Campagnolo Zonda Disc Wheelset Review
The Zonda wheelset is quite far down the pecking order in the Campagnolo wheelset range, but it is a decent upgrade option for those who want a better, long-term performance from basic, beginner wheels, especially with the price point.
- Good rolling speed
- Strong and durable
- Wider rim for enhanced tyre fit
- Firm, stiff ride
- Not tubeless ready
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The Italian Campagnolo range is a leader in wheelsets, with many pro-level riders using their wheels. The Zonda wheels have been part of that range for a while now and have proved a popular option, particularly for a beginner to intermediate cyclists.
The Zonda Disc wheelset is aluminum, giving it a stiff feel, and has been updated to fit a range of tread sizes. The wheelset has been completely redesigned specifically to fit bikes with disc brakes, resulting in better all-round performance.
Campagnolo describes the Zonda Disc redesign: “The result is all-round improved reactivity, especially thanks to the asymmetrical rims and Mega G3™ hubs on both wheels.
This innovative solution provides a stable front wheel that is able to absorb energy from the braking torque generated on the left-hand side and a rear wheel that guarantees maximum power transfer from the cyclist.”
The C17 rim is optimized for either the 25mm or 28mm rim, helping reduce drag and improve cornering. The performance on corners and general rolling resistance is pretty impressive.
On first use, you can expect slight friction, but that quickly disappears on longer rides. As mentioned above, the stiffness comes from the Mega G3 spokes, which promotes a balance of tension, and the Mega G3 hub, which helps deal with the forces of the ride.
The C17 wheelsets also have a new internal width of 17mm, which allows wider tires of up to 32mm width. This is great as a wider rim allows the tire to sit more comfortably on the rim and promote a better tire profile.
For 25c and 28c tires, it works perfectly and looks seriously sleek. This is a good move from Campagnolo as there has been a trend for riders to choose wider tires, even on smooth road surfaces.
Both wheels are optimized to improve performance. The front wheel is slightly smaller to improve aerodynamic performance, and the rim depths are also different: 24-27mm at the front and 27-30mm at the back.
It’s a subtle difference but reduces the chances of catching annoying crosswinds. The front-wheel also includes technology for extra powerful braking. The Mega G3 geometry reinforces braking performance whilst promoting the reactivity of the wheel.
Generally speaking, the wheels feel like an instant improvement to a basic wheelset, particularly for speed. The stiffness, however, sacrifices comfort. Additionally, the rims aren’t tubeless-ready.
At 1675 grams for the centerloc version, it’s reasonably light compared to other disc brake options in the same price range. But this is paired with the durability of strong hubs and bearings.
The new-look Zonda, with its disc brake capabilities, wider rim profile and ability to accommodate thru-axle designs, is a decent option for a mid-range price point – around £500-600.
Key features include:
- Colour: Black finish
- Material: Aluminium, steel bearings
- Spokes: 16 stainless-steel radial aero spokes (front) and 21 stainless-steel aero spokes (rear) with a 2:1 spoke ratio on the drive side
- Rim height: 24/27-27/30 mm
- Rim width: 22 mm
- Options available: Quick Release with 6 Bolt rotor mounts, Quick Release with Centerlock rotor mounts, Bolt Thru (12mm front and rear) with 6 Bolt rotor mounts, Bolt Thru (12mm front and rear) with Centerlock rotor mounts
- Weight: 1675g, not including the quick release, the rim tape, the identity card, and the hub caps
- Compatible with HH12, QR and 135 and 142 rear hubs. Two different interfaces with the rotor: 6 bolts and AFS
The Campagnolo Zonda Disc wheels are more reliable than basic wheels, but there are slightly better options available for a similar price point.
Having said that, it does the job in terms of speed and reliability and is strong and durable for longer rides.
Plus it has the addition of disc brake compatibility, vastly enhancing its capabilities in all cycling conditions.
Founder of Vivi Nation, the cycling, running and active living brand. Chris is a sports enthusiast, occasional triathlete and experienced cyclist, having led multiple cycle tours across Europe.