We're all familiar with the saying that big wheels keep on turning, and wagon wheeled bikes certainly have made their mark on the scene this year, with more travel, and more capable geometry than ever. It's only appropriate that industry leaders at Reynolds, would be at the front of the lines, building a 29-inch wheel for all-mountain charging and big hits with the new TR 309S 29in Boost Wheelset. The TR309's take the stiff, over-engineered carbon hoops that we loved from the Reynolds Blacklabel wheelsets, stretch them out internally to take beefier tires, and lace them up to a more budget-friendly hub, CNC machined by Reynolds its self, cutting a few big bills off of the price tag, while maintaining a responsive ride with fast engagement.
Like the Blacklabel series, the TR 309S uses Reynolds' Mountain Rim 5 (MR5) carbon fiber layup. This layup involves five different carbon matrices applied to five different areas of the wheel. A decidedly serious carbon layup — this construction process is more complicated than many frames, placing specific matrices to maximize strength. And though we don't often dwell on the possibility of equipment failure while blasting berms and charging into lines that are a bit too rowdy, the fact that Reynolds puts so much engineering into the rims helps ensure that we won't have to dwell on equipment failure. For months. While wearing a cast and saving up for a new wheelset and/or bike.
Focusing on a friendlier price point than the deluxe Blacklabel line, the designers are Reynolds put focus into creating their own hub for the TR309S, capable of exceptional performance without the somewhat painful price tag that comes along with some other hubs. Using CNC machining, they created the Reynolds TR6 hub, cut from aluminum in one piece to ensure strength, and features 72 points of engagement. Six phased pawls propel you forward, with just 5-degrees of engagement, so you're the wheels carry on a responsive and light-on-the-feet feel you want for quick power bursts up punchy climbs, or chomping at the bit right out of the gate on race day.
In addition to being strong, the rims feature a wide profile capable of accommodating the plusher tires that have been afforded by the addition of boost spacing to bikes. The rim's internal width lands at 30-millimeters, which most of us here in the office are in agreement on being the optimal rim width for enduro and trail rigs. This width allows for running wide, but not plus tires, with our happy place being 2.5-and-2.6-inch tires that allow us to run slightly lower tire pressures around 18psi for gripping loose corners and soaking up beefy roots and rocks, but without gaining rolling resistance the way most ultra-plush 2.8's do.
The TR 309S wheels are built with asymmetrical rims that we also saw on the Blacklabel series, which enables a stronger wheel through more even spoke tension. This translates to a ride that powers through the rocks without deflecting when you pick the wrong line and would otherwise get bucked around. When combined with the wide, Boost spacing, the wheels strength truly shines through with a completely evenly tensioned wide angle to keep you locked into your line no matter what. While Boost may not be news to quite a lot of us, it's worth reiterating how it works: by setting the flanges wider, Reynolds is able to improve the spoke bracing angle, which stiffens the wheels laterally and torsionally (translating braking and pedal input from the hub to rim to trail) without stiffening them radially (so the wheels don't translate every bump and root straight up the seatpost). While bumps and trail chatter are less of an issue with such a wide rim, we're generally under the assumption that less of a bad thing is a good thing. Adding 28 straight-pull spokes to the mix, you'll find lasting durability, and just the right amount of flex, so your wheels don't feel harsh through wily rock gardens.
- Roll-ready wagon wheels for all-mountain charging
- Reynolds MR5 carbon is ultra-precise and stiff
- Asymmetric rim increases strength and stiffness
- CNC machined TR6 hub has 5-degree engagement
- 6 phased pawls propel you forward with speed
- Wide 30mm internals allow for larger, plusher tires
- Boost spacing helps increase lateral and torsional stiffness