Reserve Announces New 30|SL Wheelset with Wider & Lower Rim

Jun 18, 2021
by Sarah Moore  
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Like the newly released Reserve 28 wheels that we reviewed last month, the 30|SL wheels that Reserve announced today keep their straightforward naming nomenclature with the internal width of the rim determining the model name.

Compared to the previous generation 30|30, Reserve says that the 30|SL is lighter and offers more vertical compliance for a more comfortable ride. The rim's profile is now wider and the overall height is lower at 19mm compared to the 22mm of the 30|30 which Reserve says "increases strength and lateral rigidity while delivering improved vertical compliance for enhanced traction." They also say that the new rim shape eases tubeless tire installation and improves bead retention at lower pressures.
Reserve 30|SL Wheel Details
• Designed for: trail riding
• 29" only
• Carbon rims, 30mm internal width
• 28 spokes
• Hub options: DT Swiss 350, I9 Hydra 29, Microspline or XD, 6B or MS
• Weight: 1750 Grams with i9 Hydra hubs, valves and tape
• Lifetime warranty w/ no weight limit
• MSRP: $1,599 - $1,899 USD

You'll find 28 spokes on the Reserve 30|SL wheelset and you can choose from six-bolt or centerlock rotors, and Microspline or XD drivers. They feature an asymmetrical design flipped front to rear for increased strength. Recommended tire dimensions are 2.2-2.5".

As we saw with the Reserve 28 wheels, there's no Santa Cruz branding on these wheels, likely in an attempt to get more wheels on bikes that aren't Santa Cruz. There is a lifetime guarantee on the wheels with no rider weight limit.

The Reserve 30|SL wheelset weighs just under 1750 grams with i9 Hydra hubs, valves and tape and retails for $1,899 USD. With DT Swiss 350 hubs, the wheels weigh in at 1770g and retail for $1,599 USD. If you get a rim on its own, that weighs 440 grams and will put you back $599 USD.

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The rim profile is now wider and lower at 19mm compared to the 22mm of the previous generation which Reserve says "increases strength and lateral rigidity while delivering improved vertical compliance for enhanced traction."

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There is a lifetime guarantee on the wheels with no rider weight limit.


  • 43 1
 Correct me if I'm wrong about We Are One's. But Enve am30 and these SC wheels seem like a better choice compared to WAO.

This is where you correct me.

If you break a we are one rim, they send you just rim, unbuilt and you're on your own to build it or get laced back up. I know (personal experience) when doing a warranty with Enve, you send it back, and they send it back built-up wheel for free, no shipping with the same hub. about 2 weeks. But you don't have to take it to a shop or watch ours of youtube lacing videos

SC reserve wheels, They send you a new one out asap (being they have some in stock) with a new hub and then you send the old one back. That's what I've heard. Still hard to believe they send out a brand new or slightly used hub but you still don't have to build the wheel back up.
  • 40 0
 I can vouch for this. My riding buddy cracked a front rim. Santa Cruz sent him a complete wheel, no questions asked. Pretty impressed with that.
  • 16 0
 SC's wheel warranty is without a doubt the best in the market. For $1900, you basically get a set of wheels guaranteed to work for life. The absolute worst that could happen is you end up needing to replace bearings or spokes.

As somebody who used to go through a rim or two a season, it is well worth it to me.
  • 8 2
 Now if you could just find Reserve wheels in stock anywhere in the world. I searched for a while last month when building a new wheel set. No dice.
  • 5 3
 @bedell99: Same at what Trek have done for years with their Bontrager wheels Wink .
  • 6 0
 That's not how the ENVE warranty worked for me. They just sent me new un-built rims.
  • 2 1
 @bedell99: Yeah, that is incredible service. That and Danny trying in vain to break them in that ad are the main reasons these are the only carbon rims that I would do. Still happy to have cheapo alu, though, so really I want none of them, haha
  • 10 0
 I've broken 2 Reserves (bought as a complete wheelset). Both times, I had a fully-built new wheel on my doorstep within 48 hours of contact and just had to send the old ones back. Doesn't get any better than that!

