Sea Otter 2012: Reynolds' new 650b and 29er wheels

28mm deep carbon hoops with bright red hubs

Best known for their carbon road wheels, Reynolds Cycling have recently been making a big push into the mountain bike market. Showing up at Sea Otter were two new tubeless models for release later this year: a 29er set and a similar pair for 650b tires.

Both of the new wheelsets use the same 21mm internal widths for better casing support of high-volume, low-pressure tires, plus tubeless-compatible tire beds that require only a few layers of tape and some sealant to be airtight. Rim depth is a fairly generous 28mm but not for aerodynamic purposes. According to Reynolds' Len Cabaltera, the deeper section allows for shorter spokes and greater bracing angles, thus boosting lateral rigidity and strength.

Aside from the different spoke count (the 29ers have 24 spokes front and rear while the 650b wheels use 28), both wheels use the same bright red anodized hubset with interchangeable end caps for all common axle standards, straight-pull stainless steel spokes anchored in large-diameter flanges, and external nipples for easier maintenance.

Claimed weight for the 29er wheels is 1,575g per pair and target weight for the 650b wheels is 1,550-1,580g. Cabaltera didn't have a price estimate for the 650b wheels when BikeRadar spoke with him at Sea Otter but we expect it'll be similar to the 29er's US$1,950 suggested retail cost. Both new wheelsets are due late this year.

Rear hubs feature an aluminum freehub body, straight-pull spokes and interchangeable end caps for different axle fitments:

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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