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Shimano RS81 Review

Shimano RS81 belongs to the brand’s ‘non-series’ model of wheels. These wheelsets are up to Ultegra level. As you would imagine, these wheels are race ready right out of the box. The wheels can be a bit stiff but are highly stable and comfortable. In fact, these wheels are comfy enough to ride all day. This wheelset offers a number of features in one package. These wheels are great for achieving the desired speed in less time, holding up the momentum and riding firm even in the cross wind. The 35mm rim depth is really the secret in how speedy and quick these wheels are.

These wheels can be described as very versatile with a number of uses. They are intended for racing, but you can commute or even try some basic cyclocross action with these wheels. You will not be bogged down by activity-specifics when you buy the wheels. These wheels come with a carbon and alloy combination arrangement. The rim is 20.8mm in width. The brake track has been made aluminum, so it offers far better heat removal than the carbon ones. The accelerated heat disposal is important when it comes to aero performance. The rim depth of either 24mm or 50mm also adds to the aero advantage and the overall lightweights.

These wheels come with aluminum hubs that are cold forged and radially laced. The spokes cross the drive side adding stiffness underweight. The bearing settings are as always Shimano’s signature cup and cone arrangement. It eliminates resistance and is also easy to service at home. These wheels are by no means light, but they are great for many types of activities.


  • Suitable for both commuter and cyclocross bikes
  • Versatile
  • Picks up speed quick
  • Minimal resistance


  • Heavy
  • Expensive

The Verdict

If you are looking for a good set of wheels for a cyclocross bike, then Shimano RS81 wheels would fit just fine.

The wheels are good as the brand has been acclaimed for. The downside is that this wheelset is quite weighty. But you can still comfortably commute for daily needs.

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