Campagnolo resurrects the Hyperon wheelset to sit alongside the Bora range
Many of us had assumed the Hyperon wheelset had simply gone extinct. A victim of a world where a pure climber's wheelset was no longer a viable choice for a rider who wants a sprinkle of aerodynamic efficiency. However, it appears that, like the volcano Stromboli, it was simply dormant for a little while, waiting to erupt once again.
This latest version aims to bring the benefits of a traditional climbing wheel (think lightweight and responsive) into a more modern package. Our list of the best road bike wheels is ever-growing, but dominated by aero options, so it’s refreshing to see an option that seems to target the best lightweight wheels segment.
The big picture
The aim of these new Hyperon Ultra wheels is, according to Campagnolo, to create the magic ratio of performance. A pinch of lightweight, a dash of responsivity, and a soupçon of aero. Not a climbing wheelset, then, as the old Hyperon’s were, but more of an all-around performance option than the aero focussed Bora Ultras.
At 1,240g for a pair (or 1,160g if you want tubulars) they’re definitely light. Not class-leading in that field, but to go lighter would sacrifice other areas it seems. They are also not a second-tier option and will sit alongside the Bora at the top of the product pyramid, rather than beneath.
Alongside the weight, the key figures are a 37mm depth, 21mm internal/27mm external width, disc only, and tubeless-ready. The width is on the money, but not anything groundbreaking; not one aimed at all-road duties. The system weight limit (bike and rider) is 115kg.
Unlike many wheels on the market, the new Hyperon Ultras are created with only a single join in the carbon layup. The industry standard is four, for reference. Interestingly, rather than drilling the finished rim in order to install the spoke inserts, here the inserts are accounted for during construction so that the carbon fibres are oriented around them. This means that the end of the fibres don’t run the risk of abrading the spoke inserts over time. The nipples are internal to the rim, located magnetically, and tuneable with a proprietary spoke key.
The spokes, too, are a proprietary unit thanks to the hub interface. The system is known as ‘Head 2 Bay’, and essentially takes the form of a ball and socket joint. The head of the spoke is a rounded dome, with a corresponding socket at the hub that allows the spoke to move on the micro scale as the wheel flexes under cornering, braking, or acceleration, or over bumps too.
Continuing with the hub, there is a new, skeletal freehub body. The N3W body is heavily machined to shave off a few grams but is the same in terms of spline orientation and size as the current Campagnolo freehub to maintain compatibility. Shimano and Sram options are also catered for. Ceramic bearings, too, keep the rolling smooth and efficient, and durable.
Zooming back out we have the larger picture. Aesthetically the Hyperon Ultras share the same C-Lux finish as the Boras, a high gloss arrangement that, rather than a lacquer coating, is formed from an initial layer of resin during construction.
According to Campagnolo, the wheels feature ‘advanced aerodynamics’, but no claims as to what this means in relation to competitors in terms of watts, or to the Bora Ultras, have been made.
Pricing and availability
If you want a set of the Hyperon Ultras global pricing is as follows:
2WFit version (tubeless ready clinchers): €3,650 / $4,099.95 / £3,200.00
Tubular version: $4,349.95 / £3,400.00
We do have a set in on test and have already put close to 200km into them, so stay tuned for a full review soon.