Blacklabel 347 Boost Wheelset
As tires get wider so do rims, and over the past couple of seasons 2.6in wide tires have become an increasingly popular choice as riders catch on to the benefits of running higher volume tires at lower pressures for increased grip and confidence. Many newer trail bikes are available stock with 2.6in rubber, and plenty have clearance for 2.8 or even 3.0in plus tires, increasing the demand for high-performance wheelsets with the proper internal width to support these tires. Reynolds, one of the early pioneers of quality carbon mountain bike wheels, is now stepping up to the plate by widening their revered Blacklabel series wheels to a whopping 34mm internal width, making them perfectly suited to this new crop of wider trail rubber while capably supporting tire widths ranging from 2.3 - 3.2in wide, ensure you have no shortage of tread options. So here we are, happy to present the Blacklabel 347 Boost Wheelset as one of the best options on the market for carbon trail bike wheels.
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. Reynold uses an asymmetrical rim profile that equalizes spoke tension, resulting in a stronger wheelset that also finds a nice balance between stiffness and compliance. This translates to a ride that powers through the rocks without deflecting
when you pick the wrong line and would otherwise get bucked around.
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. This makes for a lightning-quick pedal response when ratcheting through technical terrain or sprinting up a punchy climb. Not only that, but the hubshell is exceptionally stiff, and beautifully machined and anodized for a long-lasting finish.
- A light and sturdy carbon wheelset for high volume trail tires
- Sophisticated construction delivers an impressive ride quality
- Asymmetric rim increases strength through even spoke tension
- Wide rim bead lets big tires fill out for traction and cushion
- Hookless bead for no-burp tire fit and easy inflation
- Boost spacing increases responsiveness without any harshness
- I9 hubs have impressive 3-degree engagement for quick pedal response