2013 Shimano Road Wheels – New Aero Clincher, Tubeless & Tubular Options

2013 Shimano Wheels WH9000 C24 24mm deep lightweight climbing road bike wheelset

In addition to the completely revamped Dura-Ace DA9000 and 9070 Di2 groups just unveiled, Shimano has introduced a refreshed road bike wheel lineup and Dura-Ace hubs, too.

Across the range, they’ve made the rims wider for better comfort and performance. The deeper wheels get a new aero profile to negate the effects of crosswinds, and most receive a new lacing and hub design to improve response and speed. Dubbed, OptBal 2:1, the rear wheels get 3x lacing for 14 spokes on the drive side and seven straight pull spokes on the non drive side. They’re perfectly tangential to the spoke flange to eliminate unnecessary stress and bending.

All wheels are 11-speed ready to go with the new components. The non-drive flange has been pushed out 7mm to maintain proper triangulation, and the freehub body is 1.85mm wider. Shimano’s NA road product manager Dave Lawrence says the wheels and the hubs will require both a 1.85mm spacer (included with wheels) and the standard 1mm spacer (comes with cassette) to run a 10-speed cassette on them.

Lawrence says there was already space on the hubs to move the non-drive flange out, they just hadn’t taken advantage of it.  They also used offset spoke holes on the rims, so spoke triangulation actually improves without any frame clearance issues. The OptBal 2:1 lacing uses this to give balanced overall tension between the two sides of the wheel – non-drive spokes are pulling twice as hard, but there’s half as many of them.

The new rims are called D2 and are 23mm or 24mm wide depending on the wheel model. They also gave them a deeper tire bed so the tire sits more flush with the sidewall and there’s no gap on the clinchers. According to their PR, these combined features balance frontal and side aerodynamics.

Above, the new C24 wheels are the only ones that don’t get the OptBal lacing. They’re available in both clincher and Road Tubeless clincher. The clincher rim weight comes in around 383g while the tubeless one is about 420g. Lawrence says the weight difference is mainly because the rim bed is closed on the tubeless models, so you don’t need rim tape. Saving a tube should yield a net lower weight wheelset once tires are installed. Features are:

WH-9000-C24-CL 24mm Carbon/Alloy Laminate Clincher

  • Carbon laminate construction rim (~383g)
  • Clincher only
  • Off-set rim with wide flange hub
  • 100% Ti FH body
  • 1364g
  • MSRP$1399.99

WH-9000-C24-TL 24mm Carbon/Alloy Laminate Tubeless Clincher

  • Shimano Road Tubeless and tube compatible rim
  • Carbon laminate construction rim (~420g)
  • Off-set rim with wide flange hub
  • 100% Ti FH body
  • 1454g
  • MSRP $1499.99

2013 Shimano Wheels WH9000 hub comparison

The C24′s hubs are on the left, and the other wheels shown below all use the OptBal 2:1 lacing with the hubs on the right. All wheels use a new full titanium freehub body. Previously, Shimano’s freehub mechanism had a ti outer section where the cassette sits, but the internal bits were steel. Now it’s all ti, baby!

2013 Shimano Wheels WH9000 C35 35mm deep lightweight aerodynamic road bike wheelset

The C35 has 35mm deep rim and comes in tubeless clincher (shown) and a full carbon tubular.  Full specs are:

WH-9000-C35-CL 35mm Carbon/Alloy Laminate Clincher

  • Opt-Bal 2:1 lacing
  • Carbon laminate construction rim (~439g)
  • Extra wide flange hub (+7mm)
  • 100% Ti FH body
  • 1488g
  • MSRP $2199.99

WH-9000-C35-TU 35mm Carbon Tubular

  • Opt-Bal 2:1 lacing
  • 100% Carbon construction rim (~362g)
  • Off-set rim with extra wide flange hub (+7mm)
  • 100% Ti FH body
  • 1362g
  • MSRP $2999.99

2013 Shimano Wheels WH9000 C50 50mm deep lightweight aero road bike wheelset in clincher and tubular

The C50 gets a deeper 50mm rim and comes as a carbon alloy clincher (left) or full carbon tubular (right). Features are:

WH-9000-C50-CL 50mm Carbon/Alloy Composite Clincher

  • 23mm D2 rim profile
  • Opt-Bal 2:1 lacing
  • Carbon/Alloy construction
  • Extra wide flange hub (+7mm)
  • Hidden nipples
  • 100% Ti FH body
  • 1672g
  • MSRP $2399.99

