Santa Cruz Bicycles Release 27.5" Reserve Carbon DH Rims

Jan 16, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

Santa Cruz has announced this week that they will now be offering customers 27.5" Reserve DH rims after previously only offering a 29" version.

The 27.5" Reserve DH rims are available now and feature a 31mm internal width, which is best suited for 2.4 to 2.6". Currently, they are available with either Chris King hubs or as a rim only, allowing you to build up the wheel to your choosing. Santa Cruz are still not offering the option to add their Reserve DH wheels as an upgrade for their V10 downhill bike, but the Reserve wheels can be bought as a wheelset for $2,499 USD or $649 per rim, and like all Santa Cruz Reserve rims they come with a lifetime warranty.

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Wheel Size:

Internal Width:

External Width:


Asym Offset:

Spoke Count:

Recc. Tire Width:

Driver Body Options:

Single Rim Weight:

Complete Set Weights:
(inc rim tape & valves)







2.4 - 2.6in

157x12 XD or 157x12 HG


Chris King: 2050g

Press Release: Santa Cruz Bicycles

The Santa Cruz Syndicate took the downhill racing world by storm when they showed up aboard a 29" V10 at Ft. William in 2017. With the new wheel size proving its mettle, we got to work on engineering our own 29" DH rim that would stand up to the high standards (and abuse) of Minnaar, Shaw, and Vergier.

The time has come to expand even further and introduce the Reserve DH 27.5. Available now from your local retailer.

The latest Reserve carbon wheels were built with custom setups in mind. You get a 27.5-inch rim with a 31mm internal width (suited for 2.4 to 2.6" tires), 20 x 110 Boost compatibility, and either Chris King hubs or the option to purchase rim only.

More info:


  • 76 11
 Gotta say, We Are One has stolen my heart and my credit card after the Pinkbike review. I think the next load of change I drop on a rim will be the $450 lifetime warranty Union rim rather than the $600 Pon Holdings SC reserve rim.
  • 12 2
 Can’t agree enough
  • 10 1
 Yup tough to argue.
  • 4 2
 Same here, I'm a sucker for hand made components... And at that price it's hard to refuse
  • 18 3
 Unpopular opinion: the thing with Santa Cruz is that they are a large enough company to have wheels on stock, even locally. Wheels break, that's how it is. What I have paid for with my Reserves is that when a rim eventually goes, I'll likely get a new rim in a day or two, regardless of where in the world I am. If I had gone for a smaller company it may take a week or more. It may not sound like much, but say that you are on a biking holiday for one week, and get your new rims after a week. I would also argue, if the rim price is 450 or 600, it is a one time expense and doesn't matter. It is just a question of if you go even compared to alloy rims in two or three years.
  • 14 1
 @bengtleon: Or you could use a good alloy rim and get a new rim from a bike shop immediately!

Still $650 American for one rim seems like a pretty good deal to me.
  • 11 0
"What I have paid for with my Reserves is that when a rim eventually goes, I'll likely get a new rim in a day or two" - This is what was expected of SC carbon reserve. Well long story short, it didn't quite work.

It took over 10 months to receive a guaranteed item over original broken one. While the marketing talk may work in US, it sure did not in northern part of Europe, 100% of BS it seems.

I still like SC brand and will most likely buy their frames in future, but nothing beyond that.
  • 11 5
 @jaame: i updooted your post before i read that 650$/rim was a good deal. That's idiotic and i regret my impulsiveness. We live in a world where 70$ alloy rims are excellent.
  • 17 2
 @kittenjuice: I was being facetious.

Let me word it another way.

I've got a joke for you. Santa Cruz is making 275 carbon rims now and you can buy one for $650.

  • 3 1
 Agree, cannot fault my we are one agent wheels still going strong after 5000+km
  • 2 1
 @ybsurf: anybody put some extended mileage on specialized rovals? i rode & really liked a stumpy 29 with rovals this past summer and wondering if this another good option for the pricepoint?
  • 4 1
 @rocky-mtn-gman: don’t do it, I have had 2 fails with no support from Specialized! Would rather go with Santa Cruz if I was to consider carbon again.
  • 3 1
 @rocky-mtn-gman: go we are one you deal straight up with CEO founder Dustin with best customer service, never had to do a return but heard it's the best return policy out there and from north america
  • 2 0
 WR1 also has a UK branch for those that were not aware.
  • 4 1
Are those timelines to replace a rim from Santa Cruz and We are One assumptions or are they researched facts?

