Tuesday, November 15, 2011



Deep section wheels apart from shaving seconds off ITT times and helping you sail along in other riders drafts can often add the final touch to an already good looking ride giving it that PRO look. But how much should we be spending for small percentage gains and a bit of BLING.

 Recent BG Discussion brought up a perfect example in Shimano's C50 offerings. I (SW) recently went the whole hog and forked out for the DURA-ACE (WH7900 C50CL) C50's but what is the actual difference between these and the ULTEGRA (RS80 C50CL) rims which retail for about $600 less?

In this case the Rim is identical both wheel sets use Shimano's carbon structured wheel with an alloy braking surface bonded to the carbon. My personal experience and multiple reviews rave about the profile of these wheels they are great in cross winds compared with other deep section wheels ( I can't feel any significant difference between these and my Mavic Box section wheels). As with most current Deep wheels these things feel fast! They take a bit of winding up but out on your own in the wind both of these wheel sets will save you time. And this time saving will be yours regardless of which level you choose. 

The Diference comes in the hub. The RS80s use the Ultegra level hub which comes with a weight penalty. a reasonably significant weight penalty of around 200g for the set bringing it up to1870g with skewers add to this 190g of clincher tire (all BG's run GP4000s' now right) and 100g of inner tube each end and you come to the conclusion that the cheaper option may not be the choice if you fancy yourself a mountain goat but that said true weight weenies will steer clear of both of these wheel sets.

The final point is the BLING! Obviously the DURA-ACE stickers and branding on the hubs give lots of porn points but they are just stickers after all. The RS80s are still a killer looking set of hoops with their red highlights they look more expensive than they are.

As with all decisions around bike gear wheel choice is influenced by so many factors and whether looking at these particular wheels, the latest Reynolds offerings or whether to spend your $4000 on a brand new set of ENVEs or the latest ZIPPs so much of it comes down to what you can afford and what you irrationally want. The question you have to ask is. Are the benefits of the more expensive option worth the money? 

Then you have to ask yourself. Do I care? 
If not disregard the voice in your head that says 200g and some stickers is not worth $600 and get what makes you happy. SW

Expect to pay:
C50 - $1500
RS80 - $900