Reynolds new range of Aero wheels are available in 52mm, 72mm and 90mm depths and we tested a 90mm on the rear and 72mm up front. The range was designed by wheel maestro Paul Lew and uses trickle down DET (dispersive effect termination) technology from Reynolds top of the range RZR wheels to offer a far more competitively priced wheelset.
Rather than go for a flatter more rounded leading edge like Zipp, Hed or Enve, these wheels terminate at the spoke face with a sharper leading edge. Reynolds say this helps to smooth the airflow and this unique shape shifts the centre of pressure forward of the hub to reduce the overall drag and improve the handling. The 26.2mm wide rims (this is the same for all depths) provide a wider and sturdier rim that smoothes the airflow as it transitions from the tyre on to the face of the rim. While each rim in the range is the same width the profile of each size uses a unique shape. This is to ensure air stays attached to the rim for as long as possible to reduce drag and improve handling across the line. This is achieved using a step in the braking track. The step creates low pressure and as the fast moving air passes the low pressure encourages it to smoothly follow the profile of the rim.
Reynolds developed a new pad for the Aero range of wheels, which they call the CTg Cryo-Blue, to help with the issue of heat dispersion.
Clincher rims are more susceptible to heat build up over the wider shape of a tubular rim. The CTg refers to the carbon laminate used on the braking surface and the Cryo refers to the compound used for the brake pad. This combination produces a braking system that works at around 38 degrees Celsuis lower than Reynolds previous system, which makes it a safer and more predictable.
Out on the road all this thought and technology all becomes apparent and the Aero wheels roll with the best of those that we have tested. These wheels are fast and while they feel stiff, they provide a forgiving ride that doesn’t leave you battered after five or six hours in the saddle. We were especially impressed with the way they handled in cross winds and how stable they felt on large descents. As for the braking this was excellent and never grabby or scary. The blocks and rims allow for good progressive braking, which provides a reassuring ride. Being a clincher makes the Aero wheels far more practical in terms of daily use when it comes to tyre choice and puncture economy. Reynolds has come to the table with a competitive wheel that holds its own against the big players when it comes to weight, performance, handling and cost.