Santa Cruz's Really Wide Carbon 29er Rim - Crankworx Whistler 2019

Aug 16, 2019
by Mike Levy  
Santa Cruz Reserve 37 29 wheels

There was a time when house-branded components were only cheap stems, handlebars, and seatposts with a logo slapped on to keep the bike's price as low as possible. These days, they're often high-end carbon fiber wheels and handlebars that, while still being used to save some coin over name-brand stuff, are often worthy of upgrading to themselves. Santa Cruz's Reserve wheel range debuted in 2017 and would probably fall into that category for most riders, and they've just released a new rim size for those who like big wheels and big meat: a 29" version of their Reserve 37 rim that's, you guessed it, 37mm wide internally.

Santa Cruz Reserve 37 29 wheels
The Reserve 37 rim is intended to be used with tires from 2.5" to 3.0" wide.

Rims this wide tend to splay a tire's bead out, which can, in turn, flatten the profile and make the handling a bit funny if the tire wasn't designed for it. Santa Cruz says that the 37mm internal width is intended for rubber that's 2.5" to 2.8" wide, and they'll even play nice with your 29" x 3" wide tires, you lovable kook.

The carbon rim is constructed in the same way as its 27.5" counterpart, and that means they get the same asymmetrical drilling and external butting at each spoke hole. The offset holes are used so left and right-side spoke tension is closer to being equal, while the extra material at each of the angled holes is said to increase strength in a critical zone. The bumps make the Reserve hoops stand out from a sea of black carbon rims that all look alike, too.

Santa Cruz Reserve 37 29 wheels
Santa Cruz Reserve 37 29 wheels
There's added carbon at the spoke holes (left) for increased strength at a critical spot, while the bead (right) is said to be relatively thick for impact resistance.

Complete wheels are built with twenty-eight Sapim CX-Ray spokes, with the idea being to add in a touch of compliance by using fewer (and bladed) spokes, and you can get 'em with DT Swiss' 350 or Industry Nine hubs at the center. There are, of course, SRAM or Shimano-style freehub options.

Time for the numbers. A bare, 29" Reserve 37 rim sells for $599 USD and is said to weigh 495-grams, while a complete wheelset with the Swiss' hubs will cost $1,599 USD and weigh a claimed 1,785-grams. They do come with a solid sounding warranty as well, with a free replacement rim if you manage to inflict fatal damage while riding. Off-bike incidents fall under the crash replacement program.


  • 36 19
 We Are One.... Buy these instead.
  • 5 3
 Yup i did. They r gorgeous. Total waste of $$ for carbon. But i love them.
  • 2 0
 i've been curious about those... what's better about them?
  • 13 8
 @mikefromdownthestreet: Less expensive and hand made in Canada. Absolute diamond in the rough.
  • 8 1
 yup, I have these too. Remember part of the cost is the hydra hubs. Almost too good to be true when the builder contacts you to confirm your order. Hope their business model is sound and they do well. Gonna try oneup's dropper post next. would be nice if my bike was to have a bunch of top shelf, affordable and durable, locally made parts hanging off it.
  • 4 2
 WR1 makes the best rims hands down, beautiful layup too!
  • 17 8
 I dunno about Canadians, but it's pretty easy to get rider support from Santa Cruz and get reserves with torch hubs for less than those.
  • 7 4
 @windclimber: We Are One offers a no questions asked life time warranty, Hydra hubs and they're cheaper.
  • 4 8
flag foggeloggliod (Aug 17, 2019 at 10:24) (Below Threshold)
 But can you ride down a stairs with iut a tire and survive? We are one is cool but who's proving then worthy?
  • 4 3
 @foggeloggliod: Your Wallet.
  • 7 0
 @foggeloggliod: idk Rheeder, Vaea, Connor fearon just to name a few.
  • 1 13
flag foggeloggliod (Aug 17, 2019 at 15:32) (Below Threshold)
 @tricyclerider: not enough. Needs some better marketing
  • 7 3
 Ok so am I seeing a new 29er coming (maybe a new tall boy?). Currently what in the SC lineup would these work with? Hightower v2 is a max recommend 2.4 tire and only some 2.5 will fit which to me sounds like a 37mm would open the tire up even more and cause more conflict. The Megatower isn’t really made with big tires in mind since it has a lot of actual travel (currently theories go either have actual travel and more direct tires or have shorter travel and add big tires for added suspension and traction). So SC is gonna build a rim that they can’t use on any of their bikes? I don’t think so.
  • 5 1
 I can definitely see some bored rich dudes doing interesting things on the chameleon. The only time I've thought about a wide 29" rim is on my aggro HT but that is just a passing thought.
  • 10 2
 This is wheelset for any bike. Don't think of it as an upgrade to SC bikes. Think of it as an upgrade to any bike.
  • 6 1
 E-bike probably
  • 1 0
 They are a wheel company, these wheels go great on all kinds of 29+ bikes. Not for SC bike.
  • 1 1
 @DarylP: new tall boy out today and surprise it fits 2.6 tires. Tell me again how SC is a wheel company and they didn’t make these to fit one of their own bikes. Anyone with any business knowledge would know your not gonna make a product that can’t be used on any of your own product line. The 29x37 was a dead giveaway the tall boy was right around the corner and would fit wider 29 tires.
  • 2 0
 @Jesse221: uhhhh... I'm scratching my head here.

