Reverse EN 650b wheels review

Versatile wheels from the German brand

BikeRadar score3/5

Reverse has been selling hand-built wheelsets in Germany for a while and now they’re available through UK dealers too. There’s a range of different models, from XC to DH, 26in to 29in, but these versatile 650b wheels are likely to be the most popular for all-round riding.

The 28.5mm external, 23mm internal rims aren’t wide by the latest standards but they feel supportive and reasonably smooth with a 2.35in tyre, even at lower pressures.

While they’re not supplied tubeless ready, they convert easily with tape and valves, popping into place easily and staying there even when ripped sideways through turns.

My 32-spoke wheels have stayed tight throughout testing and, at just under 1,750g, feel keen and agile on the bike. They can feel harsh if pushed hard but I’ve had no rim ding issues despite some low-pressure boulder battering.

The ENs are supplied with 20mm, 15mm and QR front and either 135x10/12mm or 142x12mm rear adapters for the distinctive rib-centred hubs but there’s no Boost option.

The 13-degree freehub pick-up can feel gappy when you’re hustling out of corners too, and they’re expensive for the performance.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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