Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra Two WH9-HYTFR Review
The Campagnola Hyperon Ultra wheel, is a no-compromises race wheel with a no-compromises price tag. At around $3700 for the tubular wheelset, it promises a great deal, and it needs to deliver. At first glance, it looks good - the rim is carbon, which provides rigidity and a significant weight advantage over aluminum rims. The total weight for the wheelset is 1220g, which is impressive by any standard.
Campy Hyperon Technology
The hubs have super light, carbon fiber shells, with every gram shaved off by employing variable wall thickness, so there is strength where it is needed most, and minimal weight where it is not. Inside lie Campagnola’s Ceramic Ultimate Level Technology bearings, known as CULT bearings. Ceramic bearings are well known for their durability and the remarkably low level of friction they cause, but what makes CULT bearings unusual is that they do not use a formulation of grease for lubrication. Instead, oil is used which minimizes friction and drag. The result is wheels that roll beautifully on bearings that will be significantly more resistant to corrosion than standard steel bearings, so your hubs will last.
That’s the science part. In practice, the Hyperon Ultra Twos were most impressive on big climbs. On the steadier gradients, the wheels rolled almost effortlessly and were very responsive to alterations to the level of power. But acceleration going uphill was really what made them stand out for us! The stiffness of the rear wheel means that every ounce of power you push through the pedals is delivered to the drive train – and with interest. These wheels are so light and so smooth, that they were made for hilly terrain.
Coming downhill, we were a little concerned, but as it turned out, we didn’t need to be. Unlike some more flexible wheels that can set your heart rate running sky high on the way down a mountain pass, the Hyperon Ultra Two remained stiff all the way down, even over some poorer road surfaces. The only slight criticism is that the braking was not as sharp as some other carbon rims such as Zipp 303s.
The wheel also comes in a clincher version (WH9-HYCFR), with a carbon braking surface. This remarkable wheel has allowed Campy to keep the weight of the clincher wheelset down to 1350 grams, but at a price: they are almost $1000 more expensive than the tubular, but if you expect to get a lot of flats, it will save you the gas and grief of whoever comes to pick you up when your tubular goes flat.
There is little doubt that this is an awesome wheelset in both forms available. It is a good all-rounder, strong and stiff and remaining true throughout our tests, despite variable road conditions. The best feature by far is the CULT hubs which give you an incredibly smooth ride quality. The price tag is prohibitive, but if you have the money, this wheel is worth considering as a powerful contender at the higher end of the market.
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