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FIRST LOOK: Dura-Ace Carbon

The news on the latest Shimano Dura-Ace Wheels slipped through the RCUK inbox a few months ago, so here’s the low down – we hope to have a set to test very soon.

Shimano has developed a new Dura-Ace road racing wheel set with a full carbon rim profile of 50 mm. This wheel set (model name WH-7801 Carbon 50mm) has been used and tested extensively by Shimano sponsored riders in the Pro Tour competition last year (we spotted them on T-Mobile bikes) besides the current Dura-Ace carbon wheel set WH-7801 with a rim height of 28mm (front) / 24mm (rear) and the Dura-Ace aluminum wheel sets (clincher, tubular and tubeless compatible versions).

These carbon wheels with high profile rims have a set weight of about 1500 grams. They have 16 bladed spokes in the front wheel and 20 in the rear and they will be produced in tubular version for Shimano 10-speed only. These wheels combine an exceptional rigidity with a lightweight aerodynamic design. Dura-Ace hub technology guarantees smooth turning and perfect adjustment thanks to the proven Shimano cup and cone system.

The development of this high profile carbon rim wheel set started after requests from our sponsored professional riders who prefer to use different kinds of wheels depending on racing circumstances and personal preferences. With the addition of this wheel set we have created an optimal line-up of Shimano Dura-Ace wheels so our professional riders will always have the opportunity to select the perfect wheel set for a specific race.

iF Product Design Award
The new Shimano WH-7801 carbon 50mm wheels have already won the iF product design award 2006. This “design-Oscar” is presented yearly by the iF International Forum Design in Hannover, Germany. It is one of the most prestigious design contests in the world and received this year more than 2.000 entries out of 37 countries.

Shimano has won also iF Product Design Awards 2006 for the new 10-speed flat handlebar Rapidfire Plus shifters SL-R770 and for the new Shimano 105 brakes BR-5600.

All award winning products will be displayed in the iF exhibition in Hannover that will be opened on March 9th and run until September 2006. During this time, around 300.000 international visitors are being expected.

The Dura-Ace high profile carbon wheels will be available in the market as from August 2006. As for price? well they won’t be cheap.

They will be available from Ultimate Pursuits stores.

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