What’s the most important performance feature of a wheel? Shimano reckon it’s the rim, which is why they're including their Dura-Ace level WH-7850-C50-CL hybrid carbon clincher rims with their new WH-RS-C50-CL Ultegra level wheelset.
The 50mm deep, aero-shaped hybrid rim combines a structural unidirectional carbon fibre rim section with an aluminium clincher tyre bed and braking surface. The aluminium section is unique in that it is co-moulded to the carbon and only makes up the inner wall of the rim.
Sixteen front and 20 rear butted and bladed stainless steel spokes connect the Dura-Ace rims to the RS (Ultegra 6700 level) hubs. The front hub has a steel axle while the rear's is alloy and accepts eight-, nine- and 10-speed cassettes. Both hubs are built with anodised alloy shells and use traditional angular contact bearings.
Shimano claim the RS-C50-CL weighs 1,750g – just 45g more than the Dura-Ace C50-CL model. Prices and availability have yet to be set. For comparison, Shimano’s RS80 wheelset, which offers the same performance-to-price concept but with the low-profile Dura-Ace 7850-C24-CL rim, costs £449.98 (US$900) – about £250 ($400) less than the comparable Dura-Ace model.
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