Santa Cruz has decided to turn its not insubstantial carbon fibre knowhow towards the manufacture of carbon rims and complete wheels, made in the town of Santa Cruz.
In typically modest Santa Cruz style, it claims are “some of the best performing premium carbon mountain bike wheels in the world, and we call them Reserve.”
“Our goals for the Reserve wheel line are fairly simple–we want to make the most durable carbon mountain bike wheels on the market, we want them to have the best blend of ride characteristics, and we want them to be easy to service and maintain. We also want the best value-to-performance ratio for our customers, which is why we’ve priced them very competitively and backed them with the same lifetime warranty we have on our bikes”
The most obvious backer to that claim is the photo of Danny MacAskill, running an unbranded, prototype pair of Reserve wheels last year when filming ‘A wee day out’ that’s used in stunts like the log-slide – a stunt that Danny reckoned took literally “…hundreds of takes…” – and in fact, Danny ran the same pair of wheels for the entirety of the shooting of that video.
As you can see in the accompanying photos, the Reserve rims feature visually distinctive reinforcements at the spoke holes. Santa Cruz claims that, while this “might seem like a design flourish” their reason for being is entirely functional. Carbon wheels tend to fail when high pull force is applied to the spokes, ripping the nipple through the rim.
“By placing the reinforcements externally we’re assured the spoke holes are drilled perfectly on center-an issue for some competitors – and we can put material only where it’s needed, which saves weight. We then take that [those?] weight savings and reinvest elsewhere in the rim, adding a few extra plies where it’s needed most – the bead seat and sidewall areas that tend to take the brunt of impact forces.
There are five different new rim profiles: two for 27.5in wheels and three for 29ers… The 27.5in pair are 33.5mm/27mm external/internal and 37.4mm/30mm external/internal.
The 29in wheels, meanwhile get completely different profiles, with a 36/25mm a 34/24mm and a 31/25mm setup, covering a wide range from pretty wide to XC race.
The cross section features an asymmetric rim profile and spoke hole pattern that makes for a robust bracing angle and even spoke tension. Laced three-cross and with 28 spokes front and rear. And, you might be amazed to know, the wheels are entirely built in Santa Cruz, California.
• 29-inch wheels in three widths: 25, 27 and 30mm internal
• 27.5-inch wheels in two widths: 27 and 30mm internal
• 28-spoke, 3x lacing
• DT Swiss Competition Race double-butted spokes
• Available with DT Swiss 350 or Industry 9 Torch hubs
• Sapim Alloy Secure Lock Nipples
• External nipple access for easy servicing • Built in Santa Cruz, California
• Lifetime Warranty
And the UK price? We should know by tomorrow…