As the name suggests, the Reserve 32 Gravel wheels are gravel-specific, but these are deliberately different to a lot of similar products.
Whereas many wheelsets aim for a combination of performance and comfort that tips the balance towards extended ride comfort, these wheels have been designed to facilitate the pursuit of power and speed.
To be clear, it’s not uncomfortable, just more ‘on it’ in terms of response.
The carbon rims are 32mm deep with an internal width of 24mm. Tubeless-ready, they support tyres ranging from 24mm to an optimal 45mm width. The spokes are a blade construction and the hub is a DT 350.
Testing the wheels blind – without reading up on any product information in order to avoid preconceptions – what struck me was that they feel stiffer than any similarly specified wheels I have ridden.
There is a definite buzz of feedback through the hands but it’s not unpleasant, and that stiffness translates into pleasingly precise tracking and an instant surge out of corners as you tap the pedal and ask for more.
On subsequent rides with the Reverse 32s, it became increasingly clear that it’s when you put the power down that they really come alive. Simply put, the harder you ride, the more you get out of them.
Cruise along and the 32 is just another stiff wheel, but start to wind things up and you can feel the momentum building. It’s as though it sucks in all your energy and power, amplifies it and then spits it out. There’s no way you won’t want to go faster.
The DT Swiss hub is the same one that I have used for years mountain biking, and even in that more technically demanding terrain I’ve never had any reason to touch them.
Although these wheels haven’t seen anything like that punishment yet, the fact that I’ve never had an issue reassures me of their long-term durability.
If all-day comfort, or touring, is your gravel aspiration these won’t be the wheels for you (try the Reserve 25), but if going faster is an itch you want to scratch, the Reserve 32 will allow you to indulge it without wasting an ounce of efficiency or power.