Question Campagnolo carbon rim melt

Mar 31, 2023
I've just managed to melt my Campagnolo Bora One front wheel on a descent from Mt. Fuji.

What are my options?

Suck it up? Repair the rim? Replace the rim? Plead "not fit for purpose" to Campag?

I've had them 2.5 years so they are no longer under warranty. I've contacted Campag here in Tokyo but haven't had a response yet as it's been a national holiday.

The very slight lump on the brake rim track, causes the offside brake pad to lock up as the rim pass through it. The front end then starts to judder on further application of the brake.

There is no crack and only the very slightest of surface damage and a very slight warping to the fibres of the clincher part of the rim that is visible from above, when the tyre is removed.

Are Campag, as a company, sympathetic or defensive to this kind of thing? I have the means to suck it up but it strikes me that a wheelset of this value should be able to withstand a pretty rough descent.

I totally accept that it is my fault but am a tad annoyed that such an expensive wheelset has been affected in this way.

I've descended countless mountains in the past with no consequence, although I did blow a tyre on Monte Zoncolan eons ago with ally rims!

Due to the steepness of the road and the hairpins, I was heavy on both the rear and front brakes but am genuinely surprised that this has happened.

I'd rather this not descend into a debate about the merits and demerits of carbon vs ally rims, disc brakes vs rim brakes or even Shimano vs Campag!

I own and have used all of the above. I am simply canvassing opinion on what has happened and what I could and should do next.

Thank you in advance.
Mar 31, 2023
Dec 27, 2013
If you are the original owner and are within 3 years of date of purchase, you are within the warranty period.

One reason for overheating is incorrect brake blocks - however, if you were using the Campagnolo "red" blocks, then normally a problem of this nature could be examined by the market Service Centre as a possible warranty, at least.

You will need a copy proof of purchase, too. Most Campagnolo SCs will accept a digital copy. Generally most Campagnolo SCs will prefer to work via a retailer - any Campagnolo ProShop can assist (although their degree of enthusiasm might vary according to whether they sold you the wheels or not).

The depth of any groove on the braking surface, that naturally occurs over time with braking, may have a bearing on this - if the wall thickness has been eroded by braking so that there is more than ~1mm removed from the braking surface, the rim would normally be deemed to be worn out and in that case the wear and tear clause would probably operate. As the braking surface wall thickness reduces, it becomes more liable to deformation damage by over-heating which can accelerate or even cause, lamination damage.
Mar 31, 2023
Thank you so much.

That's invaluable information.

I haven't got the original receipt, mind. I think I got them from Merlin Cycles but alas can't find any trace on my emails. I will ring them to see if they still have any record of the transaction.

The brake blocks are indeed the red Campagnolo pads made for Shimano Dura-Ace shoes.

I'll report back once the Campagnolo Service Centre responds to my email.

Hopefully, if I can't trace a proof or purchase as they were purchased in October 2020 there may be some way of correlating the serial numbers.
Mar 31, 2023
Just as a follow up to help others in this situation, should someone google this same issue.

I've just had Campagnolo Japan hand deliver me a new wheel. It's an upgrade to a Bora Ultra from the Bora One I melted.

Initially, Campagnolo Japan did not respond to my emails, so I copied in Velotech who are one of the two Campagnolo Service Centres in the UK, listed on Campagnolo's website.

Graeme at Velotech was amazingly informative and helpful. He sent all the details of the wheel/incident off to Campagnolo in Italy and contacted Campagnolo Japan on my behalf.

Lo and behold, a couple of weeks later, I was informed that Campagnolo in Italy had decided to replace the wheel with a Bora Ultra as there were no Bora Ones in stock.

When asked this morning, the gentlemen from Campagnolo Japan simply explained that from time to time carbon rims do fail in this way.

I must admit, only yesterday I descended pretty aggressively from 2400m on Mt. Fuji on the existing rear Bora One (with a Zonda on the front I hasten to add) and everything was fine.

What's the bottom line, you ask?

Carbon rims can fail.
Campagnolo do care.
Velotech are an amazing company.
Keep a record of your purchase for 3 years!
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Reactions: Irondan
Feb 23, 2017
Normally anything replaced under warranty does not start with a new warranty, whatever warranty is left continues until the old warranty runs out; for example, if you had the first wheel for 2 years, you had 1 year left, thus the new wheel has that 1 year left.

You may want to confirm what I said because Campy might not be like that, but I doubt it since I've never run into a company that wouldn't be that way.

Glad you got a new wheel, that says a lot about Campy.