Reynolds Cycling is offering a bunch of new wheels for cyclocrossers this season, in tubular and clincher form, for rim brakes and disc brakes. While we got an early look at some of the new Reynolds carbon wheel options at Winter Press Camp 2014, at Summer Press Camp in June, we saw more of the new wheels, and versions that are closer to the production models.
Reynolds 46 Aero Disc Carbon Wheels
Reynolds showcased their upcoming offerings at Press Camp 2014, leaving serious cyclocross racers with some attractive, high-end decisions to consider, in addition to the new Zipp offerings we also profiled. Last year, Reynolds hailed their 46 Aero as the versatile wheel set, designed to accommodate everything from time trials to gravel grinders, from cyclocross races to criteriums. For 2015, they put a serious emphasis on this statement by offering a disc version as well. Reynolds claims that a 46mm deep rim provides some of the greatest aerodynamic benefits in a multitude of conditions, and keeps the rim depth consistent with the earlier rim brake model.
The 46 Aero uses what Reynolds calls CR6 (carbon rim 6) technology, which is the combination of six different layups that comprises the rim: spoke face, nipple bed, tire channel, rim hook bead, sidewall, and brake track. The 46 Aero Disc, in the clincher, will likely resemble the carbon lay-ups of the 29 XC and 27.5 XC, both of which render a brake track obsolete. The Aero 46 Disc will also be available as a tubular wheel, further minimizing the need for carbon lay-ups.
For the specific needs of disc brakes, Reynolds increased the spoke count to account for the torsional force of a disc brake system: the front and rear wheels will each increase the DT Swiss Aerolite spoke count to 24 each.
Both the clincher and tubular models will be available for Fall 2014, retailing at $2,675. The 46 Aero Disc naturally keeps the 46mm depth; the external width comes to 26.2mm, and the hook to hook measurement of the clincher model is 16mm.
Assault SLG Disc and Attack Disc Carbon Wheels
Reynolds’ is going all in on cyclocross this year, with their July promotion of Assault SLG wheelsets, which include a free set of Hutchinson TORO CX tires. The new wheels update the disc brake rotor interface to the increasingly popular Centerlock interface. Centerlock can be slightly lighter than six-bolt equivalents, and in the rare case that you have a pit mechanic cleaning and maintaining your bikes on race day and destroy rotors on the ’cross course, you may prefer the 2015 wheelsets. With the correct tools, Centerlock rotors are faster to replace, and could offer better alignment (although to take advantage of the wide variety of six bolt rotors out there, you will also need an adaptor, which will more than eliminate the weight gains of the Centerlock system).
Otherwise, the differences between the 2014 and 2015 Assault SLG Discs are minute. Each rim will still weigh in at 438 grams, come with 24 bladed spokes in both the front and rear, and measure a rim depth of 41 mm. The external width of the Assault SLG rims measure at 25mm, and the rim’s internal width comes to 17 mm.
The more abrupt splash for 2015 might come from the Assault’s lightweight brother, the Reynolds Attack. Last year, Reynolds widened the rim profile to an external width of 25mm and internal width of 17mm, making the wheels far more suitable for ’cross than the earlier iterations. Each rim weighs in at just 380 grams. This year, the Attack comes in a disc option, making the Reynolds Attack Disc a lightweight option for modern disc brake bikes.
While the rim specs remain the same apart from the higher spoke count (the Assault SLG Disc and Attack Disc wheels come with DT Swiss Aero Comp spokes), the full set weighs in at 1454 grams. Like the 46 Aero Disc, the Attack Disc will be first available Fall 2014 in clincher form.
Blacklabel 29 XC
Tubeless cyclocross fans shouldn’t shirk away from Reynolds’ mountain bike 29er wheels. On paper, Reynolds’ Blacklabel 29 XC that we first previewed in February looks like it has cyclocross races and gravel grinds embedded in its DNA.
Newly released for the Fall of 2014, the Blacklabel 29 XC will come with 28 spokes in the front and rear, with a triple spoke pattern on both the drive and non-drive sides. No need to worry about tubeless setup: it arrives to your local dealer with tubeless tape and valves pre-installed. The major advantage the Blacklabel has over the Reynolds 29 XC is the upgraded hub, which is a DT 240S Straight-Pull CL. The external width measures at 26mm, with the internal sitting at 19mm. The rim depth is shallow at 24mm. With the strength of a triple-crossed spoke pattern and a mountain bike rim, one would expect this to weigh in at far more than Reynolds’ claimed weight of 1440 grams for the full wheel set, and will cost $2,400.
Because at this time, Reynolds does not offer road tubeless wheels, the Blacklabel 29 XC is the company’s top-shelf offering for tubeless cyclocross racers with a disc brake bike.
Last year, Reynolds began switching from decals to ink jet printing, which removes the aesthetic need to apply a protective clear coat. For 2015, Reynolds appears to continue this trend with the majority of their carbon offerings, including the Blacklabel 29 XC.
Find out more at www.reynoldscycling.com
Stay tuned into cxmagazine.com for more upcoming products!
2015 Reynolds Cycling Cyclocross Wheel Options Photo Gallery: