Stiffness and strength for the long haul.
We're not going to encourage you to smash, bash, and thrash the Santa Cruz Reserve 27 29in DT 350 Boost Wheelset on massive urban drops and long stairs like MacAskill (without tires, no less), but we won't necessarily criticize your line choices on the trail when you're rolling on these burly carbon hoops. Santa Cruz designed the Reserve Wheels to be the strongest carbon wheels on the market through extensive research of critical failure points, going so far as to redesign the impact testing protocol used on traditional carbon rims.
Instead of replicating the pothole-like impact test employed on traditional carbon wheels, Santa Cruz developed its very own testing protocol, which simulates one-sided impacts that normally occur when a rider lands on a square, protruding rock after getting airborne off a roller or launching from an abrupt drop. As SC began testing leading manufacturer's carbon rims, it became readily apparent that most carbon rims not only broke along the expected bead, but they also failed along the spoke nipple interface, due to the drastic increase in spoke tension as the wheel flexed upon impact.
To mitigate these issues, Santa Cruz beefed up the rim bead, increasing its thickness by 1mm along each side for improved resiliency when you're thrashing the hell out of these wheels on the trail. The design engineers at Santa Cruz then fortified the spoke holes with square-shaped reinforcements you can visibly see, which protect the spoke nipples from pulling through due to harsh impact. Although Santa Cruz isn't the first company to reinforce a carbon rim's high-stress areas, they're one of the first to offer a lifetime warranty—so long as you actually break them while riding on the trail.
It's worth noting this particular Reserve Carbon 27 Wheelset is laced to DT Swiss 350 Hubs for outstanding reliability and relatively quick engagement with its 36t star ratchet system. The rim's 27mm internal width provides optimal support for your average trail tires, ranging from 2 to the new all-mountain standard of 2.5in. J-bend spokes and mechanical lock nipples make for relatively easy replacement, should you break something while riding in a distant locale. The wheels are available in Boost spacing only, which serves to make them even stiffer for precise tracking and handling.
- Designed to be the strongest carbon trail wheels on the market
- Meticulous carbon lay-up optimizes strength and stiffness
- Reinforced spoke holes prevent pulling through upon impact
- Thicker beads provide reinforcement from heavy blows
- 27mm rim width optimally supports 2.0 to 2.5-inch tires
- DT Swiss 350 Boost hubs for reliability and smooth engagement
- J-bend spokes, mechanical lock nipples for easy replacement
- Santa Cruz backs the rims with impressive lifetime warranty