Eurobike 2010: Reynolds Cycling revamps road range

Tubeless mountain bike wheels introduced

Reynolds Cycling has trickled several features from its range topping RZR 92 down to its inline road collection for 2011 while mountain bikers can look forward to easier tubeless compatibility on the off-road range.

Of all the changes, Reynolds' road consumers are most likely to benefit from the new braking surface, which skips the old scrim layer in favor of a new laminate and special heat-conductive resins that the company claims are better able to dissipate energy. When combined with Reynolds' new carbon-specific Cryo Blue pads, the result is apparently a two-fold improvement in heat dispersion – to date still a key drawback of carbon rims on long descents, especially clinchers – plus more predictable modulation and control.

Reynolds' premium Thirty-Two, Forty-Six, and Sixty-Six road wheels – far simpler monikers than the old alphanumeric system – also benefit from the RZR's unique Swirl Lip Generator. Just 0.9mm thick, the raised ridge on the nose of the rim cross-section 'trips' the flow and creates a small vacuum at the trailing edge, helping pull the conjoining layers of air back together.

According to Reynolds director of technology and innovation Paul Lew, this feature plays even more of a role at higher yaw angles and also helps neutralize the effect of crosswinds.

The Thirty-Two, Forty-Six, and Sixty-Six wheelsets will again feature DT Swiss 240s hubs front and rear but with a new blue-anodized freehub body out back. Vastly improved rim graphics are included for the 2011 model year as well, with color options to include white, silver, and red.

Respective retail prices for the tubular versions are US$2,200, US$2,300, and US$2,400. All-carbon clinchers will be offered as well for another US$250.

The more value oriented Attack, Assault, and Strike carbon clinchers will continue on unchanged in terms of function but they'll get new graphics, too.

Reynolds will also release in November tubeless-ready cross-country and all-mountain off-road wheels – simply called XC and AM.

The standard-width XC is matched with a similarly slim 20mm profile and 24-hole drilling for a claimed rim weight of just 290g while tougher resins and carbon laminates are intended to improve durability and crack resistance.

The wider and deeper AM rim lends greater tire casing support than typical cross-country rims.

On the other hand, the AM rim is wider and deeper for greater stiffness and increased tire casing support – critical for larger-volume tires – but also a tad heavier at 360g apiece and more stoutly built with 28 spokes instead of 24.

Both rims will still have conventionally drilled spoke holes and so will need additional rim strips to make them airtight, but only down the central channel. And unlike Reynolds' upper-end road offerings, the XC and AM will be built with straight-pull DT Swiss Revolution spokes to Asian-sourced hubs rather than the proven DT Swiss units. However, front hubs on the AM will be convertible between 9mm quick-release and 15mm or 20mm thru-axle fitments.

Claimed weight on the XC is around 1,230g for the pair while the AM will tip the scales at around 1,550g. Due largely to the hub swap, suggested retail price for both wheelsets will be a bit more reasonable than usual at US$1,500 for the AM and US$1,600 for the XC.

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