Strengths: Solidly built, steel spokes (these add to ride comfort over alloy spokes), lighter than previous versions of the Zonda wheelset, very good price/performance ratio. Ride quality with tubeless is exceptional. Stiff, good braking performance, apparently keep the spoke tension better than the 2007-2010 model (they've upgraded the nipple design according to Campy).
Weaknesses: Tubeless tires are difficult to mount, although the tight bead makes for excellent air retention. Needed more than hand force to push over the rim, highly recommend using a VAR 425 "wishbone" tire lever which helps a lot.
I've put about 100km onto these with Hutchinson tubeless tires (Intensive on the rear, Fusion 3 on the front), and the ride quality is an enormous improvement vs. the 2005 Zondas I have used for the past few years. Winding descents are much less skittish than with 120 psi clincher/tubes, I am running ~95 psi and these new wheels are faster as well as more comfortable to ride. Climbing is somewhat better, although these are not truly lightweight wheels (still, at 1580 gms stated weight, they're not really boat anchors either). Rough pavement--plenty of that where I'm from--is less jarring, with less rolling resistance. A bit less affected by sidewinds than the previous slightly deeper Zondas as well.
That said, installing the tires was quite the challenge, and this alone knocks down the overall rating a bit. There are several online videos which demonstrate the technique, and massaging the tire into the central rim bed, starting opposite the valve etc is all correct advice; but, the tires were still a very, very tight fit, more so than any clincher tire I ever mounted. What I DID find helped a lot is the VAR #425 "wishbone" tire lever, which hooks onto the opposite side of the rim and under the tire bead to pull it up. This is a very useful tool to have, for anybody wanting to go tubeless, and I can't recommend it enough--it made all the difference for me (I am not particularly weak-handed either).
It may well be that manufacturing variability and fate stuck me with marginally smaller tire bead diameters, and it's also true that there is as yet not much selection for tubeless road tires. There again they will stretch somewhat now having been mounted and inflated.
Bottom line however, the ride quality is almost up there with tubulars, so far as comfort and leaning into fast turns is comparable. Weightwise not so much. I've still got a pair of 175 gm Continental track tubs in the basement and that is pretty much the Valhalla of road rubber (until you flat one!).
Sticking to the wheels themselves, they are stiff, braking is smooth and predictable, and overall another excellent example of Campy's "trickle down" design philosophy borrowing features from the higher end Shamal and Eurus wheels. As I see it, the slight weight penalty compared to Eurus and Shamal is partly due to having steel rather than alloy spokes, but steel also has greater elasticity, yielding a slightly more comfortable ride.
Similar Products Used: Campagnolo Zonda 2005 (heavier by about 200 grams), many handbuilt (by me) wheels with clincher and tubular rims, Mavic Cosmic Pro (the original 1995 model), Zipp 340 (also 1990s), Mavic Ellipse (fixed gear aero wheels), 1980s Roval wheels (waaay ahead of their time).
Bike Setup: EPX 303 Carbon frame, Campagnolo Athena/Chorus 11 speed mix, Turbomatic Ti saddle, one-piece carbon bar/stem (Trigon), still riding those old Look pedals.
Strengths: Durable construction: I've run these on dirt and gravel roads as well as commuting on crummy city roads, detours off-road where bike paths washed out, etc. These wheels have held up and haven't flatted over a couple thousand miles of use.
Fast: I've run these in group rides and races with good results and that's even with the Hutchinson Fusion 3 which is not the lightest tubeless tire available. The wheels are a little heavier than my 'climbing wheels' but in a 120 mile ride with 12,000' of vertical recently I didn't notice the extra hundred or so grams as the ability to run them at lower pressure made a big difference over the course of a 6+ hour ride.
Grip: At 90 psi these things corner like they're on rails. Cornering on rough pavement is also much more confident as the tires don't seem to deflect and bounce as much over uneven surfaces.
Tubeless: I set them up tubeless from the get-go and couldn't be happier. I have some sealant in them and they don't lose any noticeable amount of air during a ride. What is noticeable is the ride quality - they roll much better than any standard clincher I've ever had. It shouldn't be a surprise since switching to tubeless made a big difference on my mountain bike but it's nice to know tubeless has a place on the road as well.
Braking: Nice aluminum brake track doesn't seem to contribute to any fading during long descents
Tire mounting: Nice channel down middle of UST rim makes for relatively easy install/removal of tire and doesn't require rim tape
Weaknesses: Minor niggle but the hubs do tend to work slightly loose - fortunately this is easily adjusted with a small allen bolt on the collar on one side of the hub - just loosen the bolt and tighten the collar, then the bolt to remove play. I've had to do this twice in the first couple thousand miles but they seem to be run in now without further adjustments being required.
If you are curious about tubeless wheels, have a tubeless setup already (on an MTB for instance) and run a Campy gruppo then these wheels are a no-brainer if you need a new set of all-purpose hoops. If you're looking for more a dedicated race setup I'd probably step up to the Shamal 2-way. The Eurus is basically the in-between set with some of the bells and whistles of the Shamal. All three represent a great value and knowing Campy wheels should last many thousands of miles.
Not a Campy gal/guy? The Fulcrum 2-way fit wheels are roughly the same wheel with a Shimano/SRAM cassette body.
Haven't tried tubeless yet? You can run any 2-way fit wheel with tubes while you acquire any accessories you need to make setting up tubeless tires a snap, such as a small air compressor for seating the beads, and some sealant. However, I'd highly recommend running these tubeless - the ride quality at lower pressures without having to worry about pinch flats is awesome.
Strengths: Very stiff. Look Great. Comfortable ride.
Weaknesses: Fitting tires is a bit of a chore - tubeless makes this not often performed chore.
expense of tubeless tires
I have two sets and paid under 500 for each. I am a Clyde ~250 and 6'4' and these are bullet proof. Stiffand light for the price. Love the tubeless. Run with sealant and always get home and no more pinch flats - for a clyde this is a big deal. I have a 2007 set of clinchers bought used that are also battle tank tough.