At Winter Press Camp 2014, we got a first look at Reynold’s plan to dive into disc brakes, and then in July, we got a closer look at the full lineup. Just recently, at Interbike 2014, we were able to catch up with Todd Tanner, product manager for Reynolds Cycling. As a former professional downhill racer, Tanner puts a premium on the ride quality and durability of his wheels, and he is responsible for every step of the design and manufacturing of Reynolds’s wheels, from concept to sales. He caught us up to speed on the further innovations Reynolds has planned for next year.
The key move can be summed up in two words: road tubeless.
If producing carbon road tubeless wheels wasn’t already enough, Reynolds has also expanded their selection of disc road wheels.
Knowing our readers are cyclocross enthusiasts, the folks at Reynolds immediately directed us to their newest ATR (All Terrain Road) technology. These tubeless wheels with a Centerlock hub were practically designed with cyclocross and adventure racing in mind. The only drawback? Their exclusivity. The All Terrain Roads were offered to independent dealers that are ready to stock Reynolds products for next year. I was quickly told that the bike shops could do whatever they wanted with the lightweight, 24 spoke wheels: including creating demos out of them or sell the set to one lucky customer.
If you’re not best friends with the local Reynold’s carrying bicycle shop, there is little need to seriously worry. For one thing, if the prototype ATRs make a huge splash in reception, Reynolds will likely take note. For another, they’re actually rebranded Black Label 29XC wheels, available for $2,400. Thirdly, Reynolds is releasing a barrage of great tubeless options for cyclocross and adventure races.
In 2015, Reynolds will be releasing their Attack, Assault, and Strike models as tubeless ready.
We asked Todd Tanner what the most important elements were when designing tubeless wheels for the road and cyclocross. “Well, we’ve been making tubeless mountain wheels for a while now,” he answered, “and we take what we’ve learned and apply it to the road. The parameters and tire pressure are very important to us. We are looking to achieve the best feel and best retention on the market in case of deflation.”
Rather than overcrowding their retailers with wheel options, Reynolds will be removing their standard clincher models from production and offer all of their wheel sets as tubeless ready, while all will come with tubeless tape and valve installed, and no difference in weight.
While Reynolds launched many of their wheels with disc brake compatibility earlier in the year, they’ve added disc brakes to the Attack, which is a great option for cyclocross as a lightweight, carbon fiber set.
As per the direction Reynolds is going in general, the hub on the Attack will be Centerlock compatible rather than the six bolt mount pattern; this reduces the weight and makes removal easier for transporting your wheels.
The three Aero models: 46 Aero, 58 Aero and 72 Aero, will all be available in tubular versions, saving a considerable amount of weight by eliminating the tire channel. Think this small area of carbon fiber is insignificant? Think again, the weight savings over the 2014 clincher models are respectively as follows: 260g, 240g and 255g over their non-tubular counterparts.
The good news is that the Aero 46 will also be available with a disc mount. Unfortunately, for 2015, the Aero disc will not yet be available in the tubular model. When I asked the reason for this, the folks at Reynolds told me there wasn’t enough demand yet.
We asked Tanner what he was most excited about for 2015. “Excited about?” he repeated our question, and then answered in a heartbeat: “the disc products for road; It’s the most exciting part of wheel development because having your braking surface as a disc offers you a clean slate: weight, ergonomics, feel, everything. Rim development has always been about braking power and heat dissipation, and with that gone, it offers us a fresh slate for design.”
For the cantilever crowd where money is no object, Reynolds has developed their RZR 46 Team, which weighs in at 1185g for a set. The rim width, at a scant 20.8mm, is clearly designed with road tubulars in mind, and the hub flanges on the rear drive side might make for an interesting cleaning job in muddy course conditions. Still, the weight of the set will make a cyclocross bike float on your shoulder. The set will also lighten up your wallet with their MSRP at $4,500.
Still too heavy for you? If you don’t race in the UCI fields, you can also get the RZR 46 (non-Team) wheel set for the same price, which weigh in at an absurdly light 968g. You might want to tie a balloon string to your bike when these wheels are installed; you wouldn’t want your race rig to fly off.
Reynolds 2015 Wheels Vital Specs:
RZR 46 (Rim Brake Tubular): Weight: 968g, MSRP: $4500, Width: 20.8mm, Rim Depth: 46mm
RZR 46 Team (Rim Brake Tubular): Weight: 1185g, MSRP: $4500, Width: 20.8mm, Rim Depth: 46mm
46 AERO Disc: Weight: 1665g, MSRP: $2675, Width: (External) 26.2mm, (Internal) 16mm, Rim Depth: 46mm
ASSAULT SLG Disc: Weight: 1565g, MSRP: $1900, Width: (External) 25mm , (Internal) 17mm, Rim Depth: 41mm
Strike SLG (Rim Brake): Weight: 1635g, MSRP: $1950, Width: (External) 25mm , (Internal) 17mm, Rim Depth: 62mm
Attack Disc: Weight: 1454g, MSRP: $1800, Width: (External) 25mm , (Internal) 17mm, Rim Depth: 29mm
The Stratus Pro Disc: Weight: 1630g, MSRP: $925, Width: (External) 21mm , (Internal) 17mm, Rim Depth: 28mm
For more information: reynoldscycling.com