Shimano announces its first carbon gravel wheel set

Shimano announces its first carbon gravel wheel set

The new Shimano GRX WH-RX870-TL wheels arrived as the brand’s first carbon rims with a 32 mm deep and 25 mm wide tubeless rim.

Shimano claims that the new wheels weigh 1,461 g for the pair (639 g for the front and 822 g for the rear). The bikes are currently only available in size 700c.

Shimano has launched a set of wheels along with the GRX Limited set, and the further expansion of the GRX range with a set of carbon rims reaffirms the brand’s commitment to gravel.

This is no surprise, given the growing popularity of gravel bikes, while Shimano’s competitors have also launched new custom gravel bikes in the form of Levante Campagnolo and Zipp 101 XPLR carbon bikes from the SRAM stable.

Gravel carbon wheels

Shimano launched the wheels next to the silver-polished GRX Limited powertrain.

The new set of wheels complements the existing GRX WH-RX570-TL alloy wheels, which are available in wheel sizes 700c or 650b for gravel riding.

The naming convention of the wheelsets suggests that they are part of the brand’s GRX RX870 Di2 series, although of course you can use the wheels with any 11- or 12-speed Shimano set on gravel or road.

It features a rim depth of 32 mm for “faster acceleration and incline, whether on stable mountain climbs or endlessly undulating terrain”. The rim design also allows the rider to be better controlled against strong crosswinds, according to Shimano.

As might be expected, the wheels are tubeless, as it is nicknamed “TL”.

Tried and tested

In typical Shimano fashion, the hubs run on cup-and-cone bearings. Virtually all premium brands have moved to sealed cartridge bearings, but Shimano (and some wheels from Campagnolo and its subsidiary brand Fulcrum) are notable holdouts.

Shimano says the hubs deliver “quick engagement and rapid acceleration [across] all road surfaces ”.

Wheels also adhere to the tradition of using hook rim design, where many Shimano competitors now switch to hookless rims.

Shimano sticks to its proven cup-and-cone recipes.

Wider appeal

The rim has a 30 mm outer and 25 mm inner rim width, which is significantly wider than the 21.6 mm (inner) GRX WH-RX570-TL alloy.

The WH-RX870 accommodates gravel tires up to 700 x 50 mm, with a minimum recommended tire size of 700 x 32 mm.

Stealth black carbon rims are attached to the hub with 24 spokes with a straight pull at the front and rear. Beam nipples are external for easy maintenance.

You can now match your GRX set with GRX carbon tires.

Price and availability

The bikes will sell for $ 1,399 and will reportedly be available in the United States from September.

British and international prices and availability will be confirmed.

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