In my latest posts you will see that I bought some Campagnolo Shamal 2 Way fit wheels. I initially ran these with a standard clincher, but have been waiting to try the full capabilities of this wheelset in the 2 way fit tubeless system.

Running standard they operate like any other clincher just pop out the tubeless valves and insert a tube, I even have a Shimano cassette on these as I run Sram Red. The wheelset comes with skewers at 102g a pair and the wheelset itself comes in at a scant 1420g. Out of the box the kit is impressive, they also include wheelbags, a speed sensor magnet, the tubeless valves and spoke tools for truing. That ‘s good value for money!

The wheel is stiff laterally and they are very good at being chucked into corners with a lot of confidence. The braking surfaces are generous and offer good grip on the pads for maximum stopping power. The hubs are super smooth, the CUSB bearing technology is lightning quick and effortless to spin, a few test spins in the hand and they seem to roll forever, have a crisp ratchet click on the rear and are very neatly balanced, no hopping or surging on the move in the slightest.

What I was really interested in though was the new tubeless technology. It took some time for me to source a decent priced set of tires. Hutchinson seem to be the only manufacturer of tubeless tires so far, and these are expensive hoops. I caught a break in a Chainreactioncycles order and took the plunge. I am also waiting on an S-Works Turbo set from Specialized to test (although Hutchinson still make them under license) so those will be my next pair of tires on these wheels.

Off the shelf the tires are in the ballpark weight wise, if a little heavier than the claimed 290g, my two tipped the scale at 296g and 302g. I had read a lot of reports that the tires were very difficult to mount and even watched a parktool video to get the lowdown on some tips. My worries were in vain though as I found them easier to mount that a few proper MTB tire conversions I have done. The tires seemed to be a little waxy from the factory, probably to aid their mounting, and they slipped on and beaded up without any need for soapy water. I added some stans 15g in the front and 20g in the rear and muscled on the remainder of the tire. A decent tire lever is all you need and you you just need to feed the bead of the tire into the center of the rim to free up those last few mm and on she goes. Inflation couldn’t be easier, the nice tight fit means any floor pump would do the trick.

I pumped them to 7.5 bars and left them overnight, actually two nights as the rain and my much needed rest days saw them hanging around until this morning. I popped the floor pump on them again and they had lost some pressure, around 1.5 bars each. I ran them back up to 7.5bar and took to the road. The roads were wet after an early morning shower came down just before our ride. We headed out and instantly found them really comfortable to ride, they seemed very compliant over the rough tarmac and super slick over the smooth stuff. I actually found myself wandering on the broken tar surfaces to get more of a feel for them. I was pretty impressed in my hour and a half ride which included some easy rolling, uphills and some downhills and a sprint or two. Even in the wet the tires felt decently grippy and I never doubted them at all. I even strayed into two patches of broken glass and the tires didn’t flinch, happy about that!

I will be training on these over the next few months and will get an idea of their longevity. Hopefully I get some decent mileage out of them at the price (although some decent standard clinchers are similarly priced). I also plan on fitting the wheels to my wife’s bike when she races to give her the benefit of the tubeless puncture protection in the sealant and in case of a fatal failure you can always put in a standard tube and gaitor and get yourself home.

So far I think it’s been money well spent, the system is easy to use and the benefits are realized right away in terms of rolling resistance and comfort. The more manufacturers get on board with this the cheaper and more widely available they will be, there are already a good few wheel options, and a conversion kit for standard wheels. if you’ve already got the wheels or are thinking about it, then pull the trigger, it’s the way of the future.

Thanks to J&J Cycling for the Shamals, your service has been a pleasure to deal with, keep it up!

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