It's been a while since Shimano showed its GRX range some love. While we were hoping that it would be in the form of some shiny new groupsets, instead Shimano has upgraded GRX's wheel options with a set of RX870 carbon wheels.
Shimano already has an alloy GRX wheelset which was launched along with Shimano's GRX drivetrains back in 2019. The existing alloy GRX wheels were aimed at budget gravel riders however Shimano says the new GRX carbon wheelset, which will be positioned as the brand's best gravel bike wheels, has been designed to offer 'reliable performance in a modern gravel wheel package'.
The tubeless-ready rims measure 32mm deep with 25mm internal and 30mm external rim widths, which is on the money for a modern wide gravel wheelset aimed at racing or exploring alike. The recommended tire width range of 32-50mm should give plenty of flexibility to run your preferred tire width too.
Built using 24 spokes front and rear, the hubs feature tried and tested cup and cone bearings for simple servicing and reliability, a system that is used across Shimano's existing wheel range.
Shimano doesn't make any specific reference to which freehub standards will be available although the press release did include a picture with an HG freehub fitted confirming it will be compatible with the current 11-speed and 10-speed GRX groupsets. We are still holding on to our 2022 MTB predictions with our fingers crossed for the launch of a new 12-speed GRX, if the time should come, we would assume these wheels will be Microspline compatible as well.
Shimano states that the RX870 wheelset will weigh 1,461 grams (front-wheel 639g, rear-wheel 822g) which is decently light and should make for a lively ride feel off-road.
Shimano has priced the RX870 GRX Carbon wheels at $1,399.99, there is no official UK pricing although the RX870 wheels have the same US pricing as Shimano's Ultegra wheels so we expect they will cost around £1,259.99 in the UK.