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  • Reynolds - 46 Aero Carbon Road Wheelset - Clincher - Black

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  • Reynolds - 46 Aero Carbon Road Wheelset - Clincher - Black

Reynolds 46 Aero Carbon Road Wheelset - Clincher

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    4 Reviews

    Details

    Reynolds' signature profile.

    While Reynolds has a quiver brimming with world-class race wheels, it's calling the 46mm its "signature rim depth." The reason for this is its exceptional versatility and optimal aerodynamics across every discipline of riding. From your ultra-fast weeknight crit series to the steepest of the summer hill climbs, Reynolds' new 46 Aero Carbon Clincher Road Wheelset has you covered. Its construction serves to beautifully illustrate Reynolds' latest generation of lightweight, durable, and aerodynamic carbon wheels.

    The complexity of the Aero design is deep, but we'll walk through it together. To start, one needs to understand the prevalent ideology in aerodynamic wheel design, and to do so, we need to understand drag. Simply put, drag is the restraining force that acts on the wheel when its direction of motion is counter to the free stream of airflow. Now, airflow near the surface of a wheel is turbulent by nature, and when it comes close to the rim surface, it becomes a turbulent boundary layer. This is the start of two kinds of drag, skin friction and pressure drag. Currently, wheel makers are attempting to harness the turbulent layer, reattaching it at the rear section of the rim. The reasoning behind this is that the system reduces pressure drag, but in return, the wheel sees gains in skin friction. However, this is viewed as a compromising tradeoff, as skin friction has around a ten-fold lower drag value than pressure drag.

    To maximize this turbulent system, we've been seeing builders create a constant, rounded edge at the spoke face. For those attempting it, it's been viewed as a leap forward in design. However, Reynolds finds it to be counterintuitive. We'll explain. You see, the science of aerodynamics has developed almost as a case of supply and demand. As aviation technology develops, engineers are forced to develop more efficient airfoil designs, and these designs take the shape of what's called a NACA profile — think of a stretched out tear drop shape. In recent years, though, some wheel designers have started to view the NACA profile as insufficient to the aerodynamics of wheels. The reasoning behind this is that while an airfoil only has what are called a leading and trailing edge, the rim's shape requires a trailing edge to double as a leading edge. Thus, we see the wide, rounded spoke faces of today. However, given that these systems rely on turbulence, Reynolds views this development as a step back from the proven designs of the airfoils that smooth turbulence. And this is just what the 46 Aero does with what Reynolds is calling, Dispersive Effect Termination (DET).

    Starting at the rim bed, the 46 Aero features an ultra-wide maximum width of 26.2mm. As a clincher, this eliminates the drag-increasing balloon effect caused by a tire being wider than a rim. Now, the tire width matches the leading edge of the rim, creating less turbulence at the airflow's introduction to the wheel. The benefits to this design are fourfold — it delivers an aerodynamic benefit, it increases lateral rigidity, it also increases comfort, and it decreases rolling resistance. Moving down to the spoke face, the 46 Aero is shaped in a NACA-profiled, tapered V-shape that ends with a sharp trailing edge. This is where Reynolds starts to challenge the status quo. Basically, the Aero's shape actually smooths airflow over the wheel, and when that air passes the spoke face, it's easily reattached at the rear of the rim. So, the Aero places a focus on mitigating turbulence, not accepting it.

    So, with DET, drag is greatly reduced. However, Reynolds wasn't content with just this. In fact, Reynolds views the aerodynamic engineering of wheels as a four-part structure. 1) The wheel must be lightweight, yet structurally sound. 2) It must reduce turbulent airflow in order to create a low-drag system. 3) The aerodynamic efforts cannot compromise the steering and handling of the bike. 4) The wheel must generate an aerodynamic advantage from its lift-drag-ratio. Not surprisingly, one wheel rarely encompasses all of these traits. In fact, we find that article numbers Two and Three actually tend to contradict one another — think of a disc wheel. However, at around 1505 grams, and with the lowest drag system on the market, the 46 Aero accomplishes all of the above harmoniously. But, to solidify this, let's get into requirements three and four.

