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With the Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra wheels, the company has breathed new life into that iconic Hyperon moniker. The new wheelset has been designed for duty in the mountains, but boasts a slew of attributes to help it excel in myriad other conditions.
Our testing comprised upwards of a thousand kilometres in all kinds of conditions ranging from rain and wind to heat, not forgetting an assortment of topography to test its performance claims and understand where it fits in among the best road bike wheels currently available.
The headline specs for these wheels read as follows:
Visually, the Hyperon Ultras follow Campagnolo's contemporary design script, adopting a sophisticated treatment that is both refined and alluring.
As such, the wheels utilise the brand's typical high-gloss finish – something it calls C-Lux – which works well in this application, especially when it comes to accentuating the laser-etched keyline graphical treatment of the Hyperon wordmark and copper-hued Ultra logo. The gloss treatment is also said to keep weight to a minimum.
The unidirectional carbon fibre is both beautiful and functional. See, the aerospace-grade fibres and resin, not to mention the one-join construction – most wheels are manufactured with four – make for a very stiff wheel. The punchless spoke holes also work to reduce lateral flex.
Campagnolo has been championing the asymmetric rim philosophy for a while now (it's also seen on its sub-brand Fulcrum), and the Hyperons employ this concept too. They also posses a fully-sealed rim bed that requires no tape – the nipples are below the sealed rim. It's claimed it saves weight.
No, we didn't cut ours up... that's a press shot. The wheels come with a three-year warranty and are rated to accommodate a total system weight (rider and bike) of up to 115kg.
Unlike many rivals, the Hyperon Ultras use a hooked rim – the aim being better security for thinner tyres and higher pressures – and according to Campag, 37mm represents the sweet spot between climbing ability and aerodynamics.
The hubs feature Campagnolo's CULT ceramic bearings, complete with water-resistant stainless steel races to prolong life. The front wheel uses 21 bladed spokes laced radially on the right with a two-cross pattern on the caliper side; the hub flange is asymmetrical, with a deeper section on the left than right.
The rear wheel ups the spoke count to 24, but uses a two-cross lacing pattern with the same asymmetric hub flange depth.
The ratchet-based freehub has 36 points of engagement (so a 10 degree engagement angle) and is available with Campag's NSW freehub, which plays nicely with 11, 12 and 13-speed cassettes. There's also scope to fit Shimano 11 or 12 speed, or SRAM 11-speed and XDR.
The Hyperon wheels are superb in most conditions. I tested them exclusively on a Pinarello Dogma F Super Record EPS, which proved the ideal platform for the job. At 37mmm deep the wheels do indeed strike a great balance between aerodynamics and climbing efficiency, and do well to thwart crosswind interference too. They are predictable in most situations, and this sense of assurance tends to encourage you to push harder and carry more speed into corners.
The standout feature of these wheels, however, is the ability to adapt to any situation, condition or terrain type. They fly up the climbs thanks to feathery weight, barrel along the flats and respond almost instantaneously to pedal inputs thanks to impressive lateral stiffness and the crisp hub engagement. Pick-up feels immediate.
The rear hub is neither obnoxiously loud nor completely silent, but rather emits a low-key buzz – there's no need for these wheels to shout out their credentials.
The 21mm internal rim width seemed to have a positive effect on the rolling efficiency of some 26mm Pirelli P Zero Races, as well as increasing the contact patch. Lowering the pressure – both front and rear – did wonders to unlock bonus levels of comfort and performance.
As brilliant as the Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra wheels are, the £3,200 price places them out of reach for many, if not most. That aside they're hard to fault, especially considering how good they are as an all-round rapid option.
In terms of rivals, the Hyperon Ultras go head-to-head with the Zipp 353 NSW wheels that Stu reviewed. At £3,376 and 1,340g, the Zipps are marginally heavier and a touch more expensive, and are limited somewhat when it comes to tyre size and format.
Then there's the Princeton CarbonWorks Wake 6560 wheels also tested by Stu, which are more still at £3,700. The Wakes are deeper than both the Zipps and Hyperons but also heavier, which is always going to be a deal breaker when it comes to items of this stature.
The Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra wheels are a work of art – they're superbly designed, well built and deliver the experience we've come to expect from Campagnolo. What that means is a wonderfully performing wheel that can cope with the demands of any situation; be it crosswinds, hills, mountains, flats or descents.
Sure, there are cheaper and lighter alternatives, but these options often lack the same level of stiffness and response, not to mention the brand cachet. The Hyperons are premium in every way and will undoubtedly give you an advantage if you compete at a high level; if not, these are not for you and you're better off with a mid-level offering.
Expensive yet incredibly well-constructed and efficient wheelset
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra wheelset
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the wheel 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?
Campagnolo says: "Designed for the most refined and demanding cyclists. A wheel that embodies the true product perfection that stems from unparalleled Campagnolo experience."
They will appeal to the racer looking for an advantage on undulating parcours.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
21 circular-section slim steel spokes on the front in a two-cross pattern
24 circular-section slim steel spokes on the rear in a two-cross pattern
Monolithic hub in Black Aluminum
Hub edges: 100 mm front, 142 mm rear
Axle material: aluminum
Clinchers and tubeless
Profile height: 37 mm
Material used for rim: Carbon
Rim section (height/width): 37/ 26.7 mm
Internal rim width: 21 mm
Water Transfer Graphics
Hard to fault. Beautifully made with impressive attention to detail and design.
No matter the terrain at hand, the Hyperon Ultras perform flawlessly. They make a serious case for themselves in windy conditions as the 37mm profile stays assured, and while they're very stiff they're not harsh.
No issues over three months in myriad weather conditions. They held up well in the wet and stayed true despite some hard knocks from small potholes on poorly surfaced roads.
At 1,240g, the Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra wheels are one of the lightest disc-brake options available right now.
Hugely expensive, yet slightly cheaper than their true, premium competition.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
Yes, no issues with spoke tension.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Straightforward, easy on and easy off.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
No problems with the wheels, rim tape and thru-axles.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These adapt to whatever condition they find themselves in - they feel superlight and responsive on the climbs, super-fast on the flats and utterly predictable on fast, sweeping descents. Brilliant in the wind, too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
The design is amazing. I love the gloss finish and Campagnolo keyline wordmark, not to mention the gold treatment on both the rim and hub. This is a stunning piece of kit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
No dislikes apart from the price tag.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Hyperon Ultras are hugely expensive - many times more so than the majority of wheels we review. They do, however, undercut both the Zipp 353 NSW and the Princeton CarbonWorks Wake 6560 Disc Tune wheels.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes - but only to those looking for an advantage
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra wheels are a work of art - superbly designed, well built and able to cope with crosswinds, hills, mountains, flats and downhills. They're truly excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, mtb, Gravel and Elite Cycling eSports
Aaron is the editor of off-road.cc. He completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former tech editor of Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect, digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's travelled the world writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 17 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic, raced nearly every mountain bike stage race in South Africa and completed the Haute Route Alps. He's also a national-level time triallist and eSports racer, too - having captained South Africa at both the 2022 and 2023 UCI Cycling eSports World Championships.