Shimano has a history of creating effective hybrid wheelsets, something that’s quite unusual these days when rims are either aluminium or carbon fibre. At first glance, the RS770 wheelset’s rims look like a rim brake design. They feature a raised anodised band around the circumference and carbon laminate layers covering the remainder, which Shimano says increases rim rigidity.
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Listed as an Ultegra R8000 level wheelset, the hubs just say Shimano and the rims have a bold RS logo with no mention of Ultegra anywhere.
The hubs continue Shimano’s preference for cup and cone bearings, which have always proved reliably durable and here feel beautifully smooth.
They have centrelock disc rotor fitting; they’re supplied with 12mm thru-axle end caps installed and they have 24 straight pull, flat spokes, each meeting raised sections of the flat-topped, symmetric rims.
The rims have welded joints, are 28mm tall, measure 23mm wide externally and 17mm internally. This is useful, but still quite conservative in today’s market.
They’re recommended for tyres from 25mm to 38mm, and are supplied with tubeless rim tape and valves fitted. Including these and the 12mm hub-end caps, my pair weighed in at 757g and 938g, totalling 1,695g.
Each rim has two drain holes and a stated maximum tyre pressure of 116psi, easily exceeding the limit of tubeless tyres.
My 28mm tubeless tyres measured 30.5mm on the Shimanos and installed easily. Shimano’s Optbal rear-wheel spoke pattern mimics Fulcrum’s 2:1 spoke ratio with 14 driveside and 7 non-driveside spokes. It aims to balance wheel tension from side to side, allowing for the drivetrain and braking forces.
Although hard to discern this alone, the RS770s match their purposeful looks with an eagerness to pick up speed.
They’re not especially urgent, but are quite rigid laterally, and feel positive when out of the saddle.
Response to hard efforts is good, but only ranks as average alongside racier wheelsets – and this applies when climbing, too.
They feel taut and direct, making the most of your inputs. They get there efficiently, but lack a competitive edge. They’re agile descenders, tracking accurately through technical turns and are unaffected by wind.
Although a little weighty for racing, the RS770s make a solid daily choice for training, commuting or sportives, with a taste of off-road, too.