Shimano Dura-Ace C24 wheelset
The alloy clinchers to end all alloy clinchers
Pretty much every cyclist everywhere owns a set of alloy clinchers. Of course, this is largely because most bikes come with them as standard, but also because they’re durable, practical and cheaper than carbon and as such far more suited to the demands of everyday riding.
Like everything, though, not all alloy clinchers are equal, and a particularly nice set are Shimano’s Dura-Ace C24s, the sort of alloy wheels the pros ride if the pros were to ride alloy wheels. Now don’t all shout at once, we know these aren’t strictly alloy clinchers, they’re alloy rims with a shallow carbon section bonded on so more of a hybrid, if anything. But they’re more alloy than carbon, so they count.
Plus, these are Dura-Ace branded wheels. Now we’re not disparaging any other brands, but products that pass the test to have Shimano’s premier logo on the side are generally right at the top of the tree, and you can mount a set of these on your bike knowing that they’ll likely be rather good indeed.
Not all alloy clinchers are created equal, and these Dura-Ace wheels prove that as they're a very good set indeed
As you may have guessed, the idea behind the carbon is weight reduction. By making the spoke eyelets and lower section from carbon, Shimano have been able to keep the weight right down, meaning a set of these can weigh in at 1,387g – that’s what Shimano claim as the ‘average’ set for a pair of the C24s. On top of that, Shimano have also thinned the alloy walls down to 0.7mm from 1.3mm, but managed to maintain the strength and rigidity needed for the wheels to perform out on the road.
The wheels are 24mm deep, but only 20.8mm wide so if you hadn’t already figured it out, they’re not made for steaming along the flat in a straight line, and the depth and width won’t compliment your favourite 25mm race tyres.
What they are, though, is light and that combined with their alloy braking surfaces mean they’re a good choice for hilly – or even mountainous – days out as fewer grams to carry uphill combined with better braking going down makes for a fun combination. The C24s are also tubeless ready, meaning there are potential weight savings (albeit marginal ones) for the taking in tyre choice as well.
Spoke count is 16 at the front (laced radially) and 20 at the back, and Shimano have sured up the rigidity at the rear by making a 3mm offset rear rim and wide flange spacing at the hub to keep the wheels as stiff as possible.