Campagnolo's second tier Vento wheels use a new asymmetric rim for 2014 to increase lateral and torsional rigidity. Asymmetric as in the spoke holes don't run centrally around the rim but slightly offset.
The 18-spoke front is laced radially while the rear is two-cross on the drive side, radial on the non-drive side, with 20 spokes in all. Rim depths differ front and rear too, 24mm and 27.5mm, the deeper being at the back for increased stiffness when you put the hammer down. They rear is also available in Campag's trademark G3 spoked version.
The axles are alloy, keeping weight down, while the spokes are butted steel. The asymmetry runs to the rear hub as well as it has an over-sized flange on the drive side while standard on the non-drive. A neat little touch are the red anodised alloy nipples; you can't beat a bit of bling to nudge up the perceived value.
Take the Ventos out for a spin and the first thing you notice is the sprightly feel about them. Acceleration is impressive as they whip up to speed without any feeling of drag and the performance is very good all round for a wheel set that weighs 1680g including rim tapes. Stiffness is high on the agenda to as the Ventos also climb and sprint without any feeling of flex. Even hard out of the saddle efforts didn't result in any brake rub.
The usual standard of Campag quality is there with smooth running hubs, equal spoke tension and smart looking graphics. The machined braking surface has left no signs of the rim joint so braking performance is spot on and smooth.
There is one issue when it comes to braking though. The amount of aluminium dust around the brake calipers and frame after a wet ride highlights how soft the alloy rims are. I had a pair of Khamsins on my winter bike a couple of years ago and it was the same story. I got through a set of rims in around 7,000 miles, albeit 7,000 wet, salty, gravel strewn miles. I still use Campagnolo wheels on two of my own bikes and the key is to use soft compound pads as this will increase rim life no end.
Other than that though, the Ventos have stood up to some serious abuse and weather conditions over the last few weeks. The bearings are still running smoothly after plenty of very wet rides and they have remained as true as when they were delivered.
On the whole the Ventos are decent-performing training/entry level race wheels with good levels of stiffness for the weight and they look pretty smart too.
I've been running them on both short and long rides and while they're stiff they don't sacrifice comfort to achieve it. The wear rate on the rims needs to be taken into consideration if you're going to be doing a lot of winter riding but for fair weather duties performance per pound is impressive.
Stiff, smooth rolling quality training wheel, soft rims mean that they aren't ideal for winter miles though.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Campagnolo Vento Asymmetric wheelset
Size tested: 18.5 x 622 / 28in, Front 770g Rear 910g
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Vento wheelset is Campagnolo's second tier model and they are aimed at the training, fitness riding end of the market. A job they do well with good performance and decent stiffness.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Asymmetric alloy rims
Butted steel spokes
24mm Front rim depth, 27.5mm rear
Oversized drive side flange
Not great if you do a lot of wet miles, fine in the dry though.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Ventos are a very good wheelset being a decent mix of stiffness, comfort and weight for a good price.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The performance and the way they look.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The soft rims.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.