The introduction of Campagnolo’s new Bullet wheels marks a massive expansion of their wheel range for the 2012 season and their first foray into multi-material aerodynamic wheels. The line encompasses two model families, Bullet and Bullet Ultra, for a total of nine different wheelsets with additional bearing and cassette body options.
The standard Bullet serves as the entry point to Campagnolo’s new carbon and alloy aerodynamic clincher wheels and will be available in two rim heights — 50mm and 80mm. The wheels are available with two bearing options: standard steel cartridge bearings or USB (Ultra Smooth Bearing) cartridge bearings, which are ceramic.
The upgraded bearings are said to be 30 percent lighter and 40 percent stronger than the standard steel set. USB bearings come standard on Campy’s Record-level parts and wheels, though they’re an option here.
The standard Bullet 80
The rims are the product of Campy’s Tech Lab, where the manufacturer worked to develop a profile that maximizes aerodynamic efficiency and minimizes buffeting in crosswinds. The distance between the hub flanges has been reduced to better aerodynamics and the butted, bladed spokes are fixed using Campy’s ‘anti-rotation’ system so that they’re always correctly positioned.
The rear wheel features Campy’s unique G3 rear lacing pattern and front wheels offer radial lacing. Campy say that a proprietary co-molding system makes for a ridged rim, and one that comes out of the mold without need for further finishing, thus saving weight. The rims are also dynamically balanced, through carbon layup, keeping step with the alloy models.
Bullet Ultra line adds numerous technologies to the standard models, including three bearing choices, three rim depths (50mm, 80mm and 105mm), two alloy tire bed profiles (standard clincher and 2-Way Fit tubeless) and the option of standard or ‘Dark’ graphics.
Campy’s massive Bullet Ultra 105 G3 rear wheel is equipped with a 105mm rim; there’s a matching front wheel as well.
The entire Ultra series comes with Campy’s cup-and-cone hub design for which there are three bearing choices — standard steel, USB and CULT. The latter is Campy’s highest quality ceramic bearing, which was developed with German manufacturer Schaffler INA-FAG and features oil lubrication versus grease, for less resistance. All of the Ultra models are built with oversized alloy nipples, as opposed to the standard models’ brass version.
The Bullet wheels range in claimed weight from 1,755g to 1,935 for the Bullet 50 and 80 models to 1,590g for the lightest Bullet Ultra 50 and 1,998g for the Bullet Ultra 105; note that Campy offer identical claimed weights for both standard and 2-Way Fit Ultra models.
To cap the Ultra line, Campy will also offer a cyclo-cross version of the Bullet Ultra 50, which features the 50mm clincher rim mated to hubs that feature double bearing seals over standard steel bearings. The extra seals add 20g to the standard model’s weight. All models come with the option of Campagnolo or Shimano compatible cassette body splines.