WH-9000-C50-TU 50mm Carbon Tubular

  • 24mm D2 rim profile
  • Opt-Bal 2:1 lacing
  • 100% High modulus carbon construction
  • Extra wide flange hub (+7mm)
  • Hidden nipples
  • 100% Ti FH body
  • 1449g
  • MSRP $3199.99

2013 Shimano Wheels WH9000 C75 75mm deep lightweight aero road bike tubular wheelset

Lastly, the tallest wheels are the C75 and only come as a full carbon fiber tubular. Features are:

WH-9000-C75-TU 75mm Carbon Tubular

  • 24mm D2 rim profile
  • Opt-Bal 2:1 lacing
  • 100% High modulus carbon construction
  • Extra wide flange hub (+7mm)
  • Hidden nipples
  • 100% Ti FH body
  • 1545g
  • MSRP $3499.99

And the wheels come with these nifty skewers:

2013 Shimano Dura-Ace DA9000 FH HB 9000 hubs

The 9000-series Dura-Ace hubs, like all of the complete wheels, continue to use Shimano’s cup-and-cone angular contact bearing system. It’s reliable, easy to service and Shimano says it’s strong and rolls smooth. We’d agree based on our use of them. The big changes are the move to 11-speed and a full titanium freehub assembly like on the wheels. They lose 12g from the 7900-series hubs.

They’ll be available in 24, 28, 32 and 36 spoke hole options, front and rear.

Comments

Mcr - 05/31/12 - 8:19pm

Spoke hole count for the 9000 series hubs? Do they come in 16f 20 R as to replace the older shimano wheelsets?

Mike - 05/31/12 - 8:54pm

Optbal spoke lacing. Sounds neat. Hopefully they don’t have incompatibility issues with some frames like Fulcrum do with their 2:1 spoke ratio design. I.e. A type of resonance created from the spoke lacing can send vibrations through the frame. This happened on my Italian carbon frame paired with Racing Zeros. Haters, please note that I said “some” frames. That aside, I love Shimano.

Tyler (Editor) - 05/31/12 - 9:22pm

Mcr – no. Just 24, 28, 32 and 36. This info has been added to the post.

wyatt - 05/31/12 - 10:51pm

Are the C-35 clincher’s tubeless ready or is that a typo? I only see detailed mention of TR for the C24′s

Tyler (Editor) - 05/31/12 - 11:41pm

Wyatt – sorry, that was a typo, they’re only clincher and tubular. Good catch. The C24 is the only DA-level tubeless wheelset, though they do have some tubeless options for Ultegra level, too.

Jimmy - 06/01/12 - 9:46am

Internal nipples on tubulars? These wheels had so much potential!

Matt - 06/01/12 - 11:52am

If the C24 is 24mm wide and is the only tubeless option, then that should make things interesting considering how small Hutchinson Tires run.

I have a set of 25mm Hutchinson Intensives that actually measure 23mm. Their 23mm measure around 22mm. Even on a wider-profile rim the most the 25mm comes out to is about 23.5mm. While I think wider-profile rims are the way to go, Hutchinson needs to get their dimensions to be more accurate or you’ll be dinging the rims on the Shimano C24s due to improper tire coverage.

greg - 06/01/12 - 10:21pm

narrower tires=lighter, the only way (so far) that hutchinson could get weights competitive to a regular tire/tube combo. well, that and the 30% shorter lifespan due to thinner rubber.
id rather they up the size and longevity to normal, save weight with a “tubeless ready” casing.
and shimano ought to approve their rims for Stans. give it some crazy coating or surface treatment. kashima coat before machining the brake surface?

Alex - 06/02/12 - 3:15am

I’m saddened by the extra dish these wheels really have to have in order to support 11 cogs. The redeeming factor is the Opti-bal. – Or double the spokes on the drive side. This gives some tension to the non-drive spokes- and widening the flanges 7 m.m. does not help in that respect. I don’t know how the C24 versions will hold up without the 2 to 1 spoke ratio, the wheel has a ton of dish not just because of the wider freehub, but because they moved the left flange out. It makes no sense at all and I can’t imagine that offsetting the rim holes will be enough to keep decent tension on the left spokes.

