Help with disc wheelset choice for climbing (Enve/Zipp/Campy)

Good afternoon,

I currently have a Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO 45 wheelset (disc brake) with CULT bearings and I’m really enjoying it. It’s great for flat speed but it also spins well on climbs.

I am looking for a new wheelset that I can use specifically for hill-intensive rides (eg 200km with 2500m+ elevation). Of course I could keep using the campy but I think something lighter and shallower would help me more.

I’m 82kg for 178cm, and have a Pinarello
disc bike with Shimano Di2 Ultegra.

Options I am currently looking (in order of preference)

  • Enve SES 3.4 (not the AR version, just the standard SES)
  • Campy bora ultra WTO 33
  • Zipp 353 NSW (newly released)

The campy wto 33 would be nice but I’d also like to change and try a new brand. What do you think between Enve and Zipp ? Not too sure about the Zipp NSW and Enve AR as it’d force me to use tubeless 28mm and I couldn’t even use Continental Gp 5000 TL tyres because of the hookless rims. Besides, I’ve been really enjoying using 25mm tyres on my Wto 45 that are optimised for that size. I have used both tubeless and clincher (with latex tubes) tyres with great success and feeling, so I wouldn’t want to buy a wheelset that ties me to using tubeless only , from 28mm upwards. I’d rather have to choice of shifting between 25 and 28 if I like to, and between tubes and tubeless… hence why the Enve SES seems a nice idea.

Are they good wheels? What about bearings and hubs? Are they good on the Enve sets?

Thanks for any inputs and feedback you can provide :slight_smile:

I just went with the Bontrager RSL 37s. Absolutely love them! You can run butyl, latex or tubeless. I’m running tubeless 25/28 mullet setup with GP5000s.

but why?

at the very most you are saving 100 grams in total.

to put into context, that’s literally whether or not you carry with you an an extra gel or two (which you will definitely need for a 200 km ride).

or fill 100 ml less in your water bottles.

even if you do feel a “difference” in climbing with the other wheelsets most likely it’s a placebo effect.

the Campagnolo bora WTO 45 are a great set of wheel that can do everything.

Sorry to say, you don’t “need” another wheelset.

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I don’t think that plan makes any sense: these wheels are very similar in depth to the other wheels you list. And a 100 g weight difference isn’t going to translate to better performance. And two of the wheelsets have identical (Zipp 353 NSW) or nigh identical (Enve SES 3.4) depth to the ones you currently own. I’d just stick with what you have.

The lore that shallower, lighter wheels will give you an advantage is IMHO not borne out by data, because the improved aerodynamics will even work at lower speeds and on the faster sections, you will be significantly faster — or more efficient. There is a reason why 45 mm deep wheels are the new default for modern road bikes (at least if budget is not a concern): they offer aerodynamic advantages, have good weight and are not too susceptible to wind. So your current wheelset fits that bill, and I assume they are great. (I have 45 mm deep wheels from 3T, and they are amazing.)

If you wanted to spend money on wheels, I’d get a wheelset that is appreciably different from what you have now, e. g. Enve’s SES 5.6 or even 7.8s. I know these are not “traditional climbing wheels”, but that is the point: in my mind you already own climbing wheels :slight_smile:

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I agree fully with the advice given above. The lightest well known disc wheels that I know of (there’s definitely someone I heard of who made one just to be lighter) are Roval Alpinists. Claimed weight of 1250g and your wheels have a claimed weight of 1520g. Is 270g really worth buying a new set of wheels just for really hilly races? Especially if you’re on a bike that’s not near 6.8kg then I think you’re taking the piss a little. And, not to be harsh but you are 82kg, you are not a light rider. 82kg+ 7kg(likely more) bike and another kg for kit. 270g/90,000g = 0.3% of system weight (without any potentialy 2x750ml bottles). How much do you think 0.3% of weight decrease will help, and how many other ways could you find 270g. Even not on the bike, like paying for a nutrionist or affording to buy more quality food.
I have a wheelset slightly shallower than yours but 30ish grams heavier, my plan is to find a solid ~65mm 2nd hand set. Ones I am hopeful for are also around the 1500g mark but the extra depth will help much more (and look better).
This is something I would reccomend for you too. At the end of the day 200km with 2500m climbing is not that intensively hilly, unless it is largely flat and finishes with a large
he difference between the ultegra and DA di2 would be cheaper and save you double the weight.

This is all ofcourse useless if you are a complete baller and want something to spend your money on, then in that case buy the alipinists, or if you don’t want specialized wheels then Corima and lightweights make some for ~1300g