Our global test team has been pushing products to the very limit on the world’s toughest trails. In The Lab, durability is rewarded and weaknesses have nowhere to hide. Let’s get one thing straight: the Reynolds Blacklabel 27.5 AM Carbon Wheels cost € 1999, which is an astronomical amount, so even the slightest flaw would be totally unforgivable.
In fact, with so many excellent wheelsets costing half that amount, UK tester Trev almost wanted them to fail during testing. But no, even after a full race season and a summer of relentless daily downhill abuse in the Alps, these wheels have been nothing short of indestructible. Featuring five different carbon layups to maximise strength, the ridiculously light 1525 g weight offers almost roadbike acceleration, and they are one of the most accurate wheelsets Trev has tested through hard turns.
The 23 mm internal width held every tire well, with no issues from the freehub. After over 2000 hard-hitting kilometers (with the exception of a tiny bit of flat-spoke retensioning) by Trev and some of the most aggressive riders he knows, the Reynolds hubs are still spinning smoothly, and despite his best efforts to damage the featherweight carbon rims, they still look great.
Expensive for sure, but we have to say “Chapeau” (or “Hats off”) to Reynolds for redefining the strength/weight ratio. Trev’s only slight (and a little vain) disappointment is the terribly basic stickers – He loves the stealth black-on-black style, but the simple laser-cut vinyl letters look cheap.
Test duration: 2000+ km
Test rider: Trev + various abusers
Price: € 1999
You can find further information on the Reynolds website.
Words and photos: Trev Worsey
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