Campagnolo Bora One 35 DB review

A wind change of direction to disc

This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

BikeRadar Verdict: "The first disc-braked Bora plays a little safe, but does so beautifully"

BikeRadar Score: 4 stars

Price: £1,910

  • Highs: Weight, performance, quality
  • Lows: Could be wider, clincher-only
  • Buy if: You want a safe (but sure) option

Since 1994, Campagnolo’s best wheels have borne the Bora name (from the Latin Boreas, for north wind). Campagnolo didn’t want to compromise this first disc-braked Bora wheel’s efficiency by repurposing the existing Bora, though, so while the Bora One 35 DB rim looks externally similar, it’s been internally modified to deal with the forces generated by disc brakes. 

 

It’s built using laser-cut carbon, in a new layup, and Campagnolo’s proprietary resin and processes. The front and rear rims are structurally unique. The disc brake creates asymmetric loads on the front wheel, so its rim design reflects this. The spoke pattern offsets the imbalance, with 16 of its 24 spokes on the rotor side. 

The rear wheel was already asymmetric because of the cassette, and the disc rotor created an opposing force, but as rear-braking force is far less than torque through the drivetrain, its Mega G3 spoke pattern favours the driveside.

Rim widths are 17mm internally and 24.3mm externally, with 35mm height. The spoke holes are fabricated into the rim, not drilled, so no fibres are broken, ensuring excellent integrity and strength. That glossy surface finish is exactly as the UV-resistant resin looks when it leaves the mould.

New one-piece aluminium hub bodies have redesigned, rounded flanges, plus the lockring for the USB ceramic bearings is micro-adjustable. They’re designed for Centrelock rotors, 12mm thru-axles, with quick-release end caps available, and weigh an impressive 1,494g.

Optimised for 25mm and 28mm tyres, the Bora One 35 DBs accelerate superbly, are agile and reassuringly stable. Their 3.7mm wider rims better support larger rubber, increasing air volume, contact patch, grip and comfort, thanks to the lower pressures possible. 

While more rounded, the rims are still nearer a V shape than a U, but their relatively shallow depth makes them almost impervious to gusts. Great rigidity, slick bearings and an efficient build make them great mountain climbers and very responsive in a sprint.

They are clincher-only, when I’d like a tubeless option, and could be wider, but the Bora One 35 DB wheelset boasts excellent quality, and a lively nature.

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