None of the Tall boy builds have an option for these 37mm wide rims, none of them are spec'ed with 2.6" tires.

You're reaching pretty hard here. The more telling thing is the Radavist shoot, and the fact that none of the tallboy builds (25mm rims and 2.3 tires) or promo shows any hint of the 37mm rim.

And also, the Santa Cruz page claims 37mm will work nicely with Maxxis 2.5WT, so technically it has any chance of being on any other bike in their line up.
  • 7 1
 Newmen Evolution SL A.35 at $640 a pair for the win.
  • 2 0
 Sooo... I think this is a very interesting width of rim and I have questions for other users:

I have 36mm internal rims (trail360's) on a 29er full sus trail bike. My problem is, these rims lock me in to pretty much one tire size for this bike: 2.6's. The frame can't handle wider tires, the wheels can't handle narrower. I love 2.6 tires, but... I also like options, so I find myself wishing I'd gotten narrower aftermarket rims. What are folks' favorite 2.6 tires?

Second, if I were to build a second bike for these wide wheels, I'd want a frame that can run at least a 2.8 rear. Do you amazing PBers know a great 29er frame that accepts 2.8 rears and is designed for a 130 - 150mm fork? And then, what 29er fork with can handle a 2.8 - 3.0 front tire?

  • 3 0
 You can ride Maxxis 2.4 and 2.5 wt tires with 36mm. Have 35mm on my Dh bike and it works sweet
  • 1 0
 2.6 bontragers and Vittorias work great.
  • 1 0
 I just built up a Cotic Solaris max, it can run 2.8, not sure if they are available in the US though.
  • 1 0
 yep, I find my DHR 2.4 have noticeably less edge grip on 36mm rims to my old 25mm. 2.5 DHF is ok though. I think 30mm is best all rounder unless you want to run fragile balloon tyres.
  • 2 0
 @NicoOfner: @Otago: Yes, Maxxis WT tires works very well with ±35mm rims. I tried 2.5 DHF with these 37mm Reserve rims (but in 27.5) and they were really convincing as a pair. I am actually considering running similar setup at the front of my own bike.
But for the rear I am happy with narrower rim and tire. You can run 2.6 Rekon at back for example but I would suggest it only for hardtail use. Its too balloonish for full-sus IMHO.
In short, Maxxis 2.5/2.6 with ±35 rim, and 2.4/2.3 with 25-30mm rim. Those are all my opinions.
  • 1 0
 35mm internal here and I'm over the moon about the 2.5 WTB Convict up front, got a 3 incher on the back of my hardtail though, can't help ya for a rear tire. Maybe a 2.5 or 2.6 Vigilante?
  • 1 0
 I have 2.6" Specialized Eliminator and Slaughter tires on my hard tail. They make a great combo!

