The Neutron™ Ultra™ are now a well-established symbol of success for Campagnolo® wheels. Sought after by professionals and amateur cyclists alike, its characteristics are inimitable.
Super lightweight on inclines and extremely reliable; they can be responsive when called upon, or comfortable against the hard pavement, even after hours on the seat. The Neutron™ Ultra™ encompasses everything a cyclist requires.
- THE EXCLUSIVE GEOMETRY OF THE POLYGONAL RIM: Allows for an elastic rim, which is both comfortable and extremely responsive at the same time
- REAR RIM WITH AN ASYMMETRICAL DRILLING: Allows for a perfect alignment of the nipples and hub for better spoke tension, leaving no weak points
- MILLED, LOW-PROFILE RIM: Reduces the peripheral weight of the rim, and makes the wheel responsive and fast, especially in up-hill rides
Campagnolo Neutron Ultra Wheelset Review:
Since the Campy Neutron ultra rims first became available as a Training Hub on the CycleOps power simulator, it has always been an important consideration.
Update for 2015: I recently acquired a pair of Neutron Ultra Road Wheels from Rick’s Bike Mart, and I am building them up as my primary “race wheels”.
I have found the Neutrons to be the most comfortable wheels offering the most consistent ride feel of any wheels that I have used regularly. They don’t feel as stiff as my Zipp 404 NSWs, but they feel more comfortable.
The weights are in the same ballpark as my 404 NSWs at 20.3 lbs for the pair with the stock alloy nipples (compared to 21.3 lbs for my 404 NSWs). The Neutrons also are noticeably smoother and better controlled on rough pavement than both my 404 NSWs and Mavic Ksyrium Elite SLs as far as vibrations are concerned. There is no perceptible difference in climbing power between the three wheels.
I have heard several reviews of the Neutrons saying that they are very stiff, but I haven’t found that to be the case at all. These wheels feel almost as soft as my Ksyriums, although they are slightly stiffer. They are also a little less responsive than the Ksyriums, but they are still fast.
The Ksyriums have a much smoother ride feel on pavement, which makes them better in the curves, but the Neutrons are faster from straight-ahead and faster on climbs. They also don’t require as much care when cornering. The Mavics might be a little better in high winds, but wind isn’t that much of a factor in Michigan, so I consider that feature to be a wash.
Campagnolo Neutron Wheelset Review:
Neutron Ultra rims are made out of carbon fiber, so they are very light. They measure 19.8mm wide at the inner wall & 33.4mm wide on the outside, and they have an 18.1mm inner rim width, which is 2mm narrower than my 404 NSW rims. I attribute the comfort of the Neutrons to their relative narrowness.
I have used an 8-spoke front wheel with the Neutrons, and the combination has been very good. The Campy power simulator recommends a front wheel spoke count of 16-18 spokes for the Neutrons.
Update for 2015: After finishing the 2014 Ironman 70.3 Augusta North American Championship, I switched back to my Mavic Ksyriums, and the Neutrons became my TT wheels. I felt that the Ksyriums were a little better in the curves on long straight-away, and they were incredibly accurate in the smaller turns, slicing through corners with precision. The Ksyriums also felt faster on climbs and at high speeds, and I felt more comfortable in the wind with them.
The power curve on the Ksyriums is a little steeper than on the Neutrons, so it feels like it takes a few more rpm to get up to full power. But by the time I was fairly high in the power range, I was accelerating just as quickly as with the Neutrons at lower rpm. In practical terms, the Neutrons and Ksyriums felt very similar on my Kforce Touch trainer, with both set up with zero sag.
I may be switching back and forth between the two wheelsets in the future, just to decide which I like the most. For now, I am using the Ksyriums as my everyday wheelset.