When Shimano first released its Dura-Ace carbon laminated clincher, we swore we could hear palpable sighs of relief from cycling forums, group rides, and tech geeks thumbing through the glossies. Some we're sure exercised healthy skepticism, as the first round of carbon clinchers had done a good job at inspiring fear rather than confidence, but as time went on, it became clear that, by combining the lightweight of carbon with the reliability of alloy, Shimano had somehow conjured a wheel that rose above the hindrances its ancestors had faced. The Dura-Ace 9100 C24 Carbon Laminated Clincher Wheelset continues the legacy its landmark predecessor established, updated to modern standards and remaining every bit as strong a member of the carbon clincher category as it was when it was first introduced. The C24 may be the least changed member of the Dura-Ace 9100 line, with the only change coming in the form of wider flange spacing, which further increases the wheels' torsional and lateral rigidity by improving the spoke bracing angle. The previous C24 hubs were already relatively wide because of Shimano's angular contact bearings. The bearings' shape allows them to be pushed as far outboard as possible, making the hub a wider platform for the spokes to stand on and making the additional width even more impressive. Notably, and despite the increased drive stiffness, the improved spoke angle has no impact on the rim's engineered radial flex, which means the C24 still takes the edge off of harsh bumps. The rim's construction, which is ultimately responsible for the wheelset's devoted following, remains the same. It involves an alloy body that's extruded and machined to thin the walls down to an almost two-dimensional 0. 6mm wall thickness--about half of the typical alloy rim wall thickness of 1 to 1. 3mm. This obviously reduces weight to a minimum, but it also does mean the overall structure is less sound, so Shimano buttresses the rim with a jealously guarded carbon lam...
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