Reynolds Cycling have trickled several features from their top-end RZR 92 road wheelset down the range for 2011, while mountain bikers can look forward to easier tubeless compatibility.
Of all the changes to the road wheels, riders are most likely to benefit from the new braking surface. This skips the old scrim layer in favour of a new laminate and special heat-conductive resins that, the company claim, are better able to dissipate energy.
When combined with Reynolds' new carbon-specific Cryo Blue pads, the result is apparently a twofold 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' updated brake track supposedly dissipates heat twice as well as the old one
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, this raised ridge on the nose of the rim cross-section 'trips' the flow of air and creates a small vacuum at the trailing edge, helping to 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 neutralise 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-anodised freehub body out back.
Reynolds' Paul Lew says the 0.9mm-thick Swirl Lip Generator reduces aerodynamic drag
Vastly improved rim graphics are included for the 2011 model year as well, with colour options to include white, silver and red. Respective retail prices for the tubular versions are US$2,200, $2,300 and $2,400. All-carbon clinchers will be offered for another $250.
The more value orientated Attack, Assault, and Strike carbon clinchers will continue unchanged in terms of function but they'll get new graphics, too.
Mountain bike wheels
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 AM rim is wider and deeper for greater stiffness and increased tyre casing support – critical for larger-volume rubber – but also a tad heavier at 360g apiece and more stoutly built with 28 spokes instead of 24.
The wider, deeper AM rim lends greater tyre casing support than typical cross-country rims
Both rims will still have conventionally drilled spoke holes so they'll 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 laced 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 through-axle.
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 lower than Reynolds' usual prices at $1,500 for the AM and $1,600 for the XC.
Hubs on Reynolds' new off-road wheels are sourced from Asia instead of DT Swiss
Want more? Be sure to check out our video coverage of Reynolds at Eurobike.