Originally, the Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon wheels were only available as an upgrade while purchasing a CC level bike. Starting today though, that all changes. Along with the ability to add the wheels to your collection as an aftermarket upgrade, Santa Cruz thought it would be a good chance to put the wheels to the ultimate test. That of course meant giving them to their tame racing driver wild trials star, Danny MacAskill. Their requirements were simple – go out and ride the wheels to destruction.

That may sound simple, but even for a guy that is as hard on his components as Danny Mac, breaking the Reserve Carbon wheels turned out to be a bit harder than anticipated…

Available in three rim widths, the Reserve 25, 27, and 30 all have corresponding inner widths and heights that are proportional to the width to keep a 1.5 to 1 ratio of width to height. That formula is said to keep the stiffness in check and provide an excellent ride quality while keeping the insane level of strength demonstrated above. While all three rim widths are available in 29″ hoops, only the 27, and 30 are available in 27.5″. The rims are hookless with reinforced carbon sidewalls, tubeless compatible, and sell as a complete wheelset in any size for $1,599 with DT Swiss 350 hubs, or $1,899 with Industry Nine Torch hubs. Available now.

santacruzbicycles.com

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Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago

Crazy, my old Reynolds race wheels just cracked because I played the video in the same room

icyclebay
icyclebay
4 years ago

This is pretty cool, but it doesn’t address torsional or lateral forces on the rim at all.

Gillis
Gillis
4 years ago
Reply to  icyclebay

I think the 180’s up the stair case addressed that, at least to some degree. We only saw the edit as well. Who knows how many takes or other moves were done that didn’t make the cut.

JBikes
JBikes
4 years ago
Reply to  icyclebay

Yep, these spontaneously taco when ridden in any fashion not exactly depicted in the vid.

Calamity Jan (@VJGoh)
4 years ago

How are these so CHEAP? That much money for practically unbreakable wheels is a bargain.

Collin S
4 years ago

It’s not really that cheap. Its how markets are suppose to work. As they become saturated with products, prices should go down. Look at carbon frames. It used to be you had to spend 3-5 grand to buy a complete bike with a carbon frame. Now you can buy some carbon road bikes for as little as $1200 from a name brand company. Carbon wheelsets were almost unheard of on a MTB 5 or so years ago, but now, every brand sells at least one, and you can buy a carbon rim from china for $175 (where 95% of all carbon rims come from name brand or not). Lets use the name brand is 3X as expensive, that puts the price of the rim at $525 (so 1050 for rims), spokes and nipples will cost about $100 and the hubset is around 500. That puts the totals to around $1650. There is no reason for a wheelset to cost over that. I like many have sported carbon chinese wheels with nice hubs for thousands of miles without issues and dropped less than $1000 on them. Back in the day, a nice wheelset would cost you $800 (Say the Mavic Ksyriums). Zipps now have wheelsets for $4000. Its ridiculous.

mateo
mateo
4 years ago
Reply to  Collin S

ehh.. not all carbon is the same. Hard to see a ton of value here compared to a decent aluminum wheelset.

Also, Zipp’s most expensive wheels (NSW) are $3100 MSRP. And they make their rims in Indiana.

ENVE will sell you a $3500 MSRP set of (road) wheels, but that includes the carbon hubs, which are also made in Utah alongside their rims.

ENVE M630 – 29″ DT240 = $2800 (1548g)
Reserve 30 – 29″ DT 350 = $1599 (1831g)
Stan’s Flow MK3 (29mm internal) – 29″ = $679 (1918g)

Reserve 27 – 29″ DT 350 = $1599 (1755g)
Stan’s Arch MK3 (26mm internal) – 29″ = $679 (1770g)

Collin S
4 years ago
Reply to  mateo

Look up the MSRP on the 454 NSW Clincher wheelset. It’s $4000. Velonews kept bribing it up in their review as in yeah, they’re good but they’re $4000! If they came down to $3100 its because no one wanted to spend 4g’s on a wheelset.

JBikes
JBikes
4 years ago
Reply to  mateo

for advantage over Al…
My gut instinct would make me believe that carbon wheels tend to stay true longer given carbon doesn’t have any real yield/plastic zone, it just breaks. Up until that point, your wheel should stay true longer than a Al wheel, and be easier to true.
That said, this would only cover out of true conditions due to hits to the rim, not poor balance of spoke tension, spoke fatigue, build issues. Both materials assumed to be true (within tolerance) prior to tensioning.

At an equal price, I’d choose carbon fiber rims for the above reasons.

Casper
Casper
4 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

Due to carbon being so ridig, it doesn’t really go out of true, you are right about that.
But trueing a carbon wheel from scratch is harder than trueing an AL wheel. Every spoke basically has to have the same tension. If one spoke has less tension, the wheel may be true due to its stiffness but it has a weak spot.you can’t see.
‘if the hub is a bit off center, the spokes on ones side has to be loosened and the opposite side tightened. On an AL rim, you could basically just tighten the spokes on one side to pull the hub to center.
And as you mention, an AL wheel could go out of true when riding, but a carbon wheel would just break.

JBikes
JBikes
4 years ago
Reply to  Casper

Given I can measure spoke tension and vertical/lateral run-out, its seems like CF rims are much easier to build.

Dirk Bergstrom
Dirk Bergstrom
4 years ago

He rode backwards down a flight of stairs. Like it was no big thing. Daaamn.

Sumskillz
Sumskillz
4 years ago
Reply to  Dirk Bergstrom

His mastery of gravity and vectors continues to astound me. I stopped the video to watch the backwards stairs a few times. He does not even look like he’s paying attention.

Buster Hymen
Buster Hymen
4 years ago

Having broken 2 (Chinese) carbon wheels this year I can tell you this test is a meaningless simulation of real mtb conditions that cause rim failures.

I broke both rims while descending at a much higher speed than in the video & impacting rocks at (no doubt) too low tire pressures.

I don’t doubt the durability of the Santa Cruz rims…but this video only proves how strong the rims are for trials applications.

JBikes
JBikes
4 years ago
Reply to  Buster Hymen

Can you clarify how the forces on the rim are significantly different? I’m not saying its a perfect repeatable test, but your experiences of a carbon rim breaking are also not too relevant as they could be caused by a number of reasons.

Tom in MN
Tom in MN
4 years ago

Doesn’t really count as a test unless we have a point of comparison. Would a different rim have failed under this craziness even with a properly inflated tire?

Gillis
Gillis
4 years ago
Reply to  Tom in MN

This wasn’t a test. A test requires data points. This was a marketing exercise to show what abuse it can take, or rather what it would take, under one of the best riders, to destroy the wheel. And he arguably abuses parts (and even more specifically wheels) more than the average rider.