Blacklabel 347 Super Boost Wheelset
Over the past couple of seasons, the popularity of high-volume tires has grown significantly as riders catch on to the benefits of running lower pressures for increased grip and improved damping on rough trails. Many newer trail bikes come 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 to ensure you have no shortage of tread options. The Blacklabel 347 Super Boost Wheelset is their new offering, and it comes with 12 x 157mm hub spacing to fit modern trail bikes from Pivot, Devinci, Knolly, and to maintain compatibility as other brands make the switch to what was once an axle spacing specific to downhill bikes but is making its way to trail bikes due to improvements related to frame and wheel stiffness, as well as tire clearance.
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.
Super Boost hubs sound like a new standard, but it's really just 12 x 157mm downhill bike spacing with wider hub flanges. 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. This is in addition to the benefits related to tire clearance and frame stiffness that we mentioned 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 strong carbon wheelset for wider MTB 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
- Super Boost spacing greatly reduces lateral & torsional flex
- I9 hubs have impressive 3-degree engagement for quick pedal response