Sneak preview 2008
By Jez Loftus
It's that time of year again when we get the annual call to a Shimano launch, only to be slapped with an embargo holding us to secrecy till the middle of the year. This becomes even more annoying when there's some juicy kit to report on but for the sake of being hunted down by a pack of ronin we'll have to leave you in Shimano's self imposed shadow until later in the year.
It's not all cloak and dagger stuff and there are a few things we can reveal.
One of the additions to the road range is the new Dura-Ace hub and wheelsets. The new hub features a faster, double pawl freehub that's claiming 125% quicker engagement with double contact seals improving foul weather performance. Of the new Dura-Ace wheelsets there are four to choose from, all run on the new hub.
Probably the most interesting of which is the carbon-alloy composite clincher. With a name that just rolls off the tongue the WH-7850-C24-CL features an ultra thin aluminium skeleton reinforced with carbon to strengthen critical areas. The carbon build-up around the spoke holes looks particularly striking. Claimed weight is 1388g (pair)
For the TT specialist there's the carbon hi-profile tubular weighing in at 1485g (pair).
There's also a regular carbon tubular wheelset that lowers the weight bar even further to 1209g (pair). This is intended as a race ready tubular and features specific rim profiles with a 28mm aero front and a 24mm asymmetrical rear.
The fourth wheel in the range is an improvement on the current tubeless design and the Scandium rimmed wheel will be the choice for anyone wishing to roll without tubes.
There are further changes down the line but at the moment Shimano are icy cold about realising details.