Shimano is going deeper into the gravel market for 2022, bolstering its existing family of GRX mechanical and electronic groupsets with a new carbon fiber gravel-focused wheelset called WH-RX870-TL.
On paper, the new RX870 wheels are about what you’d expect from the segment. Inner width on the tubeless-compatible carbon fiber rims is 25 mm, with intended tire sizes from 32-50 mm. The shallow 32 mm depth prioritizes low weight and ride comfort over aerodynamic performance, and although Shimano’s persistence with the cup-and-cone bearing design in the hubs might seem like a throwback to some, it’s a very well-proven design that’s historically very robustly sealed, durable, and easy to service. The freehub uses a conventional sprung-pawl design with an 18-point ratchet ring and 20° engagement speed.
Each wheel is built with 24 bladed straight-pull stainless steel spokes in a symmetrical two-cross pattern, with external nipples for easy servicing.
Both hubs feature Center Lock rotor compatibility for use with 12 mm thru-axles (100 x 12 mm front, 142 x 12 mm rear). Rear hubs are offered solely with a Shimano HG11 spline pattern.
Claimed weight is 1,461 g for the pair (822 g rear, 639 g front), and retail price is US$1,400 (pricing for other regions is still to be confirmed), including Shimano’s typical one-year warranty (which covers defects, but doesn’t include coverage for impact damage). Retail availability is slated for around September of this year.
More information can be found at www.shimano.com.