Lets face it, deep wheels look very cool... they generally make you go faster too. With the arrival of Dura Ace R9100 come's Shimano's C60 clinchers.
I've been riding around on the 'WH-R9100-C60-CL' wheelset, Shimano's carbon laminated clincher. Here are my first impressions...
Despite their name, the C60 clinchers we have on test are 50mm deep with a rim width of 22.4m and run 16 spokes on the front and 21 spokes on the rear. Claimed weight is 832g (front) and 1019g (rear) for and overall weight of 1,851g. Our test pair came in at 1830g (ex. skewers and rim tape)... so I would not be putting these in the lightweight category by any means.
The C60 clinchers like the previous C50 remain a carbon laminated wheel. Basically the carbon section of the wheel is laminated to an aluminium section that is used as a braking surface and outer section of the rim. There are full carbon versions of this wheel available but not as a clincher, just tubular. I'd really like to see Shimano produce this wheel (and the C40) as a full carbon clincher with tubeless compatibility to drop some weight and open it up to a wider market.
The new 'stealth' Dura Ace R9100 branding looks really nice on these wheels, and on the bike they look great. Close inspection by my resident wheel guru from Essendon Cyclery raised no concerns with build quality. Out the box they were straight, with even spoke tension, were nicely put together and finished to the high standard you would expect. I'd describe these wheels as solid. If you're someone that wants to throw on a pair of deeper wheels to use on an everyday basis in a range of weather conditions, these are a pretty good option. You'll get consistent braking from the aluminium and a tough built rim and hub combo that is like to take some serious abuse from a heavy or powerful rider.
So how did they feel on the road? They don't spin up to speed quite as fast as I would like, I'll put that down to extra weight being carried, but once rolling they held speed well, are plenty stiff and most importantly to me, handled cross wind reasonably given their 50mm depth. I also found that that they added stability to my bike when descending at higher speeds.
If you're a mountain goat or love riding out in the hills I'd turn you toward the C40 or C24 over these, the C60 is more of a flat land offering for the sprinters, or dare I say it, for triathletes out there.
The Dura-Ace hubs performed well and if they are anything like other Shimano hubs I own they will just work for km after km.
The aluminium braking surface made it easy for me to jump between the C60's and my climbing wheels with no replacement of brake pads or even adjustment of the brakes. When the weather turned nasty the brakes still worked due to the alloy surface and you'll like get plenty of wear out of them.
Price wise, the C60s can be found for around AU$2,000 for the pair. In today's particularly competitive carbon wheel market that's a lot of coin and you'll likely find a full carbon offering for the same money if that's what you're after.
Overall, a solid wheel set that should provide a great mix of performance and durability while being capable of being ridden in just about all conditions.
Disclosure statement: These wheels were provided to us by Shimano. This is not a paid review and we do not receive any proceeds from the sale of Shimano products.