Saturday, 24 March 2012


The guys at The London Cycle Workshop  fitted the new Zonda wheels and Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tyres this morning. A bit of a discount and free fitting make it well worth using your local bike shop.
Before the wheels swap the bike (Ribble Sportive Bianco, Athena groupset, Khamsin wheels with Gatorskin Hardshell tyres) weighed in at 8.88Kgs but after the swap to Zondas/Ultremos the weight was 8.04Kgs, a much bigger saving than I expected. The 0.84Kgs difference is really noticeable, although I'm still not 'flying up the hills'. That's just me though.
The Zondas seem to be Campagnolo's best kept secret. They're lighter than Neutrons.
PS Get them from your local bike shop if you can, but if not, they can normally be bought in the back of Cycling Weekly magazine for £274 - which has got to be one of the bargains of the year. You should find them elsewhere for under £300.00. I'm sure your LBS will try to match that price if they can.
*Update* I switched the Zondas to my Tifosi CK7 Veloce (winter bike) when I sold the Ribble. Even with Gatorskin Hardshells they still ride very nicely, and I've had no issues with them at all. They haven't needed truing, the spokes are still fine and the hubs still roll smoothly 18 months later.

This is my bike with the Zondas

Thursday, 22 March 2012


A recent run of frankly mediocre 'performances' has lead to a rethink. Basically I'm not ready for £600 ($950) wheels. So the Mavic SLs will have to wait.
In the meantime I've ordered a set of Campagnolo Zonda wheels which I was able to buy for £340.00. These also have the advantage of looking similar to the Khamsins that they're replacing. Some of you will know why this is an advantage.

It'll be interesting to see the effect on the weight of the bike. My current 'winter' bike set up with Khamsins and Gatorskin Hardshells weighs in at around 8.9Kgs. The Zondas will have the highly regarded Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tyres which were a birthday present last September. I'll weigh the bike before and after new wheels. The Zondas weight under 1500g fot the pair.

It'll be interesting to see if they make me go any faster. I went flat out for a lap of Richmond Park today and managed 23:50 (with a slight headwind for the last mile and a half). My record on a still day is (a slow) 23:30. Once the new wheels and tyres are on I'll have another go. A goal for 2012 was to break 22 mins so I really hope they help! [Note: see later post: They did!]


Ksyrium Elite

1 Campagnolo Zonda - around £340-£400 1555g (actually, they seem to be lighter!)
2 Mavic Ksyrium Elite - around £410-£480 1550g
3 Fulcrum Racing 3 - around £310-£450 1555g
4 Shimano RS80 - around £340-£470 1521g

It's amazing how the prices vary. But remember, your local bike shop will be able to supply them and will probably make a better job of fitting them on your bike than you will. And they probably won't charge you for doing it if you bought them from them.They may even give you a little discount if you're a regular customer.