Shimano Dura-Ace WH-9000 C50 Carbon Road Wheelset - Tubular $2,899.95
The next generation of speed.
Close your eyes and think, 'Dura-Ace.' What comes to mind? For us, Dura-Ace is replaced at the front of our minds by the word 'perfection', and it's easy to see why. Since its inception, the Dura-Ace platform has voraciously led component innovation, and the Shimano Dura-Ace WH-9000 C50 Carbon Tubular Wheelset is an extenuation of this tradition. Combing a flawless carbon layup, a versatile, wider design, and a hub system that holds no rival, this wheelset will excel on any platform from a Grand Tour to the most epic of weekend rides.
Shimano's Dura-Ace 9000 C50 wheelset epitomizes the illustrious reputation of the Dura-Ace title. The rims feature a 50mm depth that, at once, provides wind-cheating aerodynamics and fierce rigidity. In fact, for the first time, Shimano has fully committed itself to achieving a superior level of aerodynamic advantage. As a result, the C50 was engineered in accordance with the newly developed Blade and Accelerating SPEED concepts. After extensive wind tunnel research, both of these development platforms gave way to Shimano's most aerodynamic wheel profile. So, not only do you benefit from the C50's 50mm depth, but your largest gains in drag reduction actually emanate from the resulting D2 Wide rim design. D2 Wide places Dura-Ace back into the fold of contemporary aerodynamics, and then takes it a step forward. The design hinges on the front and rear wheel having two different widths -- 23mm at the front and 24mm at the rear. This creates an even smoother airflow then varied front and rear rim depths. Additionally, this wider, variable system promotes increased stability in crosswinds, as well as higher levels of lateral rigidity and vertical compliance when compared to the WH-7900 C50.
Impressively, the D2 Wide concept has both extended and adapted itself it into every facet of the wheels. However, with regard to the spokes and hubs, this increased width translates directly to efficiency, rigidty, and power. With the C50 , the weight of the wheels is centered at the hubs. This means that the rim weight is reduced, and thus the rotational weight is decreased. The beneficial results are staggering. Coupled with the aerodynamic 50mm rim depth, you have a wheelset that gets up to speed faster, and requires less rider effort to pin it and hold it. The centering is made possible by a clever Shimano design that's principled in the use of Shimano's angular contact bearings. The bearings' shape allows them to be pushed as far outboard as possible. This makes the hub a wider platform for the spokes to stand on, and accordingly, it makes the wheels capable of higher spoke tensions for a more compliant ride quality. Most importantly, though, the C50 features Shimano's widest hub flanges ever. The wider distance between flanges drastically increases torsional and lateral rigidity -- think about the difference between someone pushing you with your feet together, and then again with your feet shoulder-width apart. Simply put, this design guarantees an effective power transfer so that your wheels put out as much as you're putting in.
Not surprisingly, Shimano hasn't stopped there. New to Dura-Ace 9000, the wheels receive Shimano's OptBal 2:1 lacing pattern. In typical Shimano fashion, this system engineers off of the obvious, yet previously unchallenged, physics of wheel stress. When examining spoke pull at the rear wheel, you'll notice that, under load, the non-drive-side spokes pull twice as hard against the drive-side spokes. So, Shimano changed the ratio of spokes between the sides. Now, the rear drive-side features 21, three-cross stainless steel spokes, while the non-drive-side has 7 radial laced spokes. This shift in the spoke ratio creates a perfect balance while force is being applied. Additionally, the wheels still use just as many driving spokes as a 28 hole wheel, only with greater efficiency, balance, and weight savings. And to further support this new system, the C50 makes use of an offset rim. This reduces the severity of the spoke angle on the drive-side, and accordingly, it increases the lateral rigidity, while creating a greater uniformity of tension at every point of the spoke.
For even further efficiency, the C50 wheelset uses ultra-stiff, oversized A7075 alloy axles, and a quick-engaging titanium freehub body. Every wheel is 100% hand-built, and features Shimano's own high modulus carbon fiber composite. Altogether, each component of the wheel has been designed as a symbiotic system for the ultimate in aerodynamics, efficiency, and pure speed.
The Shimano Dura-Ace WH-9000 C50 Carbon Tubular Wheelset is available in the color Black and with a Shimano compatible freehub body. The wheelset tips the scales around 1449 grams, and is compatible with the new Dura-Ace 9000 11-speed shift system.