As I mentioned in an earlier post, I bought a secondhand set of Campagnolo Zonda wheels from eBay with the intent of using them for special occasions and continuing to train on my existing wheels.
Of course, in order to determine whether this plan is good, I needed to ride the Zonda wheels in a training session to compare them to my existing wheels. I did that this morning, so I can now be sure that I know what they are like to ride.
They are more stiff than my newly-retensioned 3-cross regular wheels, despite having far fewer spokes. The bike feels really stable whether I’m in the saddle or out of it; and accelerations feel more immediate. The difference is not huge but it is noticeable. I expected them to feel indistinguishable on a short ride but that I would reap significant benefits from the reduced weight and reduced aerodynamic drag after a few hours in the saddle on a long randonnée. To get a better feeling of liveliness as well is a nice bonus.
I had problems when I first fit them because the braking surfaces on the Zondas are a little further apart than they are on the Open Pros, so the wheels were locked until I loosened the brake cables a little. I will see how the brakes are when I swap them back tomorrow: hopefully I can find a place where both are OK.
The plan to use the Zondas for special occasions and my other wheels for training seems very sensible. If I ever need another wheelset I will definitely be looking at Campagnolo’s lineup.