Product review: Campagnolo Neutron Ultras

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My new Campagnolo Neutron Ultra wheels have now been properly road tested and deserve a post all to themselves.

Branded wheel bags.

Branded wheel bags my friends.

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Clean styling and bladed spokes.

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On the rear wheel, the spokes connect with the rim asymmetrically on the non-drive side.

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Freehub body and carbon fibre hub casing.

As Joe predicted the Ultras’ understated looks and colour scheme match the Wilier perfectly.

On the road, the Ultras spin up much quicker than my Fulcrum 7s, and this is noticeable on the flat as well as when climbing. The front wheel is so feather-light that on fast descents it can feel a bit skittish, but for the weight saving (400g total) this is worth it. The rear wheel doesn’t seem to weigh much less than my Fulcrum rear, which is disappointing, but I blame the beast of a cassette (Centaur 13-29) I’ve fitted with La Marmotte in mind. This is one component that will be worth its weight penalty…

I bought the Ultras on Kompressor Bike, the super-cheap Luxembourg-based site offering big discounts over Wiggle and CRC.

Update @ June ’09:

The rear hub developed play after only 3 months use. It turned out a small part had broken inside and had to be replaced – not that great really, but it didn’t cost much and apparently these things happen?

Update @ September ’09:

A spoke on the rear wheel snapped without warning while I was out riding. I’ve been using the wheels consistently throughout the summer, but this isn’t heavy use. I do pump up the rear tyre to 110 psi, but that ought to be fine. So I just don’t think this is good enough for a £700 wheelset at 7 months old. Disappointing.

Update @ May ’10:

Another spoke on the rear wheel snapped 4 hours in to a sportive, bringing my event to an end. I’m afraid that’s the final straw for this wheelset. Clearly, they are not durable enough to withstand the rigours of UK roads. I didn’t ride these all winter, so it’s not like I’ve really hammered them, and I’m only 10st 8, so I’m not too heavy. Will now upgrade.

Update @ September ’10:

I had the rear wheel repaired by Brixton Cycles. According to them, some of the spokes had been incorrectly tightened by the previous repair (i.e. by Condor) – but they assured me that the wheel was now ready to ride again. I took the wheel back to Condor and asked for an explanation. They couldn’t really do much apart from check over the wheel once again and give it back to me. Since I bought a new set of wheels to replace the Neutrons, I’m still going to sell them – but at least it looks like whoever buys them will get plenty more life from them.

3 Responses to “Product review: Campagnolo Neutron Ultras”

  1. Legs, Feeling No Pressure » Mosquito Bikes 1, Cycle Surgery 0 April 15th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    […] and to inform me I should receive a call in a few weeks’ time. Thankfully I already had my Neutrons by this point, so I just rode […]

  2. Legs, Feeling No Pressure » King of the Downs May 30th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    […] preparing the week before the event: my first DNF in a sportive, thanks to a broken spoke on my Campag Neutron Ultra rear wheel at exactly 4 hours into the race.This is a tough one – 113 miles, 10 big climbs, […]

  3. Campagnolo Neutron Ultra Wheelset April 28th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    […] Legs, Feeling No Pressure » Product review: Campagnolo Neutron Ultras I'm afraid that's the final straw for this wheelset Clearly, they are not durable enough to withstand the rigours of UK roads. I didn't ride these all winter, so it's not like I've really hammered them, and I'm only 10st 8, so I'm not too heavy. preparing the week before the event: my first DNF in a sportive, thanks to a broken spoke on my Campag Neutron Ultra rear wheel at exactly 4 hours into the race.This is a tough one – 113 miles, 10 big climbs, [. ] . […]

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