Shimano RS80 Wheels
The RS80 is the Ultegra version of this wheel, being that it shares virtually the same rim as its more expensive (twice the price no less) Dura Ace stablemate. The rim is now referred to as the C24, presumably standing for carbon and 24 mm deep. That rim is very lightweight, very thin aluminium (just 0.7mm) wrapped in a lightweight carbon wrap for added strength.
Shimano say that, “Low rim weight is achieved by reducing the alloy wall thickness to 0.7 mm, then a patent pending phosphoric acid anodising process is used to bond the carbon fibre to the alloy giving an excellent combination of low weight, strength and rigidity. Added carbon reinforcement is applied around the spoke eyelets for increased durability under high load.”
Importantly therefore the extra weight associated with Ultegra is located at the hub not at the rim, so you can realistically expect little performance difference between these and the Dura Ace version.
Instead it would appear that the main trade off is in terms of hub quality, arguably reduced bearing performance and longevity, plus adding a bit more overall weight to your bike, though according to Shimano only about 120g, and remember these wheels are half the price…
Rear off-set rim clearly visible in this shot
The rear rim is offset, something which Shimano claim offers increased rigidity and better power transmission. By offset we mean that the nipple beds lie over to the none drive side of the rim to combat the lateral forces generated during pedalling.
The carbon laminate wrap, means that the alloy braking surface is retained so braking is not an issue in any conditions nor do you have the hassle
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