Reynolds 46 and 58 Aero Wheels

Reynolds 46 and 58 Aero Wheels

 

Reynolds 46 and 58 Aero Wheels

 

by Mark Tearle

 

Preview of the Reynolds 46 and 58 Aero Wheels

 

The Reynolds brand needs very little introduction. An integral part of the cycling industry for over 100 years, including 27 winners of the Tour de France riding bikes made of Reynolds tubing, and continuing to set the standard in lightweight steel tubes for bicycles with the introduction of Reynolds 953.

 

Reynolds 46/58 Aero in momentum
Reynolds 46/58 Aero in motion

 

A U.S. division called Reynolds Cycling began product development with carbon composite materials for the bike industry, including tubing, forks and wheels carrying the Reynolds brand but being manufactured and marketed under licence by Maclean-Fogg. 

 

MacLean-Fogg is another company with a distinct heritage. Founded in 1925, it started life making an innovative one-lock-nut for North America’s railroads, and through product development and acquisitions, which eventually included Reynolds Cycling, the business continued to branch out and grow. Reynolds Cycling started in the U.S. in the early 1990’s with the high-end Ouzo carbon fork and they were also the first to bring carbon clincher wheelsets to market.

 

46 Aero wheels ready to roll
46 Aero wheels ready to roll

 

Reynolds Cycling dispensed with the manufacture of tubing and forks, realising that others could probably do it better and cheaper, and now wholly concentrate on the development of wheelsets. New for 2014, and currently adorning my NeilPryde NAZARE (AKA ALIZE), representing all aero all the time, is the Reynolds 46 AERO carbon clincher wheelset.

 
Reynolds say that the 46mm rim is their signature rim depth “because it provides optimal aerodynamics across every discipline… the best all-around… Equally at home in a criterium, road race, time trial or even a ‘cross course”. I personally like the sound of a do-it-all, aero wheelset. Also at my disposal, as an exercise in compare and contrast, I have the award winning Reynolds 58 Aero carbon clincher wheelset.

 

Each rim depth has a unique profile designed with a trailing edge taper and engineered using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), a computer based engineering aid that helps designers to understand the intricate nature of air flowing around structures before incurring great expense by venturing into a wind tunnel. The wheels have a dizzying list of technical acronyms, including CR6, standing for Carbon Rim 6 which Reynolds state is a proprietary engineering solution for durability, strength and stiffness. CR6 is based on unique lay-ups of carbon fiber for each of 6 critical areas of the rim: the side wall, spoke face, nipple bed, tire channel, rim hook bead, and brake track.

 

CR6: unique lay-ups of carbon fiber for each of 6 critical areas of the rim: the side wall, spoke face, nipple bed, tire channel, rim hook bead, and brake track
CR6: unique lay-ups of carbon fiber for each of 6 critical areas of the rim: the side wall, spoke face, nipple bed, tire channel, rim hook bead, and brake track

 

Then there’s CTg (Cryogenic Glass Transition), Reynolds’ patented carbon fiber rim-and-brake pad pairing, which Reynolds claim allows the wheels to dissipate heat build up, preventing overheating on the rims during braking and ensures smooth, predictable braking performance and enhanced safety. 

 

There’s also the DET airfoil rim design which “smooths turbulent, energized airflow and re-attaches it to the aerodynamic surface, effectively reducing aerodynamic drag”. DET stands for Disperse Effect Termination and has been developed by Reynolds using CFD, later validated in a Wind Tunnel, all designed to smooth out airflow for minimal aerodynamic drag. Reynolds say AERO wheels remain in the sweet spot for longer requiring less effort/watts to move forward delivering. DET, when paired with AERO’s wider 26.2 mm rim bed, offers the wheels an increased lateral stiffness and a better ride quality.

 

The DET airfoil rim design
The DET airfoil rim design

 

And finally, ISH (Integrated Step Hook) is a “step” contour at the outer perimeter of the clincher hook that Reynolds say helps to create a predictable airflow over the surface of the rim. It also increases the lateral stiffness of the wheel. We’ll have more on the effect of this engineering technology on the ride in the review.

 

ISH 'Integrated Step Hook'
ISH ‘Integrated Step Hook’and CTg braking surface

 

Each wheel set is built on a 26.2mm (external) rim width, with 16/20 (front/rear) DT Aerolite bladed spokes on Reynolds branded DT Swiss hubs, adding up to a respectable, if not the lightest, weight of 1505g for the 46 Aero wheelset, 1580g for the 58 Aero wheelset and 1545g for a mixed set of 46 upfront and 58 rear.

 

Having the two wheel sets offers me the opportunity to mix and match the wheels to conditions, and for preference and performance. Lightweight, aerodynamically engineered deep section rims, with a notably wider rim depth, should add up to a very keen set of wheels, which I am hoping will compliment the aerodynamic properties of my frame, with the holy grail, the promise of more speed for less effort…

 

46 Aero RRP £1999.99
 
58 Aero RRP £2099.99

 
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Reynolds Cycling
 

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