Definitely gotta go with the full wheelset though. If you build up a custom wheelset, they'll only send you the rim.
  • 5 0
 I cracked my Race Face Next R within the 2 year warranty period. Sent them a picture of the damage, they had a replacement wheel including hub ready for me in 2 days for pick up (since I'm local to their warehouse in Burnaby BC). Dropped off the damaged wheel while picking up the new wheel which was waiting for me in a box at their shipping/receiving door.

Great service!
  • 7 58
flag jaame (Jun 18, 2021 at 13:39) (Below Threshold)
 Learned how to ride a bike when I was three, started mountain biking when I was ten. Never had to replace a wheel in my life... who needs warranty when you know how to ride properly?
  • 1 0
 @pizzaordie: or your new bike has different hub spacing
  • 2 0
 @idecic: buy a set of hubs with modular end caps like DT 350s or Hydras and you're all good
  • 43 0
 @jaame: maybe you just need to learn how to ride fast now.
  • 2 0
 Yepp, two. Broken SC wheels replaced immediately, zero BS. One directly with SC and one through my shop. I won't consider any other carbon wheelset.
  • 3 1
 I once got a small bubble in the brake track of an ENVE road rim after having the set for almost 2 years. They asked for the set back and sent me a brand new, next generation wheelset immediately. I trust them.
  • 3 0
 @MegaMatt5000: I've had the same experience. Probably less than 48 hours, thoroughly impressed.
  • 2 0
 Good friend of me recently cracked a rear wheel from Santa.

They took 2 months to get a new RIM to him which he then needed to build up again. The reason was "we don't have any in stock in Europe". He was very pissed of as you can imagine..

So this warranty stuff only works out if they carry spares, which they apparently don't in Europe right now.
  • 2 0
 @evernorth: I wonder where the discrepancy happened. Also I'm the one who packages and QC each aftermarket reserve wheel. Hopefully they are in stock now. 2 months seems wild, sometimes I have to overnight wheels and that's crazy expensive..
  • 5 0
 WAO pros:

Look way better without paint (personal opinion)
Made by Canadians in a Canadian facility with great environmental controls and good wages.

I own three sets of WAO rims now and couldn’t be happier. I also have more faith in them for quality and warranty (if ever needed).

I’m a big Enve fan for my road and gravel rims but stick to the USA made rims.
  • 4 1
 @jaame: considering some EWS teams who use carbon rims have a new set of rims for every round, and Greg Minnar found it an achievement to complete 3 races on a rim, then i would say its important to have a warranty as a privateer. Well done for not braking a rim, but for the fast guys out there, it will definitely happen.
  • 1 0
 @jpcars10s: I would have a look at thr Zipp Moto 3. I cracked a reserve after a year. I found them very stiff and after buying the moto 3 rims i could hold a line a lot better over rocks and wet roots etc.

Not sure how quickly they get rims out, but they are very good and in my logic, something that is flexible is less likely to crack when compared to something that is stiff all other factors being equal.
  • 1 0
 @rnayel: I cracked a re wheel and 5 days to send it and receive a new one. They sent me a completely new wheel. The problem is my rims are now over 2 years old so no warranty. WAO cost less and lifetime warranty so seems to be a better deal.
  • 1 0
 @bogey: You get it. Reserve are also good, but WR1 are more betterer. (And to those troubled by building wheels: find a better shop.)
  • 2 0
 My wao broke, they asked me to send them my custom onyx hub and they laced and sent a new wheel with the custom hub for the cost of the spokes and nipples. Was a one week turnaround. Was pretty good service!
  • 1 0
 @drjonnywonderboy: I'm definitely interested in the ride quality of Zipp rims. Curious as to what there warranty is? As someone who frequently breaks frames/rims lifetime warranties are important on big ticket items. I could appreciate a carbon rim that rides more compliant.
  • 1 0

