Reliable. Carbon. Clincher.
When it comes to training and racing, especially if you don't have your own personal sag wagon, nothing beats the reliability of a clincher wheelset. However, it wasn't until recently that you'd even put the words clincher and carbon in the same sentence. Reynolds has broken through this barrier with its Assault SLG Carbon Clincher Wheelset. The Assault SLGs deliver carbon clinchers that actually stop without the worry of overheating, offer a competitive weight classification, and rigidity levels on par with nearly any tubular wheel.
Sitting near the top of its 'Performance' line, Reynolds constructed the Assault's rim from its PR3 Hybrid Carbon. As a result, the wheels tip the scales around a feathery 1475 grams. The width of the SLGs is 25mm and they feature a rim depth of 41mm. The Assault also features an impressive stiffness-to-weight ratio. And although they are slightly heavier than say the Reynolds 46 Clinchers, they still roll up to speed quickly, and demand less user-force to keep them there when compared to even weightier carbon clinchers.
And while the two wheels are differentiated by a few variables, both wheels are constructed with the same proprietary carbon technology, only varying in the layup. The recipe consists of three technologies — hybrid Modulus Laminate (HLM), Variable Resin Chemistry (VRC), and Inert Gas Compaction (IGC). Basically, these three systems work harmoniously to construct the Assault. HLM is a method used to assign specific carbons and layups at different points of the rim. So, through this method, Reynolds placed different carbons and layups at the tire channel, brake track, side wall, and spoke face. Then, with VRC, Reynolds' exclusive resins bond the different laminates into a single structure. And lastly, IGC is used to mold and cure the rim in what Reynolds deems as the most ideal of environments. As a result of this construction process, the Assault is strengthened at a strategic points, and benefits from a light overall weight. Additionally, the wheel's layup provides higher levels of lateral and torsional rigidity under load than prior iterations.
For 2014 the Assault wheelset has been upgraded with the incorporation of SLG. What SLG does for the Assault is to trick the introduction of airflow into thinking that it's encountering a wider rim. Why a wider rim? Well although it is counter-intuitive, a wider rim creates a smoother airflow which creates a faster wheel. How does SLG trick the air? Basically, SLG is just a 0.9mm lip on the leading edge of the rim that smooths airflow as it passes to the tapered spoke face. And while it might sound a little primitive at its core, SLG tests at the A2 Wind Tunnel confirmed that it translates to a 12.5 second gain over a distance of 40 kilometers. Additionally, empirical testing showed that SLG reduces drag by 20% at a yaw angle of 10 degrees — pretty impressive considering that Alphamantis, Inc. testing reflects that we spend the most time at 10 degrees during racing.
With the Assault, Reynolds also addressed an all-too-common ailment to carbon clinchers -- poor, and sometimes dangerous, 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. And when paired with Reynolds' polymer Cryo Blue brake pads, braking becomes more predictable and requires less finicky feathering on fast descents.
For the actual build, Reynolds used 20 radial-laced DT Aerocomp bladed spokes in the front and 24 spokes in a two-cross, drive-side pattern at the rear.These have been laced to Reynolds Racing straight-pull hubs, and the wheels attach with steel-shafted quick-release skewers.
The Reynolds Assault SLG Carbon Clincher Wheelset is available in the color Black and in a clincher configuration. Please note that the rear wheel is offered with either a Shimano or Campagnolo 11-speed. Also, every wheelset includes two pairs of Reynolds Cryo Blue Brake Pads. Reynolds recommends only using its proprietary pads, and the use of any other brake pads will result in a void of your warranty.
Share your thoughts
I'm 215lbs not including gear & backpack...
I'm 215lbs not including gear & backpack for my daily commute, maybe top out 230 - 240. I give my bikes & wheels a pounding heading in and out of the underpasses on my daily commutes to work along with the usual pavement issues most commuters encounter. Are these wheels a good choice for me?
Reynolds does not put any specific rider weight limits on their wheels, but I don't think that a sub-1500 gram carbon clincher wheelset is an ideal choice for a heavier rider commuting daily on rough roads. I don't know how long your commute is, but I doubt the time you'd save with the Assault's light weight and aerodynamics would justify beating up on those spendy hoops on a daily basis. I don't think they would crumble on the first ride, but the use you are considering would be hard on them over time.
Instead, look at an inexpensive-but tough basic wheel like the Mavic Aksium for the commute, and save the good wheels for your weekend rides. Or if you really want to have a single pair of wheels that will do it all, consider a higher performance alloy wheelset designed with bigger riders in mind, like the Zipp 30 or Hed Ardennes CL.