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Shimano RS31s

pak-manpak-man Posts: 76
edited November 2013 in Road buying advice
I have a CAAD9 with stock Shimano R500 wheels. Looking to upgrade and just wondering if anyone has views on whether these are any good, and how much of a difference I'll notice. Seems a really good deal, is there a catch!



  • Well, they are heavier than R500s.

    If you can do the speeds to take advantage of the more aero rim, then they may be worth the punt.

    Not sure how they compare to similar from Fulcrum for example though.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    I have the RS30s and they don't appear to be that much different from the RS31's (and are a bit cheaper at Ribble, specially with some of the 10% discount codes around). They are nicer than R500 wheels but not by a huge amount (my view is the RS30s are good all rounders that will happily take the odd bump or two. Not convinced about any aero benefits of a 30mm rim at my avgs but they look nice :wink: ).

    Usually, you need to jump a big step to notice a difference, think RS80/81 from R500 level. If I had R500s that were wearing out and was looking for a cost effective step up I would think of RS30/31s or Aksiums...but if your 500s are ok then keep them until Spring time whilst you save up for some really good wheels like RS80/81 or decent handbuilts.
  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    Unless your R500s are knackered, why do you want to upgrade? They're perfectly good wheels and good value for money. I have the same bike & wheels, replaced them with the same once the rims wore out (they can be replaced with Cole C24 rims for about £30 from Evans).

    RS31s aren't an 'upgrade' IMO, they're just different, if not worse! For a start the wider 11 speed cassette body means less distance between the rear flanges, which in theory makes the wheel less laterally stiff than one with a wider flange spacing.

    The real issue with these wheels though is that, like most factory built wheels these days, they come with straight pull spokes. As I've broken a handful of spokes - and witnessed spoke breakages on other people's wheels - on long rides over the years, I steer clear of any wheel that comes with them. Aside from costing ten times as much as J-bend spokes, they're not stocked at all bike shops so if you break one when you're a long way from home you can't just get one from the nearest bike shop. This is problematic with some wheels, especially ones with only 20 or 24 spokes - when one spoke snaps some wheels go so far out of true that the rim rubs the brake pads or in some cases the tyre can rub the frame. One of the lads in our club had to call his dad to come and pick him up 50 miles from home for this reason.
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  • Thanks for the views, much appreciated. Think i might way til the new year and get a significant upgrade.
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