Reynolds Attack Wheelset Review

Reynolds Attack Wheelset Reynolds Attack Wheelset Review

Carbon wheels for $1450? The Reynolds Attack wheelset has finally brought carbon wheelsets into the reach of most serious cyclists. For no more than a top end aluminum wheel, you can get the lightness of carbon, and without sacrificing all the features you’d look for in a carbon wheel. The Reynolds Attack wheelset has unidirectional carbon fiber, a scrim fitted braking surface, and Reynolds own hubs.

The Reynolds Attack wheelset has suffered in recent years form questions about its strength and durability.  Many reported cases of broken spokes and split rims led Reynolds to be pretty clear that these wheels were not for heavier riders.  In 2010, however, those reports have all but disappeared.  It would be wise for any rider over 225 pounds to carefully check the manufacturer’s weight limits any time they consider a carbon wheel, but Reynolds has certainly toughened these wheels up.  At 1450 grams a pair, durability and light weight now come as a package.

Road test

Of course, I was skeptical.  How could a carbon wheelset for under $1500 really have the quality and performance I would expect of a carbon race wheel?  Would my money be better spent on an aluminum wheelset? Would they really hold up under power and weight?  To start out, my wife gave them a speed test.  A small, compact time trialist, she’d know if they had the aero qualities she’d grown accustomed to.  The light weight was noticeable for her as a smaller rider, and she reported that they cut neatly through the air yet didn’t wobble in cross winds.  So far, so good.

I rode them next, and under my 200 pound plus frame I started out a little cautiously.  I didn’t need to. The Reynolds Attack wheelset springs into life when the power is put on, sprinting away or nipping up hills with no detectable flex. On the descents the braking was a little sluggish, which is not uncommon for a carbon wheel, but they stayed secure and stable even over bumps and holes.  You wouldn’t want to hit something hard with these, as with any carbon wheel, so if you are a careless rider stick to aluminum wheels, but for a simulated road race under my weight, these wheels really gave their money’s worth.

Conclusion

If you are looking to step up in your racing, want a versatile yet competitive wheelset for triathlon or stage racing, or have just dreamt of riding carbon wheels since you got your first 2-wheeler, then these are great wheels.  If you are a larger rider, or if you race aggressively in tough races on rough surfaces, your money will last longer with aluminum.  For most racers though, these wheels will give you the opportunity to enjoy feather light carbon performance for a fraction of what you’d expect to spend.

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