If they are assumptions then I could also assume that it would take Santa Cruz one month to replace a rim because they prioritize filling orders with current stock to the bikes for full bike distribution. This is a problem We Are One does not have. Assumptions can go both ways.
  • 1 2
 I'd love a set of We Are One rims, but would you consider it weird to throw carbon rims on an alloy bike? Especially when the rims are nearly 2/3 the cost of my complete bike
  • 4 0
 @matt-15: Nope. That's what I'm doing.
  • 4 0
You get a little flex in the frame and stabilization on the ground...for us not longer in out 20's it sounds like a good idea.

Depends on the wheels too. Enves are super stiff, WA1 are in the middle of stiffness, and some Zipp/Stans wheels are made to flex. The pairing is the important part of the equation. Alu frame with long travel (Enve), Mid travel & XC (WA1), and short travel xc/hardtails (Zipp or Stans). That would be my direction if I were doing it.
  • 1 0
 @vjunior21: My bike would be mid travel (150F/ 140R), and I'm looking at the WA1, so I think they would work amazingly
  • 4 0
 @vjunior21: I broke a Reserve wheel last year and had a replacement wheel sent out within 24 hours. Only lost one day of riding. The SC guarantee seemed to work well in my case. Do love We Are One wheels, too.
  • 2 0
 @Novakki: Reynolds treated me well when i holed one of their wheels.
  • 1 0
 @Novakki: So sorry you had to deal with that. I have used Reserve wheels on my Bronson V3 and I banged them hard for one season and they are mint. no dent no nothing no crack .

However my V3 snapped , the rear triangle where the derailler is and in 4 days I had new rear triangle and re built the bike for free. So to me thats wow
  • 24 5
 When the alloy downhill hoop, and the carbon downhill hoop weigh the same, is it worth paying over three times as much money for the carbon hoop??..... and do I even really want a carbon rear wheel on my DH rig????...... not so sure I do, and factor in the price difference and I know for sure I don't. I'd love to have them on my nomad, that much I know for sure, but the prices for these Carbon wheels has gotten so ridiculous that there's just no way
  • 6 2
 I think its the feel more than weight for a lot of people as well
  • 26 15
 @freeridejerk888: yeah, a feel of having premium shit... Dentists approve.
  • 7 1
 I've carbon rims (LB rather than a premium brand, so only £300 for both rims (a few years back)) and ride trail/enduro route tracks with occasional dh uplift days. The biggest difference for me was the weight. Yes the wheel is a bit stiffer but when I ride rough stuff I can be left a little bit more beaten up at the end of the day. Where a bit of deflection / compliance can make your bike track better, I am not sure what the justification is for them for dh riding when they are 9x more expensive than a top alu rim...
If I was buying a dh bike my money would be going into the suspension rather than carbon wheels...
  • 4 0
 I am in the same boat. Life is a shit sandwich, the more bread you have the less shit you have to eat. I'm sure if I had the disposable income I would try them. Until then, Hopes laced to DT's for about 650 a set is my go to,
  • 2 0
 3times more? More like 6times ffs compared to some very high quality rims like DT 471, 511 or whatever you fancy pretty much.
  • 1 1
 When you consider the strength to weight ratio of carbon vs aluminum, yeah, the carbon rim of the same weight is worth it.
  • 19 1
 I’ll spend that for a pair of ARB bumpers for my 3rd gen 4runner and suffer through another season on aluminum hoops. Offroad Dentistry
  • 10 2
 The 3rd gen 4runner is one of the best cars ever made. I wish they were still producing them.
  • 5 1
 Bumpers won’t get your 4RNR off the overland dirt roads. If your gonna spend the money on ARB, at least make it the lockers.
  • 6 0
 @5afety3rd: For sure. I wouldn't run ARBs. Just something that popped into my head. ARB is kinda the ENVE for mainstream OHV Wheelers™
  • 3 0
 @endlessblockades: oh i know all about that shit, i live in OHV mecca
  • 1 0
 It's funny that people think a pair of pro-level racing wheels are too expensive but won't bat an eyelash at spending the same amount of money on bumpers for an ORV as if that's a better value somehow.
  • 1 0
 Its funny, getting a Fox 4.0 bypass or coil-over on my friends 6100 desert truck is the same price as getting a fox 40 fork serviced. The only difference is he has to pay for 8 shocks to be serviced.
  • 2 0
 @vonroder77: a damper is just a damper regardless of size or application. The work is about the same, should be similar price.
  • 1 0
 @5afety3rd: It's cool that they are similar, we just figured it would be more due to how much more oil those size shocks take. I'm gonna shut up now before I give Fox any ideas and piss off all the off-road guys.
  • 15 1
 $650 a rim? no big deal..... (The sound of cash flapping away in the wind)
  • 7 1
 I can get a DT Swiss EX511 or FR570 (or any WTB rim)with nice hubs built up for 650usd which weight about 50-100g more

