Designed for the new breed of disc compatible road bikes, Shimano has combined technologies from their Dura-Ace and XTR (mountain bike) wheels, to produce a strong and appealing wheel for those who aren’t afraid of some extra braking performance.
Words and photography: Damian Breach
New for 2015 the RX830 is constructed from a composite aluminium base with carbon fibre layered on top, and seeing as the wheelset is disc-only, the carbon is layered all the way to the rim bead adding to the aesthetics of no braking strip. A rim depth of 32.5mm adds mid-pack aero performance, and an internal width of a smidge under 18mm, and external width of 23mm, adds a little more width for wider tyres. Shimano recommend a minimum 25mm tyre on these hoops and we opted for an even wider (wide is the new skinny) of 28mm to add a little more off-road capability. The wheels are also 100% tubeless compatible with no need for additional rim strips to make them seal.
The RX830 are compatible with centerlock mounted disc rotors and we fitted 140mm Ice-tech rotors for extra cooling performance. We suspect that you could fit larger diameter rotors on these rims however that’s a game we probably don’t recommend until the road bike disc design is a little more mature.
The final piece of the build puzzle is the 11-speed compatible hubs. While not branded as such, we’ve been told that they’re similar to Ultegra in terms of spec and weight. Also, while the industry fights over thru-axles vs quick-release for road bikes, you’re stuck with a standard 100/135mm QR on the RX-830.
Out-of-the box we loved the look and aesthetics of the wheels. With traditional Shimano Ultegra hues on the hubs, and dark carbon fibre all the way to the tyre, they added a little bit of toughness to our ride. Construction was on point and that warm feel you get from traditional Shimano cone-bearing hubs was like smooth dairy butter. Installation couldn’t have been easier and the wheels fit onto our Giant Defy disc with zero need to adjust the calliper position.
One the road the wheels performed to an excellent standard. They felt comfortable and fast and we were confident in all manner of situations. From all-day sessions, to bunny hopping road-kill, to death gripping some pretty fast corners, they felt at home. We feel that their descending ability was one of their strengths and being combined with a disc and wider tyre, we were able to put a good deal of confidence on the front wheel in the corners. We hope that the industry does adopt a thru-axle standard as all the stiffness and technology of rims like these will be even greater enhanced with stiffer axles.
Price: $1,499 (wheels), $85.95 (Ice-Tec rotors each)
Weight: 854g front, 1,017g rear (wheels)
101g (rotor and lockring)
Website: Shimano Australia