With its name standing for ‘All Terrain Road’, the Reynolds ATR wheelset range is one of the latest designed to spread itself across the world of road and gravel.
The ATRx sits in the middle of that range, offering an upgraded hub and spokes over the entry-level ATR. The entire range features 40mm-deep hooked carbon rims, with a wide 23mm internal width to support a broad spectrum of tyres.
Testing over months of mixed duties has revealed the ATRx wheelset to be a great all-round performance bundle. If you only want one carbon wheelset in your life, this should be on your shortlist.
Reynolds ATRx details and specifications
Reynolds is clear when it describes the ATRx wheelset: “All Terrain Road is a design that mates road performance with off-road resilience.”
The brand uses a 40mm-deep carbon rim design, with a maximum external width of 32mm. Reynolds says this rim profile is optimised for solid aerodynamic performance and excellent stability across all wind directions.
This yields a rounded, blunt profile, made all the blunter by the 23mm internal rim width.
The rim wall curves inwards towards the rim edge. Because the rims are hooked, as opposed to hookless, you have the choice to use either clincher or tubeless tyres.
The ATRx wheelset uses the brand’s own ‘All Road’ hub, with 10-degree engagement from a four-pawl freehub rolling around steel bearings.
Everything is laced together using Sapim CX-Delta aero-profiled spokes, and the ATRx wheelset gets lighter alloy nipples versus the brass nipples fitted to the cheaper ATR.
The wheelset is claimed to weigh 1,620g. I weighed it on the BikeRadar scales at 1,606g including rim tape and tubeless valves.
Reynolds offers the ATRx wheelset with a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects. There’s also a crash replacement policy, giving 40 per cent off a new wheelset in the event of an accident.
Reynolds ATRx performance
Although Reynolds technically categorises the ATRx wheelset as a gravel wheel (alongside the wider G Series wheel range), in truth I’ve found it to be described better as an all-road wheel – as its name more accurately suggests.
Although some riders will find the 40mm depth advantageous when riding hard and fast on some Strade Bianche-style light gravel, most are likely to find the depth comes into its own when riding on the road.
For my money, it offers something close to an ideal blend of aero performance and good handling. I’ve found it to be steadfastly stable in pretty much any windy condition this side of a howling gale, yet efficient-feeling when the air is still.
I could ride at approaching 40km/h on a flat piece of road, and only begin to feel the aerodynamic drag of the rim profile.
Are there faster and/or lighter rims available? Yes, almost certainly – we’ve been impressed by Prime’s excellent-value Primavera 32 wheelset in recent times, while our best road bike wheels buyer’s guide reveals carbon wheels of varying specifications that arguably outstrip the ATRx on paper.
However, where the ATRx excels is in its ability to be competitive and dependable across the gamut of performance.
For the vast majority of testing, I stuck to my trusty set of 700 x 28c Pirelli P Zero Race 4S clincher road tyres. The rims blow these out to close to 30mm wide when inflated to 75psi, and the comfort you get in return is impressive.
Of course, you can opt for an even wider set of road-going tyres to further enhance this (or tubeless and run even lower pressures), but I never found myself needing or wanting any more compliance from the setup.
Run at suitable pressures (for me, that’s around 70 to 75psi), you can ride on poorly tarmacked backroads and lanes without being juddered around excessively.
Ride through a sharply-ridged pothole by accident and you’ll certainly know about it, but the rims support enough volume to deaden the harshness.
Pedal along a fast, flowing tarmac road, and any porosities are really well smoothed out.
In turn, this enables you to get on with the business of pedalling without having to put up a fight against tiring road buzz.
Reynolds is at pains to point out that the ATRx wheelset is built for reliability in tough conditions thanks to the tough carbon-rim layup and use of Sapim CX-Delta spokes. I get a strong sense that the build quality plays a role in how smoothly the wheelset performs.
Get out of the saddle to sprint and the ATRx responds with keenness (there’s plenty of stiffness here) without ever feeling particularly sharp or visceral.
You might think this provides a somewhat boring experience – perhaps lacking poise and accuracy – but in fact the overriding sense is of composure.
I challenged the ATRx with hard climbing, seated tempo riding, accelerations over undulating roads and steep, pacy descents. Through it all, where the wheelset arguably lacked in ultimate speed, it gave back in confidence.
I felt incredibly comfortable pushing hard and testing the limits of my skill and strength. That meant I felt a touch more satisfied at the end of many rides than on similarly pitched Corima Essentia 40s, or Hunt’s latest 48 Limitless UD wheelset (reviews of both are in the works at time of publication).
The 10-degree engagement angle of the Reynolds-made freehub is geared more towards reliable performance than the fastest-engaging hubs of the day – but I always found pickup to be sharp and rewarding.
You can legitimately consider the 1,606g weight slightly portly, but you get that high ride quality and stout construction in compensation. If I were picking a set of wheels for a long day out in the saddle, the ATRx wouldn’t disappoint.
On the few occasions when I turned onto loose stuff, the composure on the road translated well.
I prefer to explore gravel at a more leisurely pace, so on paper I’d arguably be more at home on the even wider rims offered by Reynolds’ G Series wheels. But for quick diversions and unexpected detours, the ATRx is more than capable in my favoured road setup.
If diverting is a more regular occurrence for you (or you plan in extended sections of gravel riding), a tubeless arrangement and wider tyres will naturally pay dividends. Here, I’ve no doubt the ATRx would be a suitable permanent fixture on your gravel bike if you like to take on fast-paced rough stuff.
I also used the ATRx for a few commutes to and from the BikeRadar office.
It’s rare that this type of ride yields any meaningful insight into how a wheel performs. But for those rides with a pack on my back riding at a steadier tempo, the ATRx was as quick as I could ever want, while being easy to handle.
Throughout all testing, the ATRx wheelset hasn’t skipped a beat.
The rims remain true (rest assured, I’ve crashed the wheels through many unseen potholes) and spin true to the naked eye. No loose spokes here, either.
Reynolds ATRx bottom line
You may covet wheels that are faster or lighter on the road than the ATRx, or wider and shallower for gravel, but I struggle to think of many wheelsets that give such flexibility of use.
What impresses above all else is the composed ride quality on all terrains. It’s easy to conflate this idea with being uninspiring or boring, but I’ve found the smooth performance and ease of handling a real draw, especially when compared to many lighter and faster carbon wheelsets.
When the road conditions get tough (or the gravel escapade begins), the ATRx has more than enough in its armoury to see you through safely with a smile on your face.
Although there are many sharper, more reactive and faster road-oriented wheelsets in the world, I never felt unduly restricted riding the ATRx on tarmac.
All-in, the Reynolds ATRx wheelset is an impressive all-round carbon wheelset, ideally suited to the blurred world of multi-discipline riding.
|Price||EUR €1710.00GBP £1500.00USD $1699.00|
|Weight||1,606g (29in) – as tested - including rim tape and tubeless valves|
|Features||External width: 32m|
|Rim internal width||23mm|
|Spoke count||24 front, 24 rear|
|Tyre type||Clincher and tubeless|