650usd for a rim is insane
  • 26 3
 @NotNamed: I can’t believe you put WTB and DT Swiss in the same sentence...
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: i bought fortus 30 f/r wheelset for 420 bucks
  • 3 0
 @NotNamed: paid 400€ for my complete and new hope enduro wheelset with pro 4 hubs...
  • 16 1
 Life time Warranty on a DH set of wheels.....yes please
  • 10 2
 Honestly, such a disappointment. I did 2 seasons of whistler and 1 in queenstown on dt Swiss e1900, never even broke a spoke. And that’s 1300+ laps on total. Treated myself to a fancy SC with reserves and am on route for my third rear wheel. Have to tighten spokes every f*cking week. At least the lifetime warranty will keep me fresh
  • 5 0
 But is it even worth it for the time you have to put it to waiting on your warranty and having your wheel rebuilt?
  • 7 0
 Quit landing sideways Peter. Lol
  • 4 1
 This is really interesting, if there is one thing I've found about my Reserves it is that I almost never have to worry about spoke tension. I did 10-15 enduro races and about 4000k on them last year and only had spokes loosen once or twice. That said, I did have the spokes detension when I first got the wheel as they came from the factory without Spoke Prep. Once that was added there was no detensioning issues.
  • 3 0
 I’m a big guy riding e1900s on a hard tail, I’m not the gentlest of riders and they haven’t skipped a beat despite me not thinking they would last long. Only thing I did was get the front rebuilt with a boost hope hub when I got new forks. The rear has never been touched in 3 years of riding. I’d buy another set for sure. And they are lighter than these.
  • 11 0
 No love in the comments section but you know people will still buy them
  • 1 1
 Does anyone buy after market carbon rims?
  • 3 0
  • 10 3
 Wow, I can buy Santa Cruz branded rims made in a sweat shop overseas or I can buy carbon rims made in Canada or the US for less. Amazing, thanks to Pinkbike for showing us the light and the right.
  • 3 3
 Wait. I thought capitalism was the greatest thing ever...
  • 5 1
 Wrong. Firstly, their rims are manufactured in the US, and secondly, bicycle manufacturing jobs in SE Asia are highly sought after jobs in the region: they pay well and offer nice working conditions.
  • 3 1

Agreed. Nice working conditions like not having to recycle because they just toss waste into the ocean.
  • 1 0
 @jwboushelle: Their website says they are "assembled" in the U.S. The rims are still made overseas like almost everybody else.
  • 6 1
 So Pro DH and Enduro riders use the DT EX471 quite a bit. It has proven to be insanely durable, has a reasonable weight, and it is only 25mm wide.

What is marketing and what is reality? Do I need 30mm+ wide Carbon rims to be able to ride to my limits?