Just built up a set of zipps and the ride quality is top notch.
  • 20 2
 Cue all the ignorant comments based on the assumption you buy carbon wheels for their lighter weight.
  • 5 28
flag thenotoriousmic (Jun 18, 2021 at 12:09) (Below Threshold)
 They’re not lighter since you have to run an insert to stop them shattering on any little bump, the ride quality is horrible and instead of denying they cut a hole through your tyre. I can’t actually think of a single reason why carbon wheels exists other than how much money they can extract from easily manipulated idiots.
  • 16 1
 @thenotoriousmic: in my experience a good carbon rim (wao) far outlasts aluminum for aggressive riding. They don't get bent of true and flat spot ever. And pinch flats occur much less frequently because of the wider flange. Are the carbon rims more expensive in the long run? Only if wheel size changes again. It'll take a while, but they pay for themselves eventually when you're going through 1-2 aluminum rims per year. And I'll accept the premium anyway just to not deal with have to constantly true and relace bent rims
  • 8 0
 @phalley: I’ll vouch for this. And my carbon wheelset rides better than most alloy wheels I’ve ridden. Dunno what the turd monkey above is talking about but doesn’t sound like the voice of experience to me…

@thenotoriousmic then again, I believe everything I read on the internet, so my opinions change drastically moment to moment, ESPECIALLY when reading PB comments section.
… and I’ve been called far worse than an ‘easily manipulated idiot’
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I don’t think an aluminum rim would have lasted nearly as long as the carbon one did in Danny’s test.
  • 1 5
flag thenotoriousmic (Jun 19, 2021 at 1:17) (Below Threshold)
 @MaplePanda: hang on what? You actually refer to that as a test? I take what I said about being easily manipulated back. Wink
  • 3 0
 @phalley: that’s the reason I want them, alu rims are a pita to maintain
  • 23 11
 So why would you buy these instead of We Are Ones?
genuinely curious.
  • 8 22
flag MillerReid (Jun 18, 2021 at 9:33) (Below Threshold)
 Literally zero reason.. unless maybe your LBS sells them idk
  • 30 0
 Since I live in the US I'd by Reserves over We Are One's just so I wouldn't have to deal with international shipping for any warranty issues. Also, my LBS sells Reserve wheels. They're both good wheels, though, so you really can't go wrong.
  • 9 16
flag kroozctrl (Jun 18, 2021 at 9:34) (Below Threshold)
 Because….Merica F*** Yeah!!!

But no, I would rather go with Atomik carbon. It’s a carbon fiber version of spanks vibrocore.
  • 7 0
 Strange how WAO haven't taken off in the UK at all and Reserves seem to be the favourite
  • 7 17
flag seraph (Jun 18, 2021 at 9:50) (Below Threshold)
 Resale value for the bike you put them on. Everyone knows Santa Cruz Reserves. Outside of Canada, no one knows about WeAreOne.
  • 3 0
 because they are actually cheaper than We Are Ones in Europe for example
  • 16 0
 @PAmtbiker: I live in Utah and my WAO rims took 3 days to arrive from Kamloops, and they’re North American made, the reserves are not. Oh, and my old shop I worked at stocked WAO and Reserves.
  • 4 0
 100% for the reason Howiedday says below. I'd much rather the speed and convenience of a full wheel (typically sent within 24 hours) vs rebuild with a rim I have to wait for.
  • 6 0
 Union rim: 495g

This: 440g
  • 5 0
 I have a set of Reserves and a set of WR1's. Both are outstanding, but greater asymmetry and the reinforcement at the spoke nipple are two pretty cool features of the Reserves. Maybe the WR1's are as strong at the spoke nipples, but pretty sure the greater asymmetry on the Reserves has an undeniable, albeit potentially marginal and practically insignificant, benefit.

