Campagnolo Ghibli Disc Wheel

Campagnolo Ghibli Wheel 300x211 Campagnolo Ghibli Disc Wheel

Campagnolo Ghibli Wheel

In a time trial situation, where seconds - or even fractions of a second -  can mean the difference between a big win and not even making the top 10, your choice of bicycle and components becomes critical.  This is never more so the case than with your choice of wheel.  The material and design of your wheel will not only effect how much it weighs, and crucially, rotational weight, but more importantly for time trialing, materials and design will effect aerodynamics.

Most triathlons are non-drafting races.  What this means is that you cannot use the rider in front to break the wind for you.  Those of us who ride and race in a pack will know that riding behind someone, or several riders, cuts down the effort you have to make significantly.  But in triathlon, and in time trialing you are on your own.  Drafting is against the rules, it is just you and your bike against the wind.  It is for this reason that so much time trial equipment is highly designed to cut down on wind drag and turbulence to allow you to slip through air resistance with the highest degree of ease.

Ultimate aerodynamics

One example of such equipment that you will see in the time trialist’s and triathlete’s arsenal is the disc wheel, and the Campagnolo Ghibli is one of the best.   The Ghibli is a carbon disc wheel with a convex profile, making it as light as possible for all that material, yet carefully designed for minimal wind resisitance.  The wheel is constructed using aramidic fiber, which owes its origin to the aerospace industry, and give the wheel a high level of stiffness and rigidity in its tensile structure.

This translates well to the road, and during our test run, we found the wheel to be stiff and responsive, even under the stressful conditions of the start and the “every-last-ounce-of-effort” sprint to the finish line of our test time trial. The wheel structure is concave, and it felt strong and smooth on the road.  The hub also felt smooth, and rolled extremely well.  It contains cup and cone bearings which have the advantage of being easy to adjust. That’s important because the constant high power outputs of time trials wreak havoc on hubs.

Pricey, but..

In the end analysis, we found the Ghibli disc wheel to be stiff and fast, with an excellent choice of hub construction.  While disc wheels are not the right choice for every course you will come across, or for all conditions you will ride in, the Campagnolo Ghibli will take precious seconds off your time on a day where the wind is low, and the course flat or rolling.  In the market for aero disc wheels, the Ghibli is a smart choice.   Sure, at nearly $4000 it costs a lot (all decent disc wheels do), but if you are even thinking about a disc then you are ready to put your money where your bike is to get a top quality, specialist wheel.

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