Shimano M505 mountain bike wheelset review£135.00

Budget hoops

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The M505 has some neat features for a budget wheel, but it’s ultimately a bit heavy. It does come with free rim tape already fitted, which is a bonus at this price.

The deep rim has machined sidewalls for V-brake use, if you haven’t upgraded to disc brakes, but the centre lock brake rotor mount means you’re restricted to Shimano disc brakes unless you get an adapter.

The rims don't have eyelets, but that hasn’t created any problems during our testing so far. In fact the rims are still totally round and true despite some very aggressive treatment.

Despite only having 28 spokes it’s a heavy wheel, and we can’t see what advantage having bladed spokes gives as they’re not even noticeable cosmetically.

However, the Shimano quick-release skewers are some of the best around, even at this price, and the adjustable bearings will last for ages if you know how to fettle them.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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