That said, my Reserves are 3+ years old and when I bought a new wheelset earlier this year for a different bike, I went with WR1 Unions with 1/1 hubs. This new Reserve rim is aiming at the same target, but still think I'd go WR1 for value on the bike for which I bought the wheels.
  • 6 1
 @muscogeemasher: on asymmetry, that may actually be a point against Reserve, depending who you talk to. I have spoke directly with a couple of composite and rim engineers who will argue symmetric rims handle big impacts better. We Are One make a symmetric rim with only moderately offset spoke holes, probably for that reason - impact resistance.

But I am with you on the reinforced spoke holes, and slightly larger spoke holes as far as I can see on the Reserves. That is definitely a strong point.
  • 4 0
 @ceecee: Exactly! WAO make a nice product, but they're pretty chonky for a carbon rim.
  • 7 2
 @seraph: this little company named Industry Nine (I don't know if you have heard of them?) seem to be quite familiar with WAO. Enough to have them manufacturer their rims for surely some others in the US must know about them Wink
  • 5 3
 Reserves are made by the most uncool company ever and have great customer service.

We Are One are quality product with decent service and lots of annoying people pumping them up online to the point where it seems like astroturfing and can’t possibly be real.
  • 3 3
 because when (if) they break, santa cruz sends you a new wheel. WAO sends you a rim and then your LBS takes 10 years to get you spokes because there's a "shortage".
  • 3 3
 @privateer-wheels: Asymmetric rims have better lateral strength due to the more equal spoke tension, but worse radial strength because the spoke tension force has a horizontal component now too.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: that's very interesting and makes a lot of sense. Thx for the info.
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: they make a 28mm iw 29" only 410g rim for I9 which, when assembled with Hydras and aluminum spokes, make Reserve look modest. Also low-profile: Looming rubber shortage may make all this irrelevant--as one we suck our planet dry
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: why compare the weights of these to the unions? The SC is more of an xc rim meant for short travel trail bikes and the unions more suited to enduro/all mountain.
  • 2 1
 @MaplePanda: you are speaking about spoke tension by the sound of it. In which case you would be more correct to talk about stiffness, and less about strength. Asymmetry does nothing to increase the strength of a rim, but it does improve the stiffness of a wheel.

