Although it has been a long time in the making, the latest addition to Shimano?s range shows that the firm is serious about maintaining a presence in the pro peloton. These wheels don?t have a catchy name ? WH-7801-Carbon50 ? but you can bet that a lot of riders will be sporting these next season.

Becoming the 11th pair of wheels in Shimano?s road range, the Carbon50s have a number of features you?ll have seen before. One of Shimano?s wheels? finest points are undoubtedly the hubs, which are always beautifully made and contain excellent bearings.

Rather than using a cartridge bearing, Shimano has bucked the recent trend and stuck with a cup and cone system, which allows adjustment, servicing and offers greater performance. Shimano has added a Borozon treatment to the bearing surfaces; this is a chemical treatment that leaves the surface with a highly-polished surface.

The hub flanges are 10mm wider than the previous Dura-Ace wheels. Spoking is taken care of with elbow-less, bladed, stainless steel spokes, with 20 at the rear and 16 up front.

A full carbon 50mm rim is in attendance, designed for tubular tyres alone, it shows that the Carbon50s are really only suitable for the racer. Although they have a sleek aerodynamic profile, the rims are purely functional ? just as you?d expect from Shimano.

List weight has the front at 662g and the rear 863g without the supplied QRs, wheels bag, cork brake pads or custom-made valve extenders. You can expect to pay £650 for the rear wheel and £599 for the front.

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