The other wheels with Opti-bal scare me as well, at least judging by the photo. Those radial left spokes are attached to a left flange that looks bigger (larger) than the drive flange. If that’s the case, the left spokes are going to wind up and possibly break. All Shimano had to do is to make sure the torque goes to the drive spoke by having a slightly larger drive side flange. Then those left spokes could just sort of sit there and ‘triangulate”….. I suppose Shimano has calculated the tension of the spokes when under load, but I wonder. Any spoke on a larger flange is going to travel farther in one revolution-and the torque load will go with it

Even thought the tensions- starting out are higher on the drive spokes, I think it would be better to ‘know’ that those drive side ‘dynamic’ spokes, or ‘pulling’ spokes are taking the torque load. Would love to hear what Shimano thinks about that.

Tommy d - 06/06/12 - 7:09am

Great article, can you confirm the width of the c24 and c35?

Alastair - 06/07/12 - 7:47am

A bit disappointed as I was really hoping for a clincher version of the C75. I know the pro’s walk away from triathlons if they get a puncture etc… but I would have liked to be able to have the benefit of being able to change the tire in a reasonable time. I would also like to point out that for every pro that rides these wheels, there will be hundreds, if not thousands of punters who wont want, or wont care about having a tubular option. Is there a reason for this?

Darren D - 06/12/12 - 10:32am

Mike? Can you give me more information on your wheels. I am the Technical services Manager for Fulcrum North America and have never heard of any issues with frame compatibility issues using our 2:1 spoke pattern, nor a “resonance”. Have you had a qualified mechanic or technician look at this?

Please send me the frame information so I can investigate further. info@fulcrum-na.com

Gyro2 - 06/19/12 - 3:06am

No reason for shimano to approve their roms for weight weenie disposable Stans garbage. Hope they steer wide and clear of that crap.

david - 06/23/12 - 4:15am

SILVER HUBS please! I have a 1990 RB-1 black frame that is ready for a new groupset and would appreciate classy polished silver hubs. Thanks for the 24-36 spoke hole options!

James Yang - 08/09/12 - 10:32am

Please confirm the width of the C24 and C35 rims.

katy - 10/16/12 - 11:27pm

hi – do the C50s come in 650c?

Flash - 10/18/12 - 5:41am

Darren D: Campagnolo makes the following claim for its latest Campagnolo/Fulcrum wheels with the Mega G3 hubs (larger drive side flange): “MEGA G3™ eliminates vibrations even with “heavy” cyclists”.
I think it is therefore reasonable to assume that some heavy cyclists experienced vibrations with the previous versions? Having said that, I have ridden Fulcrum 1 and Zero for the past four years and have experienced absolutely no adverse sensations.

More importantly, can I fit a Dura Ace 11-speed cassette to my 2012 Fulcrum Zero wheels (competition special edition) or will I have to buy a new freehub body? Are they available? Many thanks

Jerm - 01/31/13 - 12:20pm

FYI. Just laced up a 32 hole dura ace 9000 front hub to a hed Ardennes rim. The front hub box states hole count availablity as 18, 24, 28, 32, 36 and even 18 and 24 slotted for aero spokes.

Sad - 03/23/13 - 9:34am

Mike: That’s really kinda interesting. I’m having issues with my set of racing Zeros. I had to take the front one off, too many issues on high speed descents. The vibrations/instability were too much of an issue, and if you throw a little wind in the mix, well just make sure you said your prayers before you left. Now I must admit I’m a little on the heavy side around 193 lbs, but it’s winter so not as much riding going on as I’d like, but I’m still within Fulcrum’s recommended limits:

If you weigh 109 kg/240 lbs or more we advise you do not use this product.

I think even for my weight they are not suitable, when I get on my bike I can see the wheel move closer to the front break pad, so the lateral stiffness isn’t there. I can see the wheel wobble slightly as I ride it too (and I have taken out as much lateral play as possible). I’m sure they’re just lovely for someone who’s welterweight though :-)

kuzy - 04/30/13 - 5:39pm

I bought WH-9000-C50-CL and set weigh 1785g instead 1672g! (without quick release)

Ruben - 07/12/13 - 5:11am

Anybody who knows the exact differences between for instance WH9000 C35 and the cheaper RS81 C35? Likewise for the WH9000 C50 and the RS81 C50?

stefanos - 04/22/14 - 7:17pm

I own a set of Dyra Ace Tubular C50 back from 2011. I would like to know if i could replace the hubs with the new FH-9000/HB/9000 so i can replace my dura ace 10 cogs with an 11 cogs dura ace Di2

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