Shimano Entry Grade Wheels Comparison (R500/R501/RS100/RS010)

Posted at: Mar 18, 2021

This section introduces the specifications of Shimano's entry-grade wheels, WH-R500, WH-R501, WH-RS100, and WH-RS010, as well as the differences between them and the models to choose from based on new and used market prices.

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How to tell them apart

First, let’s look at how to distinguish the appearance of Shimano’s entry grade wheels. The following four items are currently available as new or used Shimano entry grade wheels.

  1. WH-R500
  2. wh-r501
  3. wh-rs010
  4. wh-rs100


The oldest, WH-R500, is marked by a streamlined sticker on the rim that says “R500”.

WH-R500 rim sticker design

If you are in an environment where you can see the actual product, you can look at the hub and it should have “WH-R500” printed on it.


The WH-R501 is the most common model on the market, and is marked by a flat, blocky logo; if the R is in red and the 500 is in white, it’s definitely the WH-R501.

The angular and distinctive WH-R501 rim sticker design

The easiest way to make a mistake is to use WH-R501 but the logo is “R500”. If you want to be sure of the model number here too, check the hub of the wheel. The “R500” logo is also printed on the hub, but there should be a small “WH-R501” printed next to it.


The current model, WH-RS010, has a similar design to the WH-RS100, but if you know both of them, you can clearly see the difference because the WH-RS100 has a streamlined logo design while the WH-RS010 has a slightly blocky font in italics. It also features a red and white line design next to the “RS” logo.

WH-RS010 rim sticker with red and white line design next to the RS logo

Another difference is that the “RS” logo is “two places on each side” on the rim.


The WH-RS100 is an easy wheel to distinguish because of its streamlined logo design again. If you see the “RS” logo on the rim in “three places on each side”, you can be sure that it is the WH-RS100.

WH-RS100 rim sticker design with streamlined 'RS' logo

If you want to be sure of the model number here too, check the hub of the wheel.

Specifications of each wheels


The WH-R500 was once a standard entry-level model, and although it has been discontinued for quite some time now and new ones are almost impossible to find, they can be found in used stores and auctions for as little as $40.

Wheel Speed Rim height Rim material Compatible tire Weight(Front) Weight(Rear)
WH-R500 8-speed,9-speed,10-speed 24mm Aluminum 19C-28C 847g 1,097g

The successor is WH-R501.


The successor to Shimano’s WH-R500, the WH-R501 is Shimano’s standard entry wheel, and the term “iron clogs” often refers to the WH-R501 in Japan.

The WH-R501 is the successor to the WH-R500 and is Shimano’s standard entry-level wheel. From Shimano’s official page, it seems to be TIAGRA grade.


Wheel Speed Rim height Rim material Compatible tire Weight(Front) Weight(Rear)
WH-R501 8-speed,9-speed,10-speed 24mm Aluminum 23C-32C 820g 1,069g


WH-R501, which had been a standard entry-level wheel for a long time, was discontinued, and WH-RS010 was released as a new entry-level wheel with equivalent specifications.


According to the official specs, the rear of the bike is heavier than the WH-R501, and the rear has an offset rim to support 11-speed. It also has Cup & Cone Bearing technology, which some reviewers say makes it spin better for the price.

Wheel Speed Rim height Rim material Compatible tire Weight(Front) Weight(Rear)
WH-RS010 8-speed,9-speed,10-speed,11-speed 24mm Aluminum 23C-32C 818g 1,102g


This is a Shimano entry-level wheel of the same grade as the WH-R501, and is the latest model among Shimano’s entry-level wheels. The model number is similar, but it is a different wheel from the WH-RS010 mentioned above.


According to the official specs, both the rear and front are heavier than the WH-R501. The WH-R501 does not support 11-speed, so if you want to use 11-speed, you should use the WH-RS100 or the WH-RS010 (see below).

Wheel Speed Rim height Rim material Compatible tire Weight(Front) Weight(Rear)
WH-RS100 8-speed,9-speed,10-speed,11-speed 24mm Aluminum 23C-32C 827g 1,105g

Comparison of R500/R501/RS100/RS010

Finally, let’s compare each of them.

wheel shift speed compatible tire weight(front) weight(rear)
WH-R500 8-speed,9-speed,10-speed 19C~28C 847g 1,097g
WH-R501 8-Speed,9-Speed,10-Speed 23C~32C 820g 1,069g
WH-RS010 8-speed,9-speed,10-speed,11-speed 23C~32C 818g 1,102g
WH-RS100 8 Speed,9 Speed,10 Speed,11 Speed 23C~32C 827g 1,105g

If you are looking for a new bike, the WH-RS010 is the best choice because of its 11-speed support and Cone Bearing technology, which allows you to upgrade to higher grade components in the future.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a good balance between cheapness and lightness, WH-R501 is also a good choice. If you want to try it out cheaply, you can also buy a used one.

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