Why We Like The Blacklabel Enduro 287 27.5in Boost Wheelset
With its mid-range diameter and outsized rim width, Reynolds' Blacklabel Enduro 287 27.5in Boost Wheelset doesn't fear much terrain. Hell, two years ago we might have classified it as a gravity wheelset, but now we just call it "enduro." Though it's best suited for World Cup rock gardens, any cyclist who occasionally finds themselves on the wrong side of poor line choices will appreciate the get out of jail free card that wide rims and plush tires provide, and it's difficult to overstate the positive impact that all the added traction has on climbs.
In addition to being uncommonly wide, the Blacklabel indicates that these wheels are uncommonly engineered. They feature Reynolds' Mountain Rim 5 (MR5) lay-up, which involves five different carbon matrixes applied to five different areas of the wheel. If that sounds decidedly immoderate, well, it is—the construction process is more complicated than many framesets.
Boost hubs have also become a staple around the Competitive office and the industry as a whole because of their increased responsiveness. It's something of an old story by now, but it's worth rehashing: by setting the flanges wider Reynolds (or more accurately, Industry Nine) improves the spoke bracing angle, which stiffens the wheels laterally and torsionally (translating braking and pedal input from hub to rim to trail) without stiffening them radially (not translating every bump and lump straight up the seatpost). Though bumps and trail chatter aren't really an issue with such a generous rim width, we do operate under the assumption that less of a bad thing is a good thing.
As implied above, the hubs are manufactured by Industry Nine, and are basically just rebranded versions of the Torch model. I9 machines all of its bits and widgets in Asheville, NC, with the only non-US component being the ABEC 5 grade Japanese bearings. And the Torch freehub is the real star, anyway, because it uses two sets of three offset pawls in order to reduce the hub's engagement angle to three degrees. The Torch hubs effectively replace DT Swiss' 240s, and—if it were any other make and model—we'd call it a downgrade. But I9's Torch promises to become the new standard, so we're perfectly content with the change.
- An enduro wheelset for all-mountain flow and park sessions
- Carbon construction more complex than many frames
- Wide rim bead lets big tires fill out for traction and cushion
- Boost spacing increases responsiveness without harshness
- Industry Nine Torch hubs knock engagement down to three degrees