With so much talk about light weight paint jobs, companies like Reynolds are starting to look at paint, and decals, as places to lose weight. The problem with decals on carbon rims is that if you don’t want them to look cheap, or peel off, you need to apply a clear coat over the wet slide. While not a huge weight penalty, it still adds up especially with deeper dish wheels. If only there was a way to apply a permanent graphic and not have to add a clear coat over top…

By using an ink jet printer to directly apply the graphics to the rim, Reynolds is now able to apply their labels directly to the rim – no additional steps required. Since the process doesn’t require any extra paint or coverage the new graphic treatment will save 10-20g per wheels depending on the depth. Currently, ink jet labels will only be offered in 58, 72, and 90mm aero wheels only, though for 2014 the entire carbon road line up will transition to the new labels.

On the mountain side of things, of course Reynolds is offering a 650b wheel in the form of the AM 27.5 carbon along with a new XC 29er Carbon. The all mountain 27.5″ will run a 31mm external/23mm internal/24mm deep rim that is tubeless ready. The MR5 full carbon construction of the rim results in the strongest rim Reynolds has ever built. Continuing with a great trend, the wheels will include everything in the box for just about any axle configuration and tubeless compatibility, all for $1,990.

The 29r XC carbon on the right is billed as a sort of XC race/trail in between use wheel. Weighing in at 1,450g per set with a 350g rim, the 28 spoke rims measure 27mm external/19mm internal/22mm deep, and will be available for less than $2,000 with Fall availability.

Both wheels have straight pull spokes with a 6-pawl interchangeable freehub body, and a 6 bolt disc mounting configuration.

29er on the left, and 27.5 on the right, both set up with Reynolds’ tubeless rim tape.


  1. That’s too bad about the Reynolds decals. It might prove difficult for someone to remove the inkjet offal from the rims if that someone dislikes labeling.

    More importantly when is Reynolds going to release aero comparison data between its new Aero rims and other players?

  2. I’m with you on that one @Dgaddis. At 17mm internally it is only good for road tires and maybe CX. Unless Reynolds is completely out of touch with the market I’m guessing that’s the intended use for these “29er” wheels.

  3. look like solid carbon wheels, but…i’m with @psi squared. not interested in tons of logos and now they are making them permanent? if it REALLY has to do with weight, why not try some small tasteful style logo/decals. would rather not have rolling billboards.

  4. It appears that this is an additional rim to the one they already have which has a 21mm Internal width (currently on their website.) Bike rumor can you confirm that there is 3 models? a *NEW* 17mm 29er (probably geared towards the CX/Super skinny 29er crowd), a 21mm 29er and the AM carbon 29er?

  5. I have a pair of Reynolds carbon road wheels and they have been amazing. They are seriously bullet proof. I did take off all the decals and I am convinced all carbon wheels look much better all blacked out. Murder in the first.

  6. Oh good grief! Personally, I don’t like the stock decals on most wheels and end up having custom ones made anyway. As for weight…..really?! If you are worried about something that weighs as much as an envelope, then your in the wrong sport. I have yet to meet a pro that is concerned his wheel decals are holding them back.

  7. just read the comments policy. here is my revised comment: I would like to see an option without the large logos, or maybe black on black.

  8. “With so much talk about lightweight paintjobs.” Don’t you mean “so much of us providing a stage for Vroomen to advertise his nonsense without room for a reasonable dialogue.”?

  9. @k11- it isn’t about weight. It’s about making sure their rolling billboards stay rolling billboards since you can’t remove the decals.

  10. FYI, the Reynolds Aero rims are wide rims. Two reviews linked on their Aero 58 page are interesting and mention data and white papers being available, but they’re not found on the website. One of the reviews is from Wired magazine, so I think some skepticism about that review might be warranted.

    Definitely what the cycling world needs (at least the segment of that world interested in aero wheels) is a big independently done comparo between Zipp, Enve, Reynolds, HED, Mavic, and others that looks at aero performance (especially crosswind handling) and brake heating in CF clinchers. Maybe someone can convince Richard Branson to sponsor such a test.

  11. @Morgan: silly me for giving up when I didn’t find the data available through links on their website. The only drag comparisons are for the 80-90mm deep wheels. I’d wager that most are interested in the lower profile wheels, such as the Aero 58’s, Zipp 404’s, Enve SES 6.7, and etc.

  12. PSI, you’re right, I’m ready to jump on a set of the aero cc 90’s but not until I can my hands on more detailed data with a larger range of competitor wheels, then I’m probably in if the data looks good.

  13. Also.. while a of people worry about weight.. there is still someone out there who can woop your a** on an old Panasonic..

  14. @Psi Squared, I was told the white paper on Reynolds website was done by independant sources being the A2 wind tunnel in Mooresville NC and all the wheels you mention were tested.

  15. Thanks, mule. The paper linked above isn’t the whole white paper, unfortunately, and the hyperlink in the above paper to the original is disabled, which is a bit curious.

  16. Also, the 29r spec is a misprint…no biggie, lots of data here. Actual spec is 22mm deep, 27mm wide and 19mm internal. This is a rim designed for XC racing and narrower tires.

  17. christian: given the choice between two otherwise-identical wheelsets, it’s safe to bet you’d take the lighter one with less unnecessary weight. I’d also wager that someone out there on an old Panasonic wouldn’t mind upgrading, either.

  18. @Rob, that is the same paper linked earlier, and as I mentioned, it does not contain all the data. For instance it only has drag data for the 90mm wheels. There’s a link in the paper to the original report, as I stated, but the link has been disabled.

    It should also be noted that the paper is a white paper and as such isn’t bound by objectivity.

What do you think?