just about competition…
So the new Shamal Carbon Disc Brake wheels break that cycle a bit, with a jump to a 21mm internal width and a reclassification as an endurance road wheelset. That’s not to say these aren’t going to be a quick set of wheels, just that the move to a wider profile and the improved vibration damping of affordable carbon is clearly about increased rider comfort & control on less than perfect roads.
Shamal Carbon – Tech Details, Pricing & Availability
The new Campy Shamal Carbon DB wheels feature all new UD carbon rim profiles, with new 21mm internal widths (28.1mm external) and variable depths – 35mm deep upfront & 40mm deep in the rear. They use Campy’s MoMag uninterrupted rim bed, paired with a 2-Way Fit tubeless-ready hookless bead that can be used with any clincher, tubeless-ready, or tubeless tire. Campagnolo says that hooked rim can be used with tires as narrow as 23, but it was designed for best performance with 25mm, 28mm, or 30mm road tires… and also to handle tires “up to 65mm wide”.
What kind of road bike is going to run a 700 x 65mm tires? A gravel bike, that’s what! There aren’t a ton of Campagnolo-equipped gravel bikes out there (I’m testing last summer’s great subcompact Chorus gruppo on an an equally nice titanium Lynskey Pro GR gravel bike, right now), but that might be soon to change?
Now these wheels also come with a new “Campagnolo N3W” freehub body, and are available with Shimano HG or SRAM XDR as well (for an upcharge). It seems that Campy N3W still works with regular Campagnolo 12 speed cassettes (or back to 8 or 9 speed as far as I remember), but the new name & XDR option has us thinking what Campy is up to?
Beyond these curious details, the Shamal Carbon wheels still use Campy’s proven G3 grouped spoke layout, with 24 round double-butted stainless steel spokes & locking alloy nipples per wheel, using 2:1 side-to-side lacing for even disc brake spoke tension. Hubs are forged alloy, with adjustable preload steel cup & cone bearings, alloy axles and 12mm x 100/142 spacing. Bearing upgrade kits will also be available to Campy USB or CULT ceramic bearings to further reduce drag.
Weight limit on the new carbon wheels is 120kg/265lb (bike, rider & gear).
The new entirely hand-built, in-house Shamal Carbon DB wheels come in just this one subdued Dark Label water transfer graphics over the fresh-out-of-the-mold carbon. The 1585g claimed carbon wheels sell for $1475 / 1300€, which interestingly enough is 40g more, but the same price as the excellent, but narrower alloy Shamal Ultra DB wheelset that Campy most recently made available two years ago. The new Shamal Carbon DB wheelset is available starting today, but due to some of the major logistics impacts of the global pandemic, some countries may have limited stock or delays.