On Tuesday, Reynolds Cycling launched a new line of carbon clincher road wheels dubbed Aero. Bucking the trend of aero wheels going wide at both the rim and the spoke bed, the Aero wheels taper to a fine edge.
The new rims come in 58, 72 and 90mm rim heights. Respectively, the wheelsets weigh 1,570g, 1,680g and 1,900g, and cost $2,775, $2,875 and $2,975.
Reynolds Cycling call the rim shape Dispersive Effect Termination. Paul Lew, Reynolds Director of Technology and Innovation, said this shape is very stable — one goal of wider aero rims on the market. “The design dramatically reduces turbulence. And because we reduce the turbulence, we increase the predictability of steering,” Lew said.
The rims of all three are 26.2mm wide at the brake track, then taper to nearly flat. “I found that we could yaw farther with a tapered edge,” Lew said. “Plus, the efficiency of a wide leading edge to a taper far outweigh the benefits of a blunt rear (wide spoke bed).”
The 58 and 72 rims feature a “Step Hook” design near where the tire mounts to smooth air flow. The 90 rim does not, as air moves differently over that longer profile, Lew said.
The aero wheels are all carbon clinchers: the aero wheels are all carbon clinchers Ben Delaney/BikeRadar
The Aero wheels are carbon clinchers
Reynolds use a different type of carbon fiber for each of these six areas:
- Rim hook bead
- Brake track
- Tire channel
- Nipple bed
- Spoke bed
“Different areas of the wheel encounter different forces — thus the need for different fibers,” Lew said. “For example, the outermost part of the wheel, the hook bead, faces impact stress but little tension, whereas the spoke face has high tension but no impact stress. The varying epoxies are selected similarly.”
The wheels are built with custom DT Swiss hubs and DT Swiss spokes.
As for tire selection, Lew believes that a 21c tire is aerodynamically better than a 23c tire — by about two watts, although this is partially offset by the higher rolling resistance of a narrower tire. “And performance drops off significantly when you go to 25c. You could mitigate that with a wider rim, but then that wouldn’t fit in a standard road bike set-up.”
Check back to BikeRadar soon for a report on Reynolds Cycling’s new mountain bike wheels.