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Campy Zonda wheels safe for 220# rider?

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Campy Zonda wheels safe for 220# rider?

Old 01-21-19, 12:59 AM
  #1  
TallRider
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Campy Zonda wheels safe for 220# rider?

A buddy of mine is looking at a bike with Campagnolo Zonda wheels, and I'm curious whether they will handle his weight. He is 220#.
My friend has been riding a normal 32-spoke rear wheel (14g straight-gauge spokes) without any issue. So if a lower-spoke, deeper-dish rim is as strong as standard 32-spoke wheels, he should be okay.

Here's characteristics of the Zonda wheelset:
  • 2006 model year
  • 15mm internal width (clincher)
  • 16 front spokes
  • 21 rear spokes (14 drive-side, 7 non-drive-side, designed to resolve the typical unequal tension of dished rear wheels)
  • 28mm rear rim, front slightly shallower
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Old 01-21-19, 04:51 AM
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jimc101
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From The Campagnolo website

https://www.campagnolo.com/UK/en/Sup..._by_the_wheels

What are the weight limits of the wheels? Where can I find the weight limits allowed by the wheels?
All Campagnolo wheels are constructed to meet the highest standards of resistance and durability. If you weigh over 109 kg/240 lbs we advise you not to use this product. Non compliance with this warning can damage the product irreversibly. If you weigh 82 kg/180 lbs or more, you must be especially vigilant and have your bicycle inspected more frequently (than someone weighing less than 82 kg/180 lbs). Check with your mechanic to discuss whether the wheels you selected are suitable for your use, and to determine the frequency of inspections. Using tires with a larger diameter and a frame that respects the standards will help to increase the lifetime of the wheels.




According to Campagnolo, he OK, with a little to spare against the max, but should use caution.

For a 13 year old wheelset, would be more concerned about the rim wear, this will obviously depend on how much they have been used & in what conditions, if used in the wet, you can burn through rims quite easily ( have done this with a few Fulcrum 5 & 7 rears, and Fulcrum = Campagnolo), would also expect to replace bearing as these will be the same for Fulcrum, and I never found they lasted too long on the rears.

Last edited by jimc101; 01-21-19 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 01-21-19, 11:55 AM
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If your friend is concerned enough to ask perhaps (s)he should consider a stronger wheelset. Per jimc101's comment, those wheels were marginal when they were new and have likely not gotten stronger with use and wear.
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Old 01-21-19, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
So if a lower-spoke, deeper-dish rim is as strong as standard 32-spoke wheels, he should be okay.
Clue: toy racer hardware is not as strong or durable as conventional hardware.

Last edited by AnkleWork; 01-21-19 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 01-21-19, 12:39 PM
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What type of rider is he? If a masher or one that doesn't avoid rough pavement, probably not a good choice.
Does he have the ability to inspect/tune a wheel or is he one that rides until something is very wrong?
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Old 01-21-19, 12:53 PM
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Campy Zonda wheels safe for 220# rider?

Very Briefly.. only..

I'm 220 # , I would not ride them , maybe for a bike you just hang on a wall in your large bike collection room.. and display..

at 120 #, I'd only use them for a short time trial day then put something else on..

and ... you have a history mystery on your hands.. of what happened to them in the past 13 years..
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Old 01-21-19, 04:15 PM
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I have Zondas of the same vintage. They have been on my primary bike and I love them. I was concerned at first about how durable they would be, but they have been most durable wheels I have ever ridden. Probably 30,000 miles on them on all types of road surfaces. At 190-95 lbs. I am not a lightweight. I have raced them and day toured on them with no issues .
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Old 01-21-19, 04:18 PM
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My friend tends to be a lower-rpm pedaler, which optimizes his strengths (can squat over 400#) and minimizes the downside of having such heavy legs (more work to spin them quickly).

I know the current owner of the bike, and the bike has been well cared-for and hasn't seen a lot of use. I'm comfortable on that front, in a way that I generally wouldn't be about a used botique wheelset.
I don't care for the Zondas, and they're not what I'd want on a bike for my 220# buddy. They just happen to be on the bike, and with Campy 10-speed it's more expensive to get a new wheelset than with 8/9/10 Shimano-compatible wheels. (A Shimano-type wheelset and cassette with a travel agent for rear der is another option if my friend buys this bike.)

I'm leaning away from this unless I can get a different (more standard) wheelset. My friend would be a good match for Sun CR18 (36 rear, 32 front) standard wheelset.
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Old 01-21-19, 05:27 PM
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Campy Zonda is a tough wheelset. Made very well back to 2006. Campy is being conservative, as they should be. Mashing is hard on any wheel (any bike). I'd not worry much if at all. Perhaps tell your friend to usethe bike as aerobic workout rather than as alternative to weightroom. Everyone should spin more.
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Old 01-21-19, 05:36 PM
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Your bud, may want to follow the UCI current preference for carbon flat disc rear wheels .. It's what the Match sprint races on the velodrome use.

that is where those big power legs get compared.. and gold medals won.. 0 to 60kph in 1 or 2 laps...
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Old 01-22-19, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
They just happen to be on the bike, and with Campy 10-speed it's more expensive to get a new wheelset than with 8/9/10 Shimano-compatible wheels. (A Shimano-type wheelset and cassette with a travel agent for rear der is another option if my friend buys this bike.)
Campag/Fulcrum use and interchangeable freehub, you may be able to swap this for a Shimano one, although maybe only up to 10 speed for the age of the wheels you have, I did this on my Fulcrum 5's, going from Campag to Shimano, which were from the mid '00s.

Last edited by jimc101; 01-22-19 at 12:04 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-22-19, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Campy Zonda is a tough wheelset. Made very well back to 2006. Campy is being conservative, as they should be. Mashing is hard on any wheel (any bike). I'd not worry much if at all. Perhaps tell your friend to usethe bike as aerobic workout rather than as alternative to weightroom. Everyone should spin more.
Originally Posted by Pridedog View Post
I have Zondas of the same vintage. They have been on my primary bike and I love them. I was concerned at first about how durable they would be, but they have been most durable wheels I have ever ridden. Probably 30,000 miles on them on all types of road surfaces. At 190-95 lbs. I am not a lightweight. I have raced them and day toured on them with no issues .
It's good to hear from people experienced with this wheelset. This makes me a lot more comfortable about my friend using this bike without the effort of changing out the wheels.

When I say my friend is a masher, I simply mean that he pedals at lower RPMs than the average road cyclist. I don't mean that his power application curve is all over the place or that his pedaling stroke is inconsistent. Someone with really heavy (and really powerful) legs is actually inefficient to spin at super high RPMs, because the effort to move heavy legs must be taken into account.
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