Shimano WH-7800 Wheelset Review

shimano-wh-7800The Shimano WH-7800 needs no introduction for experienced racers, . However, for those new to the industry, the WH-7800 is like Volkswagen Beetles used to be in Germany. Everyone has at least one in their garage and even if they don’t use them exclusively any more, but with solid and time tested engineering they still remains an icon of the industry.

At one point, the Shimano WH-7800 was the gold standard of the Shimano’s top-end Dura-Ace line.  This sturdy aluminum offering has always been the go-to default rim for aspiring racers. With aerodynamics at least as good as any standard depth aluminum rim on the market, there’s no doubt that this wheelset can still hold its own on even the fastest circuits today. Part of the reason for this is Shimano’s historically visionary engineering, as all 7800’s are blessed with an oversized 15mm axle. Though first engineered at a time when racing bikes were tank-solid, the Shimano WH-7800’s thicker axle is a great way to compensate for today’s rubber band racing forks. This gives the wheel a great deal of stability in this day and age of flexible fliers.

The wheels spoke count and material type have stood the test of time as well and its tendency to resist loosening and bending is well documented.  Many a 250+ lb. rider has turned to the WH-7800’s sturdiness to make safe speed a given.

The only down-side to this wheelset is exactly what one would expect it to be.  Making rapid evolution a priority Shimano has since introduced several more advanced models to its lineup.  As such, some would attest that the WH-7800 is a tad bit heavy for racing use, but for the price it remains a fantastic alternative to other manufacturer’s supposedly new-and-improved wheels. A silky smooth ride, great handling, and plenty of braking and stability for rapid descents are just a few of the 7800’s strengths.

One word of advice though: be very careful when purchasing a used set of Shimano WH-7800's, as some riders have abused these wheels to the point of metal fatigue, a fatal error where aluminum rims are concerned.

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