What Reynolds has tried to achieve with its Attack wheels is to produce an affordable carbon wheel that will rival top end aluminium clinchers in a similar price range. Essentially the Attacks are a less expensive version of Reynolds' top end 1400g MV32C wheels (£1499).
The rims on the Attacks are made from unidirectional carbon fibre with a scrim layer on the braking surface that improves stopping. With a different lay-up to its more expensive big brother, the Attack rim comes out of the mould a mere 30g heavier. Another notable feature is that Reynolds says you can inflate tyres up to 150psi, which will please those who like a firm ride.
The rims are 32mm in depth, which means they slice through the air, especially on downhill and fast, flat sections, yet they're light enough at 400g to climb like a mountain goat. They're laced into Reynolds-specific hubs using DT Swiss spokes which look good in black, but a bladed version might have made these wheels even more special as well as faster. The internal nipples make truing a bit fiddly, but hopefully the robustness and durability of a carbon rim should help keep this to a minimum.
Up front there are 20 spokes radially laced and 24 on the rear, two-cross on the drive side and radial on the other. This keeps them stiff both when climbing and hammering into corners on descents. Taiwanese hubs help keep the cost down.
They come with sealed bearings and an aluminium freehub body with six individually sprung pawls, and they tip the scales at 120g for the front and 250g for the rear. As far as generic hubs go, these are well finished and should prove reliable, but only time will tell.
Once on the bike the Attacks feel light and when you start climbing they feel super stiff like a dedicated aluminium version, yet these rims are around 100g lighter than most. There are lighter carbon rims out there but they certainly don't have the same ride feel in the hills as the Attack.
Once on the descent they cut through the air for a little extra free time with their 32mm aero shape. And to add to the ride feel, the carbon helps to soak up the road buzz with its damping effect giving a smooth ride with less feedback - a benefit certainly noticeable on longer rides. Braking is fine in the dry although somewhat noisy at times. But you will notice the need for increased braking distances in the wet.
Reynolds has achieved its goal of producing an affordable carbon climbing wheel that not only equals but beats most of its aluminium rivals at this price while offering a great ride - and let's not forget they also have major bling factor. At 1485g for the pair we think the big cost saving over the MV32C wheels is a no brainer for all apart from the biggest card-carrying weight weenies with deep pockets. We love these wheels and the overall ride feel is amazing. The weight isn't far off many tubs yet you still get the great choice of tyres associated with clincher wheels. It's good to see the carbon specific brake blocks you'll need come in the box, as do skewers, tyre levers and rim tape, so they're ready to go immediately.