If you are a Campagnolo aficionado or love your cycling heritage, the Bora has long been Campagnolo’s flagship racing wheel. I recently bought a set of the stealthy Bora One
Dark Label full carbon clinchers to replace a set of Zipp 404 wheels which were not providing the panache my Colnago was yearning for.
How do they look? The Bora One wheels look at one with my Colnago C59. Gone are those ugly decals, which would often discolour, peel away and basically just make your ride look tacky. The Bora One wheels feature an understated but sleek, laser printed decal which screams style and elegance. The carbon layup shines quickly with just a quick wipe from a cloth, giving that showroom finish for every ride.
How do they ride? Light, stiff, snappy and strong. At 50mm deep, one would expect a little extra weight, however at just over 1400g, the Bora One wheels provide a deep section wheel with the weight of a climbers wheel. Campagnolo’s CULT ceramic bearings in the hubs offer smooth-as-butter rolling, so you can rest assured that any power to the pedal is going to the road without any watts lost.
When I say these are stiff and strong, this is no exaggeration. My experience with deep carbon wheels such as Zipp have left me with the expectation to hear brake rub when sprinting or climbing out the saddle. My first ride with the Boras, the only thing I could hear was the sound of the tyre against the road. No matter how hard I pushed, there was no brake rub whatsoever. Perfect. Gone are the days of that annoying ‘ssst ssst’ sound that you know is just slowing you down.
What about braking performance? Campagnolo’s Diamanté brake track just a marketing word to sell the product? Wrong! When you purchase a set of Boras, you receive a specific red and black set of brake pads used only for this rim, which, compared to Swissstop Black Prince pads, are chalk and cheese (yes, I tried the Black Prince for a couple of weeks for a comparison, just as a test). The Campagnolo red and black pads transform your braking performance from your standard carbon wheel performance into what could be the best combination aluminium wheel you have ever used. Yes, it is that good. Wet or dry, you can confidently bomb down those descents without having to worry about whether your brakes will stop you quick enough.
At just $2400 for the set, the wheels are a significantly better bang for your buck in terms of performance. Whilst I recommend pairing it with a Campagnolo drivetrain for that full Italian look, they are available to suit Shimano as well, should you wish.