I believe the Butcher comes in 2.6" as well.
  • 1 0
 29 x 2.8 front tire (Cake Eater) on an i35 rim my winter wheels. Fits no problem on a Yari 27.5+/29" fork.
  • 1 0
 We are one don't pay pinkbike for press... so they don't get enough attention on here.

Consider supporting a great company, full of great riders and industry veterans.

Have a look at how many great riders are on their wheels (Brett Rheeder for example)
  • 1 0
 Tried these rims in 27.5 version. Paired with 2.5 WT DHF it was the grippiest combo ever (2.8's at i40 is too hardcore).
In 29er version it must be insane. I can see use for such wide rim at front (I have i35's).
  • 6 4
 I’m done with carbon wheels. Broke 3rd one in as many years. Company will warranty. But missing good riding.
  • 6 2
 People used to say when they smashed a carbon rim they would have done the same to an alu one. You didn’t think that was the case?
  • 10 0
 @powderturns: Yes it would have. But not have to be replaced can usually fix a dent. But not a shattered wheel.
  • 7 7
 You only have one set of wheels?
  • 2 2
 @JohanG: cannot understand that too, especially after he had several experiences with broken rim
  • 8 1
 Proper air pressure can work wonders for not destroying rims...
  • 3 0
 I have effed up too many wheels at this point to ever only own one pair. Aluminum or carbon hoops, always keep a second set handy... or just a whole second bike =)
  • 1 0
 @Lokirides: I agree. I only have two bikes but have back up sets for each. They’re no pimped but can fill the gap in a pinch. Life’s too short to have a single set of wheels.
  • 3 1
 Didn't Santa Cruz initially sell their rim warranty as no questions asked? Last sentence seems to suggest otherwise?
  • 4 0
 most companies didnt expect so many idiots to run over their wheels, so they have to put that in to save their asses from the people breaking their wheels while NOT riding the bike.
  • 7 2
 Santa cruz has said exactly that for years. You f*ck them while riding, warranty, you f*ck elsewhere, Crash replacement. Check up any review for the last 5 years. This has always been their rhetoric.

And honesty, it's a great warranty. You f*ck up on bike? Covered. f*ck up off bike? Mostly covered. Go talk to Enve if that isn't good enough.
  • 2 3
 @Zaeius It was no questions asked from the beginning......Santa Cruz called everyone out with that video of Danny Mac taking it to a set of Reserve wheels.

I have a set and they're quality built wheels.......that take the punishment
  • 2 3
 Shoutout; been running the 25mm XC rims for about 8 months with no issues. Call yah ma call yah pa, these things last.
  • 15 3
 The meaning of the word "warranty" has become diluted. It used to mean that a company would make THEIR f*ckups right, not YOUR f*ckups.
  • 2 0
 Carbon rims now weigh the same as aluminum rims, what's the point in going carbon?
  • 1 0
 Well, that's not really true when comparing apples to apples. For a given width and strength, AL rims are typically much heavier than carbon. That aside, my favorite aspect of carbon rims is how little truing they need compared to AL. Not that that justifies the expense alone, but it is nice to have a wheel spin true for years. 3 years and counting, in my case.
  • 1 1
 Pretty awesome. I've been looking for a good set of 29+ rims. I've seen these reserve wheels take some serious a use with zero issues. I'm impressed.
  • 2 0
 Gazza on dx32 was big, but 37mm is def wide
  • 4 6
 Tires keep getting taller and taller, due to tire size and rim width increases, it's a wonder people can even corner anymore. Oh wait, they can't, which is why mullet bikes have appeared and have been winning races. Seriously, 29 x 2.4 on 30mm rims is about as tall as a true all-mountain tire diameter can get before turning into a crappy experience.
  • 1 0
 Wrong photo on the right, aluminum rim brake?
  • 2 0
 25mm Ain't Dead!!!
  • 1 1
 try tandellbikes they have all these sizes and more. and all below $800
  • 2 1
 Know for cracking!
  • 2 4
 Do they come in Aluminum?
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