    This brings us to DET's most impressive characteristic, handling. In relation to the bearing, it's rare to have a real-world circumstance of a straight 180 degree head wind. In reality, you spend 95% of your riding time between 0 and 20 degrees of yaw with a wind angle anywhere from 0 to 100 degrees in relation to the bearing. Accordingly, DET places a focus at improving handling while side force is acting on the wheel. To do so, the DET rim shape pushes the center of pressure forward, beyond the center of mass (hub axle center), for a more stable steering force. For reference, the Firecrest's center of pressure is a little behind the center of mass. But, in the case of DET, the lift and drag vectors are accordingly shifted into a favorable position that extends the range of lift, and as a result, it delays aerodynamic stall (the point where the drag vector is larger than the lift vector) in order to achieve a larger "sweet spot." Why is this important? Well, it creates a more predictable sense of handling, conserves watts, and requires less steering force from the rider. Additionally, the DET shape prevents stall at angles before 20 degrees of yaw, while most competitor's offerings experienced stall between around 12.5 and 14 degrees of yaw. This means that the Aero's handling "sweet spot" is extended to a window of 7.5 degrees higher than the competition. You'll also find that DET's center of pressure maximizes the forward thrust vector (a quantity that has direction and magnitude), while the rim shape increases lift and decreases turbulent flow. So, the effective lift-to-drag ratio creates a forward thrust that, basically, requires you to exert less watts to propel the wheel forward. Essentially, this system works almost like a turbine that feeds off of the wind.

    With the Aero, Reynolds also addressed an all-too-common ailment to carbon wheels — poor braking. The solution was found through the development of what Reynolds calls its Crynogenic Glass Transition Braking System (CTg). Essentially, this is a patented braking design that required both a redesign of the brake track laminate and pads. Accordingly, CTg uses a temperature-conductive laminate at the brake track's transition points that withstands higher levels of heat than typical carbon laminates (around a 100 degree dispersion). And when paired with Reynolds' polymer Cryo Blue brake pads, braking becomes more predictable and requires less finicky feathering on fast descents.

    The Reynolds 46 Aero Carbon Clincher Road Wheelset is available in the color Black with White labels and in a clincher configuration. Please note that the rear wheel is offered with either a Shimano or Campagnolo 11-speed freehub compatibility. Also, every wheelset includes two pairs of Reynolds Cryo Blue Brake Pads. Reynolds strongly recommends only using its proprietary pads, and the use of any other brake pads will result in a void of your warranty.

    • Item #REY000G

    Tech Specs

    Material
    [rim ] carbon fiber
    Rim Width
    [internal] 16 mm, [external] 26.2 mm
    Rim Depth
    46 mm
    Front Hub
    DT Swiss 240
    Front Hub Type
    quick-release
    Rear Hub
    DT Swiss 240
    Rear Hub Type
    Shimano/SRAM 9/10/11, Campagnolo 11-speed
    Spokes
    [bladed] DT Swiss Aerolite
    Spoke Nipple Material
    alloy
    Front Spoke Count
    [radial] 16 radial
    Rear Spoke Count
    [two-cross] 20 2-cross
    Skewers
    included
    Brake Compatibility
    Reynolds Cryo Blue
    Rotor Compatibility
    no
    Complete Set Weight
    1505 g
    Recommended Use
    road racing and cyclocross
    Manufacturer Warranty
    2 years

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Wicked fast.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    After spending a few days demoing a set of 58 Aeros, I sent in an order for two pairs of these. Check out my review on the 58s over on that product page for more info on those (spoiler, they're also great), but in short, I opted for the 46 because I live in the mountains and the slightly shallower profile was a better fit for daily riding with lots of elevation changes. Two pairs because having only one pair of these wasn't going to fly in a household of two cyclists.

