Santa Cruz collaborates with Cervélo for new range of Reserve carbon road and gravel wheels

New aero road and gravel wheelsets backed by a lifetime warranty

Reserve 50 road wheel

Santa Cruz has announced it is collaborating with Cervélo to bring a range of aero, carbon road and gravel wheels to market in 2021, under the Reserve brand.

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Unlike some other recently launched wheels from major brands, the road-specific rims aren’t hookless or crazily wide. Instead, with their hooked rims, 21mm internal and 27.5mm external widths, they’re more similar in profile to something like HED’s Jet range, albeit slightly wider externally.

The gravel wheelset on the other hand is more progressive. It still has hooked rims, but has a wider 24mm internal width designed to offer better support for larger off-road tyres.

The wheelsets are all disc-brake only and are built with 24 bladed spokes front and rear on DT Swiss 240 hubs. The graphics are also what you might call… ‘Reserved’.

All of the wheels are tubeless-compatible and are shipped with tubeless rim strips already installed. All you’ll need to add are tubeless-ready tyres and sealant.

Having hooked rims does mean they’re compatible with standard clinchers tyres though, if that’s more to your taste.

Initially, the wheels will be available exclusively on Cervélo model-year 2021 bikes, but aftermarket availability will follow in early 2021.

Reserve 35 road wheels
Reserve’s new 35 road wheels are designed to be lightweight and easy to handle.

Reserve Road wheelset range details and specifications

WheelsetDepthInternal / external rim widthSpokes (front & rear)Rim weight (claimed)Wheelset weight (claimed)Price
Reserve 65 (65mm rear + 50mm front set)65mm21mm / 27.5mm24 / 24520g1,673g$2,400
Reserve 5050mm21mm / 27.5mm24 / 24490g1,638g$2,400
Reserve 3535mm21mm / 27.5mm24 / 24395g1,449g$2,400

The Reserve 65 is a rear wheel designed to be paired with a Reserve 50 front wheel.

As you’d expect, it’s a wheelset that focuses on optimising aerodynamics for road use. Reserve says a 25mm tyre is optimal from an aero perspective, according to its testing.

The Reserve 50 wheelset is claimed to offer the perfect balance of speed, weight and handling for all types of road racing.

For those more concerned with weight, the Reserve 35 wheelset shaves off a claimed 189g compared to the Reserve 50 wheelset. This is claimed to make it the ultimate climbing wheelset, but is likely to come at the expense of some aerodynamic efficiency due to the reduced rim depth.

Reserve tells us that while it did test these wheels against major competitors in a wind tunnel (and that its wheels performed well), it isn’t willing to share the data or results of that testing.

This is because it believes such testing can be too easily manipulated in the favour of any particular wheel or manufacturer, simply by controlling the variables to favour the desired characteristics. Aero geeks out there may be disappointed there’s no data to pour over or help inform their purchasing decisions, though.

Reserve Gravel wheelset range details and specifications

WheelsetDepthInternal / external rim widthSpokes (front & rear)Rim weight (claimed)Wheelset weight (claimed)Price
Reserve 3232mm24mm / 30.5mm24410g1,515g$2,400

Santa Cruz says the Reserve 32 wheels’ 24mm internal and 30.5mm external widths are designed for optimum performance with a 32mm tyre.

It also claims the wheel still retains some aerodynamic efficiency benefits thanks to the relatively tall (for gravel wheels) 32mm rim profile, but it hasn’t provided data to substantiate this.

Service and support

Similar to its carbon mountain bike wheels, Reserve offers a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects to the original owner, and a crash replacement programme that offers replacement wheels for free if a rim breaks while riding.

It also offers low-cost replacements for wheels damaged by non-riding incidents (should you somehow accidentally run over a wheel while reversing out of the driveway, for example).

Reserve 35 road wheel
Reserve’s 35 road wheelset can also be used off-road with gravel tyres.

Pricing and availability

Pricing is very simple, with every wheelset in both the Road and Gravel range costing $2,400. International pricing is TBC, but at current conversion rates that’s around £1,953 / €2,137.

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As previously mentioned, the wheels will first be available exclusively on Cervélo model-year 2021 bikes and then aftermarket in 2021.