Shimano’s gone carbon on several new Dura-Ace spec, perhaps teasing at the prospect of carbon cranks in the future (don’t hold your breath).Â Just unveiled are their new C35 full carbon tubular and carbon/alloy clincher wheelsets.
First seen as prototypes under Pro Tour riders over the past year, the new C35’s have finally passed Shimano’s quality control testing and are now available to the every man. Shimano claims they have most of the aero advantages of their deeper section C50 (50mm deep) rims, but weigh 75g less per rim, and 155g total weight savings per wheelset. Given that the weight savings are at the rim, the pros have said they feel a lot snappier and faster.
The rims are crafted with high modulus carbon through a proprietary manufacturing process and then assembled by hand in Shimanoâ€™s own wheel factory. In fact, each wheel has its own control number that can be traced back to the specific builder, so like most higher end wheels these days, they’re not just mass produced.
Hit more to see the clincher, get full tech specs, pricing and weights…
Per usual, the tubular wheelset comes in much lighter, in this case owing in part to its full carbon rim construction. The clincher, shown above, uses an alloy clincher/brake track section bonded to the carbon dish, providing very similar aero advantages but coming in 140g heavier for the set.
Shimano’s sticking to their tried and true angular contact bearing system, but they’ve upgraded the preload adjustment. Called “digital bearing preload adjustment”, it allows you to dial in the bearing preload much the same way you always have by tightening or loosening end caps. The potential problem with older systems is that once you’ve got the bearing preload just where you want it, you go and clamp the skewer down and add a compressive force to it, adding drag to the bearings. It can become a real game of balancing one versus the other to keep your wheels tight in the frame and spinning freely.
Shimano’s new system puts the skewer clamp force directly on the axle, which has no effect on the bearings, keeping the wheels spinning free and smooth even if you like to clamp hard.
With the focus on larger axles on mountain bikes, Shimano figured it couldn’t hurt to bump up front end tracking stiffness on the road, too. The axle on the new DA wheels grows to 12mm in diameter from 11mm on previous models. The rear axle stays the same.
Here’s the spec breakdown from Shimano:
35mm High Modulus Carbon Rim
– Improved acceleration performance by balancing aerodynamics & rigidity
– Shimano proprietary carbon rim construction
Digital Bearing Adjustment System
– Digital cone-bearing adjustment for better rotation performance
Angular Contact Bearings
– Cup & cone bearing for easy maintenance and longer durability
– Angular contact bearings are most efficient regardless of the angle of loading
Increased Axial Rigidity
– Oversized aluminum axles enhance rigidity by preventing compression and maintaining smooth rotation
– C35 Tubular : 1330 grams
– C35 Clincher : 1470 grams
– C35 Tubular: $2499.99
– C35 Clincher: $1999.99
Both wheelsets will be available in December 2010.