I am talking about the design of the rim and it's ability to disperse energy from am impact. This has a lot to do with the rim profile and layup, and symmetry is said to help, by ensuring the load is shared equally over the rim, and not more to one side than the other. This is exactly why NOBL has introduced sinewave profiles, to mitigate the comprise/trade off of going asymmetric. And again, probably why WAO to a symmetric rim with very modest asymmetric drilling.
  • 1 0
 @Davetheripper: internal and probable external width. 'Wheel details: designed for trail.' Reserve 28 are SCXC. Rsrv 30.2 might be a fairer comparison, but these are the hot new mold/layup/resin. All good
  • 2 0
 @hobbnobs: Have they not? We are the UK distributor and they seem to be flying out the door daily,..
  • 1 0
 @creationcycles: probably not at the frequency of reserves
  • 6 1
 Nice wheels, I'm sure they ride nice and the warranty is awesome, but even though I could afford to buy them, I just can't justify the price in my own head. I find DT XM1700s to be my personal price vs quality = value winner. To each their own and no hate to SC (I own a Chameleon - aluminum of course).
  • 5 0
 “ increases strength and lateral rigidity while delivering improved vertical compliance” thought I’d drifted off into a road bike review there
  • 2 0
 Good to see these updates, but I still feel these aren't super competitive. I've been running a set of RideFast Livewires on my Ripmo for 3 years and have been very impressed. They're the same width internally, 250g LIGHTER, cost less, and are handbuilt in the US. I did crack one a while back (flatted and didn't know, smacked a rock). RideFast rebuilt the wheel with a new hoop within a week and the crash replacement was very inexpensive.
  • 4 0
 1580g prior to valves and tape, says Ridefast's site. 35mm external. So 170g lighter prior to tubeless. Hotline 29 is a fairer comparison, and I bet external on Reserves is at least 36.5mm. Apples to apples--tho Hotlines are 30mm tall. Ride quality can't be as good. 1680g prior to tubeless
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: Ah, you're correct on the weight. Mine were 1530g with everything when I bought them a few years ago and were listed as 1500g w/o tubeless setup at the time. Must have updated something. Still, 150-200g increase on wheels is notable. I'm curious to ride the Reserves. I rode and raced on Santa Cruz bikes exclusively for a number of years, and still have one in the stable today. Best quality carbon on the market IMO, but nothing about their carbon was ever compliant including their first batch of wheels. Hoping these are better.
  • 1 0
 @JcJacob: I'm on the now-discontinued Rsrv 27 27". They pair well with Vigilante 2.3 and are more comfortable than Deemax Pro aluminum and Nox Farlow 29. I think some of it comes down to how rocks are kissed off the rim flange after they've compressed the tire onto the top of it. Crazy how much tech there is here and how competitive the market for these mostly hobbyist products is, when EX471 or equivalent is adequate for everything except snow/sand, but there's no reason 30SLs should not be among the nicest yet
  • 6 1
 1750 grams is supposed to SL? They are pretty pricey as well at 1599-1899.
  • 2 3
 Yeah, my thoughts exactly on the weight. RideFast Livewires are the same width internally, cost less, and are 250g LIGHTER.
  • 1 1
 Take a look at PI-Ropes wheelsets - even the one with newmen alu rims weights 200g less and even costs less.
  • 1 0
 1750g? That’s enduro weight. But these are billed as downcountry? What is SC smoking?
  • 1 0
 How about NOBL? Any warrant experiences from you guys? I’ve got a set an really like them, but haven’t had them long. Also have a set of I9 carbon enduro wheels that have been awesome. No warranty on them after a year, but I run cushcore for some added protection.
  • 2 0
 Overall excellent. Positives: quick response; excellent communication; new rim with no questions asked; assistance sourcing spokes and nipples. Negatives: Shipping not included; had to buy spokes and nipples and build, so not as good as Santa Cruz. I knew that going in, though.
  • 1 0
 @RiderEmeritus: good to hear- I assumed as much based on how good they were to deal with on the front end.
  • 3 0
 Hoping to see a set of 700c x 25mm internal so I can put them on my gravel bike in addition to my 5010 and Blur.
  • 1 0
 Nice to see these. I have loved my original reserve 30s. The article though it does not really specify the application - does SL mean they are more XC oriented or ok for DH type application?
  • 1 0
 "Trail Riding"
  • 2 0
 What’s the rider weight limit on a set of
DT Swiss 1700’s?
  • 1 0
 looks like 120kg system weight limit with a quick goog'
  • 1 0
 Should i buy older model SC Reserve 30 for AM/Enduro bike or DT Swiss XMC 1200? both in 30mm ID, similar price and DT hubs.
  • 7 0
 My personal choice would be the Reserve wheels considering their customer service and warranty.
  • 2 0
 I have ridden the XMC wheels very hard for 3 years, I love 'em, but they're not bulletproof. In this time I needed a rebuild with new spokes on the rear, and new bearings both ends. The XMCs are lighter, but the Reserve's have better warranty. XMC1500 is worth a look too. Round spokes are more reliable.
  • 2 1
 Maybe take a look at the PI Ropes stuff?

Mtb-newd praised the wheelset
  • 1 0
 Thanks guys! i found cheaper combo xmc1200/1501 so i bough that, i was concerned about SC warranty in europe, if i lived in US i would take Reserve 30 for sure.
  • 4 1
 Available summer 2023?
  • 1 0
 Are they considered "beginner" in nowadays standards?
  • 5 7
 A wider, lower, slacker, plastic set of rims for a Penny Farthing and they will relieve you of the price of a decent bike for them. Good one!
  • 1 1
 I don’t understand it either.
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