Thus far, it’s been only for mountain bikes, but now Santa Cruz Bicycles has expanded their Reserve Carbon wheelset lineup to include 700c and 650B gravel road bike wheels. The rims are a little different for each, and you can build them up with a range of high end hubs. So, what makes them gravel specific?

santa cruz reserve carbon gravel bike wheels

They say the rims’ layups are tuned for the smaller volume tires, particularly for the 700c where tire sizes are typically smaller than what people are running with 650B. That lets them build in a little more compliance, which is a good thing for the (usually) unsuspended gravel bike.

santa cruz reserve carbon gravel bike wheels

Spoke holes are reinforced and offset to put the spokes at the right angles and reduce stress on them.

santa cruz reserve carbon gravel bike wheels

The big difference is that the 700c rims (left) add a small bead hook to help prevent air burping and help you set them up tubeless more easily. The 650B rim maintains the hookless design of their mountain bike rims.

Reserve Carbon 22 700c gets the name from its 22mm internal width (27.5mm external, 1,380g claimed wheelset weight), and the Reserve Carbon 25 650B has a 25mm internal width (30.5mm external, 1,350g claimed wheelset weight). Retail is $2,199 with Chris King hubs, which is a special build option. Stock builds come with DT Swiss 350 ($1,599) and Industry Nine Torch hubs ($1,899). They start shipping in April (700c) and May (650B), all built with 24-count Sapim CX Ray bladed spokes.


    • Carbon handles impacts better than aluminum and also offers better ride quality through vibration dampening. Totally worth the coin IMO. And until you’ve ridden both for an extended period of time you really can’t comment on the difference.

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