Remember when Santa Cruz sent out Danny MacAskill to detonate their beautiful carbon rims
? Well, Reserve's most recent carbon wheel, the 30|HD, is equally impressive, and I quickly put them through the wringer on some torturous North Shore trails. Situated between the strengths of the 30|SL and 31|DH, the new lower profile rim is aimed at aggressive trail riding and enduro racing, weighing in at 1800 grams with Industry Nine Hydra hubs.
The 30|HDs will replace the current model 30|30s starting at $1,799 with Industry Nine 1/1 hubs, with the option to upgrade to the Hydra hubs with a whopping 690 points of engagement. Santa Cruz also builds a handful of bikes that exclusively use mixed or mullet wheel bikes, so if you're looking for the latest incarnation of 27.5" carbon hoops, you're in luck.
Reserve 30|HD DetailsIntended use:
Aggressive trail and enduroWheel sizes:
27.5" & 29"Rim:
30 mm internal width, carbon fiberHub specs:
Boost spacing, XD or MS12 driver optionsSpokes:
28x double butted spokes J-bend w/aluminum nipplesDisc mount:
1879 grams - 29" w/Hydra hubs, valves and rim tape (actual)Price:
starting at $1799 More info: www.reservewheels.com
Like all Reserve wheels, the original owner is backed by a lifetime guarantee that includes free shipping and returns for US customers. There is no rider weight limit for the 30|HDs and they are approved for eMTB use.Features & Construction
Reserve didn't just throw more carbon to tag the HD title. Well they did, because they are thicker and wider externally, but there's more to it than that. The height of the 30mm wide profile rim has been revised and now sits lower for increased impact resistance. More vertical compliance and yet improved lateral rigidity are claims we hear frequently, but we've seen a trend in deep dish carbon hoops slimming down in order to improve the feel out on the trail.
If you take a closer look at the 480 gram rim (29") you'll notice the rim bed is identical to the current 30 | SL model, which is optimized for 2.3-2.5" tires, and features a bead bump for less cursing while seating tubeless tires. Other familiar characteristics are the square reinforcement shapes around the 28 spoke holes that lie offset for greater symmetry and equal spoke tension.
As for the hubs, 6-bolt is the only rotor mounting option and for drivers there is the choice of a SRAM XD or Shimano Micro Spline 12-speed cassette interface. Installation & Setup
Tubeless tire setup can be a messy hassle, but 30|HDs posed no issues with common Maxxis Double Down tires and a standard pump. I didn't need to pull any special tricks, like removing the valve core, since the Fillmore valves let plenty of air through in a single burst from the pump.
The rim tape was also well adhered all the way down in the channel and butted up right to the inner edge of the rim. I've found that some tires can pull the tape down into the rim bed if it's not properly applied, but there were no air bubbles in sight and it survived multiple tire changes. The rim bed holds the tire tight enough that I didn't have to deal with sealant leaking out of the tire before the bead was set, nor did the folding bead tires require levers to install.Initial Riding Impressions
I like to think I'm relatively kind to my equipment. It gets used, but not abused. Well, it didn't take long for that thought to disappear from my head when I came up well short on a sizeable step down gap during my first ride out on the 30|HDs. I thought I would be sending an apologetic email back to the folks at Reserve that evening, but much to my surprise, the rim survived without a hiccup. Even the spokes remained intact and evenly tensioned.
It's likely that other carbon rims may have failed here, or at least some spokes, while an aluminum rim would have surely left me walking out with a wheel looking like a pie with a missing slice. That evening I inspected each eyelet and the inner channel for any signs of cracking, but it still looked brand new. The flatter profile rim promotes more vertical compliance and those square reinforcements around the spoke holes do their job.
Under normal riding conditions, the wheels have a blended feel; firmer than alloy rims, but without the unwanted shock that resonates up to your hands or feet from overly rigid carbon hoops. I didn't find their predecessors, the 30|30 wheels, to be overbearing, but the new model does feel comfortable while plowing down rocky trails at high speeds. I would place them along the lines of a We Are One Union, a rim that I've spent plenty of time on. Both rims hit objects with more of a thud than a ping, and have less feedback than Race Face's Next R wheels. Diving into turns hasn't caused any sudden redirects when the stored energy is released after hard cornering, and across long off-camber sections of trail they don't do anything out of the ordinary.
Moving down to the hubs, the Industry Nine Hydras are known for the buzzing bee-like noise, and that's because they have an exceptionally high number of engagement points - 690, or every 0.52-degrees to be exact. That means if you prefer to ratchet up and over some steps in a technical climb, the power will be almost instantly transferred from the pedals to the wheel. I never found them distracting on the trail and their sound is more of a low hum than a loud tick. For riders looking for a quieter hub, the Industry Nine 1/1 has a still-quick 4-degrees between engagement points, and it's less expensive.
I have noticed on multiple sets of Hydras that the friction can cause the cranks to ghost pedal if you are on foot and pushing the bike. In the bike stand, the hubs spin for a decent amount of time, but may not run as freely as a DT Swiss system.
All in all, the Reserve 30|HD wheels have proved their might as a hard hitting rim for all sorts of pedal worthy bikes and shown improvements in construction and ride quality to the already popular 30|30 model. If you're counting grams or need the utmost in security, you can step to either side of the fence with the lighter duty 30|SL or bomber 31|DH rim options, but the characteristics of these new Reserve wheels are a comfortable and solid choice for all out trail riders or enduro racers.