Shimano's second-tier wheelset is a durable bargain for those with the skills for old-skool bearing adjustment. Despite only 16 skinny bladed front spokes, straight-pull lacing and steel axles keep steering tight and obedient.
The 20 rear, direct-pull spokes are laced three-cross into thick hub blocks rather than a conventional flange. The 24mm rim is smoothly rounded, with a neat junction and wear dot. It's asymmetrical, to compensate for the sideways offset caused by the cassette.
The steel freehub stops cassette gouging and runs silently, while Shimano quick-release skewers are super-secure. Overall weight is okay for the cost too, with an enviable strength reputation that our experience has done nothing to undermine.