Reynolds RZR 46 Wheelset

Reynolds RZR 46 Wheelset 235x300 Reynolds RZR 46 Wheelset

Reynolds RZR 46 Wheelset

If you are even considering a wheelset like the Reynolds RZR 46, then you want to win races at any cost. This isn’t a wheelset for the fainthearted. You’ll probably have seen these wheels flying along under the bikes of pro-tour riders in the top races around the world, and there’s a good reason for that. They are seriously fast. Will you win f you buy them? Maybe, maybe not. One thing s for sure, if you don’t end up on the podium it won’t be because of your wheelset.

How much?

Well, at $6000, you’d almost expect these wheels to be motorized. After all, you really could buy a car for that kind of money. So what do you get when you dip into your 401K to get the Reynolds RZR 46 wheelset?

First of all, don’t get the clincher option. After all, these wheels are for race days, not for trainng, and frankly these are going to be the umpteenth set of wheels you’ve bought, so you should have a set for the wheel care anyway.  For speed, you get a 46mm carbon rim, the perfect depth to get an aero advantage, yet not so deep to throw you around in a cross wind. Look more closely at the rim, and you’ll see Reynolds’ patented ‘swirl lip’ technology, that doesn’t try to smooth out the air flow. Instead, it folds the air around the rim, to give the rim a little push. Of course, you can get swirl lip technology on a whole bunch of Reynolds wheelsets, so if that’s what you’re after there are plenty of light, fast wheelsets in the Reynolds stable at less than half the price of the RZR 46.

So why buy these wheels?

There are a few answers to this question. One is that you get all of Reynolds’ best innovations on one wheel. The RZR 46 is the only – and I mean only – wheelset to use an optimized, unidirectional laminate of high mod carbon and boron fiber. That means you get one crazy light, crazy stiff wheel. And the high mod fiber doesn’t stop there; there’s carbon hubs as well, and super fast carbon airfoil spokes designed by science geeks. No, none of your everyday bladed spokes here. That also means no clip on magnets for your cycle computer too – Reynolds says choose you magnet carefully and glue it on to a spoke..

Remember when I said don’t get the clincher version? Here’s why. The tubular wheelset weighs in at only 910g (the set we weighed came in at 880g).  The clinchers come in at almost 1200g, and frankly for six grand, you can find wheelsets just about as light for less and put the difference into upgrading the rest of your bike. If you are really looking for the lightest, stiffest, fastest wheels money can buy, which is what the Reynolds RZR 46 aims to be, then don’t mess around and get the tubular.

The perfect race wheel

If you really need to win, and will spend anything to get yourself to the top of the podium, then there might not be a better wheelset. Of course, you need to be fast too, and you need to be light. A front wheel that weighs only 370g spinning on 16 carbon spokes isn’t going to be able to take a thrashing. If you buy these wheels, lighten up on the pizza (maximum rider weight is 220pounds) and look where you’re going. Reynolds makes big claims of durability, and the addition of boron fiber to the structure of the rim and the spokes does make this wheelset stronger than all-carbon comparable wheels, but you still need to be cautious. It’s rare I recommend a company replacement plan, but with this kind of investment, it might not be a bad idea here.

There is a lot more to say about the Reynolds RZR 46 wheelset. It is truly a case of completely rethinking race wheels, and every millimeter of it is designed to be light, stiff, and fast. If you simply have to win, and money is no object, then it would very difficult to suggest any wheelset other than the Reynolds RZR 46. Let’s face it, as you roll out of the neutral zone, everybody is going to looking at your wheels!

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