When carbon weighs as much as the aluminum counterpart I find it ridiculous to pay 3x the cost or more.
  • 1 0
 I've got a pair of DT Swiss EX471's on DT350 hubs with a 36T Chinese ratchet and Sapim double butted spokes I built myself cost about £400 for the pair. I've also got a set of Light Bicycle EN728's on the same hubs that cost £660 ish delivered and taxed. The LB carbons are about 180g lighter for the pair and noticeable stiffer, harsher riding (on rocky terrain), I bought them for my trail bike as I wanted burly and light, they do that well. I've taken to putting them on my enduro bike for racing and when I ride in spain as I have destroyed many Aluminium rims there on the rocks (not DT Swiss I may add - they are the only Aluminium rims that have survived a week of uplifts), the LB's have taken some serious hits that would have folded the bead seat over on many an aluminium rim. Sometimes after a long day of rocky riding the LB's can be a bit more tiring than the DT Swiss. My conclusions is expensive Carbon is not a sensible purchase as the benefits are too small or debatable if they even exist for enduro / DH, for everyone like me who has found Carbon to seem to hold up better someone has smashed one to pieces. Trail riding / XC the cheap light weight but strong LB's carbon for me is I think worth it, the weight benefit is clear for a £260 premium. No way would I ever consider paying Santa Cruz / Enve etc money.
  • 9 2
 Coming up next: the best ways to store your Santa Cruz on your private jet.
  • 3 0
 I have a 29er set for my sentinel and they are awesome. Even busted the rear on a nasty rimbuster rock that also put two huge holes in my tire. Didn't even miss a ride the turn around was so fast. $2500 is a lot of money for a set, though. I went with the 350 variants at 1600 and it makes a lot more sense.
  • 5 0
 Everyone complaining about the rim price but are chris king hubs really around $1200 a set? That seems like as big of a waste.
  • 3 0
 It is. So are most of the ultra premium hubs. Hopes, DT350s, even Novatecs are just fine. This market is like most luxury, enthusiast markets. There are well defined points of diminishing returns. Santa Cruz C vs CC frames for example... Queue the fans saying they've had a set of CKs for 100 years. I've had a set of DT350s for as long as the hub standards would allow.
  • 1 0
 @mtbgeartech: I have DT350s on all of my bikes. I would like some crazy engagement, but I love the ease of service, reliability, and price too much to fret too much.
  • 5 0
 You can buy a DT Swiss FR1950 wheelset with has 240 hubs, and weighs just over 2000 grams for the pair for 600 euros ($675USD/$890CAD)
  • 4 1
 exactly... You aren't even saving weight with these. You're just spending money to impress your fellow riders.
  • 2 0
 Rims made in China. And it's more expensive than Canadian made We are One rims. Both offer Life Time warranty. I can see the value in making an Uber light xc wheel in carbon fiber if you could get the rim weight down to 300 grams. As for DH or full on endro , how much does a Spank or Stan's rim weigh in Al ? And if Carbon fiber is 50percent stronger as I'm told over and over again. Why don't we have 300 gram DH rims????.
  • 2 0
 Another vote for not getting the point of spending 650 on a rim. How much faster will it make me? How much more fun will I have? How many will I have to break for the cost to be effective vs. a decent aluminum rim? If I break a rim do I have to spend my time and dollars on new spokes, nipples, rim tape and sealant to rebuild it? How long do I have to be off my bike waiting for the replacement to show up?
  • 1 0
 Has anyone else experienced that seating tires on these rims seems to be more of a struggle than most other rims? I've setup multiple brand tires on Reserve rims and it's consistently difficult to seat the beads even when using a compressor.
  • 2 0
 Does it not seem like you could build these wheels out yourself for cheaper? Or are these magic $500 spokes?
  • 4 1
 Made specifically for the E-Bronson that’s coming sooner than later..
  • 1 0
 The price for these is insane and anyone who buys them is an idiot. Now if you'll excuse me I need to go spend $4k upgrading the stereo in my Sprinter van.
  • 2 0
 Need a first ride video... its shit outside.... its NEW BIKE DAY
  • 5 2
 Insane. No thanks
  • 1 0
 For a weak rider like me a pair of hubs,aluminum rims and cushcore is enough
  • 4 1
 Not expensive enough
  • 1 0
 People. Remember, If you have enough money anything is disposable.

I’ll just leave that right here for all to enjoy.
  • 2 0
 Crc rims ftw
  • 2 1
 at 2050g you should save all that money and buy aluminum.
  • 1 0
 Ok just taught it was 27.slow

Sorry! Smile
  • 1 0
 Ok, was thinking about 27.slow.

  • 2 1
 What a joke.
  • 2 1
 way to much money
  • 1 2
 Preeetty sure the Chris King hubs have a lifetime warranty too.
  • 3 5
  • 13 1
 Maybe they should make a video of danny macaskill trying to destroy them?????????
  • 1 1
 @bonkywonky: there is one already,but it's the trail version of these rims
  • 10 12
  • 6 0
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