Campagnolo, an Italian bike component manufacturer, produces several types of wheels for racing bicycles. Arguably the best bike component manufacturer of all time, the Campagnolo has two types of wheel sets that stand out with this particular brand: the proton and neutron. Both wheelsets are designed for training, everyday riding, and even multi-day races.
But what are the differences between the two? This article will compare these two wheel sets in terms of feature, quality, and other related information. This article will let bikers know the best wheelsets for their bikes.
|Tire Type||Clincher||Clincher and Tubular|
|Rim||Straight Pull Spoke Design on the Cassette’s Side Rear Hub Only||Straight Pull Spoke Design that Combines With Nipples and Washers|
|Spoke Design||Rounded Straight Gauge Spokes||Bladed Spokes with Aerodynamic Design|
Tire Type Available
The first difference between these two wheelsets is the availability of the tire types for both wheels. For Campagnolo Proton wheels, it is only available in a clincher type of tire. A tire that is hooked into the rim will be put in place by the outward pressure of the inner tube.
On the other hand, the Campagnolo Neutron wheels are available in clincher and tubular versions. So, if you like faster and stronger wheels, the tubular version is an excellent choice. If you are not familiar, a tubular wheel is stitched closed around the inner tube.
Another difference between these two wheelsets is the rim setup. The Neutron’s rim comes with a straight pull-spoke design that combines self-centring and spherical nipples and washers. You will not find shearing stresses and breakage, which are common to the normal spokes elbow section.
This rim also comes with a self-locking nipple and washer combination that has the ability to resist loosening even if the bike is under heavy loads. It is also worth noting the presence of spherical self-centring washers that keep the spoke in a straight line to hold the pedal forces.
On the other hand, the Proton rim setup’s straight pull spoke design is on the cassette side of the rear hub only. The front wheel and the non-cassette side of the rear wheel use the old-style brass nipples and elbowed spokes.
You can also find some differences between Proton and Neutron in the hub setup. Both have the same quantity of spokes in the front and back wheels, but the Proton spokes are rounded straight gauge spokes that add strength and comfort to the bike.
On the other hand, the neutron hub comes with a bladed spoke that has an aerodynamic design. This spoke cuts through the wind and can add precious seconds to your time when you are racing.
Another factor that shows the difference between Campagnolo Proton and Neutron wheelsets is their overall weight. The weight of the wheels is essential because they will add to the bike’s overall weight.
The weight of your bicycle also impacts your speed and ability to slow down. For this reason, it is essential to consider the weight of these two-wheel sets and their difference to let you know which is better for your bike.
Neutrons weigh 1580 grams per pair, while the Proton wheels weigh 1640 grams per pair. So, the Neutron wheels are lighter by about 60 grams compared to the Proton wheel sets. The difference of 60 grams is not that much, which still indicates the difference in the weight of the two wheelsets.
Another difference between these two wheels are the hubs. With Neutron, the quality of the hubs is comparable to the Campagnolo Record hubs in terms of quality. The Neutron hub is designed to be compatible with straight pull spokes. The Neutro hub also comes with bearings, races, grease ports, quick-release skewers, and axles that are of Record quality.
As for the Proton hub’s quality, it is comparable to Daytona/Centaur. Again, this hub is specifically designed for straight-pull spokes or traditional spokes. The axles, bearing, and the races are made from Chorus, while the quick-release skewers are made of Daytona/Centaur.
Overall, Proton and Neutron are excellent wheelsets manufactured by arguably the most popular bike component manufacturer. As for Proton, wheels are known to be light and stiff, which is great for your bike. Both are great wheels, but differences in some parts can affect the longevity of the wheel sets.
In terms of pricing, most Neutron wheelsets are more expensive compared to the Proton wheelsets. The Proton wheels were discontinued in 2006, so expect to find great deals from this wheelset.
Comparing Campagnolo Proton vs Neutron is something that Campagnolo enthusiasts like to talk about. These wheelsets feel very similar to each other, but there are specific details in these wheels that differ. The Proton wheels were discontinued a few years back, but without a doubt, these two wheels were one of the best wheels the company has ever produced.