Reserve wheels: a complete guide
We take a deep dive into Reserve wheels complete line
Produced in association with Reserve wheels
There are many wheel manufacturers on the market. And many more see the light every year. Some of them produce outstanding products, others – well, not so much. Some will survive and thrive, and some will disappear.
Among the variety of brands out there, not many provide a lifetime warranty for their wheels. But one that does is Reserve, a company founded in 2014 by several engineers from the MTB manufacturer Santa Cruz.
The first Reserve wheels were MTB wheels (launched in 2017), probably one of the few carbon rim wheels providing a lifetime warranty. Then, in 2019, Reserve produced its first gravel wheelset and the same year, with its sister company Cervélo (part of the PON group, too), it started to work on their first aero wheelset.
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In 2022 Reserve launched two new models, but their company's core aim remains the same: providing undisputed quality and almost unmatched lifetime warranty to their products.
In Reserve's terminology, the numbers indicate the wheel's rim depth. This road set comes with 35mm front and rear wheels. With its smaller depth, the 35|35 is the perfect wheel for long climbs and all-day riding, but despite the minimum weight, it's also designed for max performance and comfort.
Reserve calls it the mileage hog and the reliable training partner or KOM-grabber. The 21mm internal width works from 25mm race tyres to 30-35mm training/off-season/cyclocross tyres. Because it features a traditional bead hook, the wheels can be set up tubeless or with tubes. As with other Reserve wheels, it comes with DT Swiss 180, 240, or 250 hubs – and the price with 180 stands at 1.3kg.
This model is also conceived for everyday riding and climbing, but the difference from the previous iteration is the different rim depths of the front and rear wheels.The broader and shallower front wheel (34mm depth), mixed with a narrower, taller rear wheel (37 mm), is designed to balance weight, stability and aerodynamics perfectly. It has been imagined in the wind tunnel but has also been proven outdoors, and it's been used by Reserve professional race teams, including the Jumbo-Visma women's team.
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With a weight of 1.3 with the DT Swiss 180 hub, these wheels can fit tyres up to 40mm. Yes, you read that right!
The 40|44 uses the same rationale as the 34|47, but it's the off-road product. It's the target wheel for all conditions, including rough roads and gravel-strewn alleys. In this case, the front wheel is 25.5mm wide (and 40mm deep) and the rear one 25mm wide and 44mm deep. The main difference to its little road cousin is the tyre recommendation, and as you might expect, the maximum goes up to 45mm (while minimum is still at 28mm). The hubs choice is the same as above, but these wheels are a tad heavier, with a 1.369kg for the DT Swiss 180 option.
Now we enter the aero and race domains. The 50|50 is Reserve's road race, crit, and triathlon product. But of course, nobody will complain if you use it for group rides. With the same rim depth, the front and rear wheels both feature a 21mm inner rim width and an external 28mm one.The profile was originally designed in collaboration with Cervélo. Like all Reserve wheels, you can set up the 50 tubeless or with tubes. The weight for the DT 180 set-up is 1.5 kg, and tyre width recommendations range from 25 to 35mm.
One step above the 50|50 in terms of aero gains and performances, the 50|65 is Reserve's aero queen. And it's actually been developed to provide a rear-wheel to Reserve 50.In this case, if the 50 mm front wheel slices through the air while still guaranteeing predictable handling in crosswinds, the deep, 65mm rear one will help you bank those watts for the crucial final kilometres. They're ready for a tubed or tubeless setup, built with sensible and easily-replaceable spokes, and all the nipples are on the outside.
And the weight with DT Swiss 180 is just 30g higher than 50|50 (1.58kg).
All Reserve gravel wheels are, of course, made to provide high compliance (the feeling of good and comfortable riding). But, at the same time, they're also developed with a good balance between stiffness and durability to fit in racy categories.
The Reserve 22|GR (22 mm rim depth and internal width), more specifically, was developed looking at the best solution bike manufacturers used for the hell fields or Roubaix and Flanders. And that was a box-section aluminium rim that teams still use nowadays. So Reserve took inspiration from that shape and came up with a wheel that still provides lateral stiffness and that's comfy on hard surfaces.
Unlike the road models, the gravel versions can be fitted with I9 Torch hub (weight 1.37 kg) and fit tyres from 30-45 mm. But like the roady cousins, it can also accommodate a DT 350 for a cheaper option.
The Reserve 25|GR can support tyres ranging from 40 to 55mm on a 650b tyre, delivering extra traction and a bit more cushion than a 700c wheel, thanks to the additional air volume. Because as they rightly point out, riding on washboard roads is cool on Instagram, but on long rides, you need all the extra cushioning you can get.
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Unlike the road line, the Reserve 25|GR also comes hookless (an MTB inheritance) and J-bend spokes with an external nipple for a better and quicker replacement when needed. Weight with I9 stands at 1.32 kg for the set.
Last but certainly not least, the 32|GR is the racing wheel of choice for the gravel performers who want to fight for positions and win long, excruciating events. If the 22|GR is the model more tailored to comfort, the 32 would feel sharper – but still comfortable to ride.
However, the main features added on the 32|GR make it more aero than the rest of the line. And as well as the road wheels, this model only fits DT Swiss 180, 240 or 350 with a weight of 1.42kg for the 180 model.