Shimano has unveiled new wheels for model year 2014.
The entire range has been updated, from the flagship Dura Ace hoops to entry-level offerings.
Each is 11-speed compatible and continues Shimano’s adherence to a cup and cone standard, rather than cartridge bearings: a system they claim offers durability and greater “rotational performance”.
The tubular incarnation of the Dura Ace C24 wheel now tips the scales at 1,100 grams: the lightest the Japanese manufacturer has produced.
Shimano’s UK brand manager, Mark Greshon, said the carbon wheel, supplied to its professional teams, would be made available commercially to comply with UCI regulations.
Of greater significance to the wider market, perhaps, are the new Ultegra-level wheelsets: carbon-alloy clinchers to be made available in rim depths of 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm.
The spokes will be laced radially at the front and in a three-cross pattern in both sides of the rear. Shimano describe the hub flanges “extra wide”, an aid, they claim, to torsional rigidity.
WH-RS31 and RS11
At the lower end of Shimano’s new wheel range lie the RS31 and RS11 aluminium clinchers. Both will have 30mm deep rims, perhaps in a challenge to the popularity of the Fulcrum Racing Quattro.
These hand-built wheels will have sealed hubs with adjustable bearings, oversized alloy nipples, and a combination of off-set rims and wide flange hubs in a bid to increase rigidity.
Their most notable feature, however, is the wide colour range in which they’re supplied. Both the RS-11 and RS-31come in black and with orange, red, green, blue, or purple rim decals.