Reynolds Black Label Wheels

Only the Best

Words by Nic Hall & Drew Rohde // Photos by Drew Rohde

From producing some of the first carbon clinchers to dabbling in carbon forks, Reynolds Cycling has been on the cutting edge of carbon products since the 1990’s. Reynolds is now based in Utah, and puts out some of the best carbon wheelsets on the market. We’ve spent the last few months riding their top of the line Black Label 29 Trail wheelset. As smooth and refined as the whiskey they share a name with, these Black Labels look rich and go down smooth.

The Lab

The backbone of the Black Label rim is the five region layup. Each layer is specifically engineered to address stiffness and weight concerns. A major focal point of this multi-layered engineering process is the bead and hook area. These rims offer a conservative 25mm internal and 30mm external width but are well within modern design trends and interface well with all the tires we put on them. Never once did we feel our traction or ride quality was compromised because of inner rim width.

While 28 spoke designs have traditionally been reserved for cross country builds Reynolds Cycling, among other brands, have shown that proper design and build can blend light weight and strength. Asymmetric drilling and a 28mm rim depth add strength while allowing them to drop weight. At 1,664 grams, these are some of the lightest wheels we have been on this year. Our blacked out wheels came built around Industry Nine hubs. We all enjoyed the performance and 3-degree engagement as it delivers instant power transfer, and the freehub sound is killer.

Reynolds Blacklabel

The Dirt

Acceleration! Quick spin up is one of the most noted improvements when we hopped on our Trek Fuel EX test bike. Half expecting these lightweight 28-spoked wheels to squirm, we headed out to some bike parky trails and shoved the bike into berms with reckless abandon. We are quite impressed that these wheels held true and are still ready for more. The stiffness isn’t on par with an Enve wheelset, however that’s not a bad thing. These wheels didn’t have us changing suspension settings, deflect us off line or give us sore hands. Vertical compliance is another way to describe it.

We all know big wheels roll over things well, but we are usually hesitant to smash rock gardens with “XC” carbon. After a few rides though, we grew more confident in the wheels and went so far as tearing sidewalls while smashing through scree fields and shale-littered singletrack. Even after all that, the wheels have held true and still look sharp. The factory wheel build was as good as any we have seen. After months of riding, we have not had to true the wheels or had any loose spokes.

Orange Clockwork

The Wolf’s Last Word

When paired up to a rocket ship like the Trek Fuel EX, you can feel every bit of power transferred directly to the ground. These wheels get up to speed quickly. When it comes time to let gravity do the work, the Black Label Trail wheels hold speed and help keep us on line. After coming off some very stiff wheels earlier this year, the Black Labels offer a different level of compliance while still being stiff in all the good ways.

Black Label performance comes at a cost. Reynolds keeps the bar high and has a price tag to match. At $2,500, these are no small investment, but Reynolds stands behind everything they produce and offer a no questions asked replacement program. If you can stomach the price, these wheels offer the pinnacle of performance and weight.

Price: $2,500
Weight: 1,664 grams

Ride to Decide Program and RAP (Reynolds Assurance Program)
Ride to Decide provides you with the chance to take home a set of Reynolds premium carbon fiber wheels and try before you buy, without risk or obligation. Put the wheels on your own bike and ride your favorite roads or trails so you can experience the magic of Reynolds wheels.

Money Back When You Buy
When you return to the same Reynolds Authorized Dealer and buy any qualifying in stock set of AERO, Performance or Mountain carbon rimmed wheels within 60 days of a demo, Reynolds will send you a $100 rebate which can be used towards upgrading the complimentary one-year Reynolds Assurance Program to three-year coverage. (Rebates are currently available only within the US and Canada.)

Complimentary RAP Protection When You Buy
Reynolds also extends a complimentary one-year Reynolds Assurance Program enrollment to its Ride to Decide customers.

The Reynolds Assurance Program is the most comprehensive protection program of its kind. It provides a ‘no questions asked’ level of protection above and beyond our limited warranty against defects in material and workmanship, and crash replacement program. So no matter how your wheels may be damaged, Reynolds’ – at their discretion- will repair or replace them free of charge, using the same or, if no longer available, currently released versions of the wheels.

We Dig

Quick Engagement
Ride to Decide Program

We Don’t

Out of our Budget

Leave A Comment & Win Free Schwag

Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack