While there’s never been more choice in road disc wheels than there is now, component giant Shimano has been surprisingly slow to expand its range.
The Shimano RX830 wheelset is based on 32.5mm deep, squared-off rims that have a carbon-laminated-alloy construction, similar to that used on Shimano’s existing high-end road clinchers.
With no need for a braking track, the RX830s get away with a particularly thin-walled rim extrusion, one that we measured at 17.8mm internally and 23mm externally at its widest point — that’s bigger than traditional rim designs, but restrained by current standards. Shimano recommends a minimum tyre size of 25mm, and given the totally non-aero profile, these wheels seem a natural match for a gravel or ‘cross bike, which is exactly what we mounted ours on.
The RX830s weigh in at a substantial 1,841g for the pair (plus 118g for the skewers), of which a good chunk is in the hubs. Like all Shimano wheelsets, these use robust adjustable cup-and-cone hubs and these particular units have an Ultegra look to them, albeit with straight-pull spokes rather than j-bends.
The other important difference from a standard road hub lies in the labyrinth sealing, which is borrowed from Shimano’s XT-level mountain bike hubs — making these wheels better suited to wet and muddy conditions. We’ve got a lot of time for Shimano’s higher-end hubs — they can go for years and years with proper care, but it’s essential that you keep on top of servicing.
Disc mounting comes courtesy of Shimano’s ultra-convenient centre-lock design, while your choice of axles is limited to traditional skewers, and er, there’s no provision for thru-axles at all.
The RX830s are tubeless-compatible, which opens up some options, but it’s worth noting that Shimano doesn’t condone the use of third-party sealants with its wheels, as some may cause corrosion. We’d probably chance it, but if you’re worried about your warranty you’ll have to stick with Shimano’s own offering.
This RX830s are almost wilfully inoffensive on the road or trail — stiff enough and comfortable enough without being especially notable in either respect. They’re so middle-of-the-road they’re practically a painted white line. On the one hand they’re built with quality components, they look nice and we have no complaints about their performance. On the other, their weight is unexceptional, their spec is conservative, and they’re hardly what you’d call cheap.
Shimano wheels are often available at ridiculous knockdown prices however and you’re unlikely to regret choosing the RX830s; it’s just rather hard to get excited about them.
- Front: £360 / $384 / AU$507
- Rear: £430 / $469 / AU$620