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Shimano WH-RS81-C24-TL Clincher Wheelset

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700c Wheelset (Pair)

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Shimano WH-RS81-C24-TL Clincher Wheelset
Shimano WH-RS81-C24-TL Clincher Wheelset
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Shimano RS-81 Tubeless

I am a recreational rider on a 2013 Madone 5.2. I love my bike but it is a little harsh in the bumps. I decided to upgrade to tubeless. My wheels, 2008 Ksyrium sl ssc's, have proven to be pretty bullet-proof. With a kit, I could convert them to tubeless, but I suspected a labor intensive conversion. So I gambled on the RS-81's, and put on Hutchinson Sector 28mm tires. I am glad I did.

The big problem with going tubeless is getting the tires to seat so they don't leak. My front tire took 48 hrs, and my rear took 4-5 days. During this period, they would leak about 50lbs every eight hours. Now, they hardly leak at all. I have not put air in them for two weeks and they are rolling smooth and fast.

The RS-81's are lighter than the Sl Mavics, and spin up noticeably faster. Once at speed, they were no faster than the Sl's, but now that they are breaking in, they are a bit faster, too. I have about 250 miles on them, and they just keep getting faster.

What I really like about the RS-81's is that there are no internal spoke holes. The only hole is for the valve stem. This means no chasing leaks.

If I were a serious racer, or a total weight weenie, I would have opted for the Dura Ace, to save about 100g and for bragging rights with their titanium hubs. But the RS-81 has cold forged aluminum hubs, which are truly excellent and more durable than the standard drop-forged hubs that most wheel makers use. The Dura Ace were almost double the price. Instead I ordered KCNC titanium skewers which weigh 42 g, while all of the Shimano skewers weigh over 120g. If I were changing wheels often, I would keep the Shimano skewers, but since I never plan to remove my wheels, I am fine with the finicky, extra-light skewers.

I highly recommend these wheels. I got the 24 mm because I mostly ride on the bikepath that parallels the ocean, so it is often breezy, and sometimes the wind gusts. 35 or 50mm rims would catch the wind and be a problem.

I am not easily impressed: These wheels are awesome!

Pros: Light, fast, no leaks

Cons: none yet, but expecting the rim coating to peel--based upon reviews of the RS-81 CS

Would Buy Again: Yes
Would Recommend: Yes

Reviewed on: April 13, 2017
Reviewed by: David J.

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