    These are pretty much the perfect all-around wheelset, with the added bonus that Reynolds' rim shape is just ridiculously fast and stable in the wind. I really can't overstate that - the 46s and 58s handle crosswinds better than any other wheelset I've ridden. In a nutshell, the 46 Aeros hit that sweet spot of light enough for big climbs and aero enough to roll the flats, with sharp handling to deal with twisty descents and technical crit courses. They also snap up to speed even a little bit faster than the 58s.

    I took them to the Midwest for some punchy, technical crits and rolling farmland road races, and they were amazing through it all. Super responsive, smooth on the descents, cornered on rails, and just made it that much easier to do what I needed to do on the bike. I paired them with 25mm Vittoria Corsa G+ tires, which just add to the fast, smooth ride - even on some wicked brick roads.

    Wicked fast.

    The 46s snap up a little faster, and feel similar in aerodynamics up to about 25mph or so. The 58s feel like they hold high speeds a little bit better with that deeper profile.

    I think it depends a lot on what kind of riding you plan on using them for - If I lived/raced somewhere with flatter terrain (or had TT ambitions), I'd probably go for the 58s, but the 46s were a better fit (for me) for riding in the mountains with the versatility to still get some aero benefits on the flats. Hopefully that helps!

    Great Wheels!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I've had these on my bike for over a year now and ridden them in all kinds of conditions. They are the preferred wheel for most people in my riding group and the group is filled with big climbers, crit racers, and everyone in between. These wheels are durable, fast, and solid. There is quite a bit of wind where I ride and these wheels handle it brilliantly. I tend to be someone who likes products that just simply work and don't cause me headaches, and these fit that description to a tee. You will not be disappointed with them.

    Only the best

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Having ridden and owned wheels from every major manufacturer around right now, Reynolds makes the only wheels that make my bikes feel like home. I have had a set since they came out almost 2 years ago, and they are still the only wheels I would buy today.

    *** Updated *** - I bought another set after tooling around on some other wheels to make a decision, and these are, by a significant margin, my favorite all around wheels at any price point.

    The Aero 46 is hands-down my favorite all around road wheelset on the market today; they are stiffer than anything else I have ever ridden, are light enough for any climb, very fast on the flats, and handle impeccably in cross wind.

    Add to all of this, DT Swiss 240 hub internals, and you have one of, if not the best wheelset money can buy.

    Bradley Gehrig
    Customer Account Manager

    Office: 801-746-7580 ext. 4823
    bgehrig@backcountry.com

    Awesome review Bradley! I found out about these via GCN. I was pondering a new set of Zipp Firecrest but now have changed my mind!
    I ride Vittoria Open Pave 700x27 tires on Pinarello KOBH. I assume these rims will take that tyre?

    Fantastic

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    The Aero 46 is an outstanding product. The wheels accelerate quickly and are incredibly smooth at speed. You get the sensation that you are floating along. I have also ridden the 58s, which are nice, but these are noticeably quicker in acceleration and not as harsh (though the 58s aren't overly harsh) riding. The 46s cut through crosswinds without and blowing around like you get with other high profile wheels. If you are going for a road bike all-a-rounder, these are your wheels.

    The rear hub type claims to accommodate...

    The rear hub type claims to accommodate 9/10/11 Shimano but only Campagnolo 11. Is it not possible to place a 10-speed Campagnolo cassette on this hub?

    hi! are these 46 aero wheelset has a rider...

    hi! are these 46 aero wheelset has a rider weight limit? thanks

    Hi Olan,

    Reynolds states; We do not have specific rider-weight limit for any of the models of Reynolds Carbon wheels. However, a heavier rider will find less flex out of wheel with a deeper rim profile and/or a wheel built with a higher spoke count.

    Weight recommendations:

    Cirro, KOM �?? up to 175 lbs.

    Stratus DV UL with 16/20 spoke count �?? up to 190 lbs. We recommend a spoke count of 20/24 for riders over 190lbs.



    Recommendations may vary depending on riding style and desired performance.