First impressions of Campagnolo’s Bullet Ultra 80mm wheels are underwhelming. They lack the bulging sides and blunted noses of their rivals with more sophisticated profiles and they don’t give your bike that ‘light the fuse’ acceleration you expect.
But this 1.8kg wheelset can’t be dismissed as easily as that. Because while its flat-faced, V-shaped carbon fairing and aluminium rim construction might appear crude, it works against the clock. Slotted into an aluminium road bike, the Bullet Ultra 80s – with their ‘CULT’ ceramic ball bearings – spun round the 30km test route and its 425m of climbing with an average speed of 30km/h.
The wheels enabled the metal road bike to match the performance of some of the higher-spec carbon tri bikes that have been put through their paces on that same loop. What’s surprising, though, is how you don’t notice the effect they’re having on your pace.
What you do notice, however, is the effect that intermittent crosswinds have on them. The wheels’ flat-faced, 80mm fairings do nothing to counter the instability created when the wind catches them. As a result, rather than focussing on your effort, you find yourself riding in a state of high alert. That said, the alu rim provides reliably impressive braking compared to carbon.
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