Shimano Road Sport Composite Clincher (WH-RS80-C24-CL) Wheelset Review

WH RS80 C24 CL  300x225 Shimano Road Sport Composite Clincher (WH RS80 C24 CL) Wheelset Review

The Shimano Carbon-Alloy Composite Clincher ( WH-RS80-C24-CL ) wheelset doesn’t have a catchy name, but it’s at the top of the Shimano Road Sport series of entry level wheelsets. And all that is a little unfair, because this wheelset is a race wheel, and shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone who wants to avoid the ‘RS’ tag.

What’s so special about this wheel? Where do we start? It’s a clincher wheel but with superlight carbon-alloy composite rims, so it comes in at a very competitive 1516 grams. It’s got Shimano’s offset rear rim for better power transmission, it’s compatible with 8, 9 or 10 speed cassettes, it’s got Shimano’s nifty rim wear indicator, and if you need more, some really top quality hubs for a smooth roll.  Best of all?  An RRP of only $899.

Ready to race

At that price – and that weight - the Shimano WH-RS80-C24-Cl wheelset is bound to appear at the start lines of plenty of races, and rightly so. After all, you’re getting the same rim as the Dura-Ace 7850 series.  And if you are a heavier rider, or you put out a lot of power, you’ll appreciate race quality features like wide hub flanges and a pair of straight pull cross spokes to make sure every ounce of power turns into speed.  That also means more stability for cornering at speed and fast descents.

Sure, there are race wheelsets that are lighter (but not many), there are some that are more aero, and there are plenty that cost a lot more. But for a race-ready, out of the box wheelset for less than a thousand dollars, the Road Sport Carbon-Alloy composite clincher wheelset is pretty hard to beat. The only downside is that Shimano wheelsets – other than as stock wheels of complete bikes – can be hard to find outside of the UK and Australia. If Shimano keep turning out wheels like these at this kind of price, they’ll soon be everywhere.

Conclusion

You can tell we like these wheels.  There’s not much to fault with them. You get the lightness of carbon but the convenience of clinchers and Shimano’s super-compatible hubs.  Whether you are a seasoned racer who is looking for a versatile, inexpensive wheelset for the wheel car, or you are a novice racer who wants all the advantages of a serious race wheel, then you won’t go wrong with the Shimano WH-RS80-C24-Cl wheelset. And best of all, it looks fantastic, and let’s face it, that’s important when you get close to $1000.

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