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Tubies that fly.
Reality for most of us means that we have to choose one wheelset for all conditions. You know the tradeoffs; deeper wheels are faster in the wind, lighter wheels are faster up hills. And regardless of which way you go, strength is always paramount. Looking at the options, most people would best off on mid-depth wheels -- light enough not to be a penalty uphill, but deep enough to eke out some advantages everywhere else. And this is where the Reynolds Forty Six Carbon Tubular Wheelset excels. These wheels have been ridden in cobblestone and hilly classics alike and at the Tour de France.
The Forty Six is an update of Reynolds popular DV46T wheelset. They have nearly the same rim shape, but the wheels are faster because of a subtle aerodynamic improvement. It's known as a Swirl Lip Generator and is a patented Reynolds feature you'll find on their shallow- and mid-depth carbon-fiber rims. The SLGs are two tiny lips on either side of the narrow edge of the rim. If you didn't know better, you might think they were parting lines that weren't sanded down after the rim came out of the mold. There's no sanding forgotten, and they are hardly an accident. The SLG creates turbulence that helps the airflow reattach faster behind, after passing over the rim. They also decrease sideways air force on the rim, and in so doing, make your bike easier to steer in crosswinds. This means it takes less concentration and less strength to pilot the bike so you can devote more concentration and more strength to going fast.
Another change is Reynolds' new CTg brake track. C is for Cryo, Tg for glass transition temperature. As you know, heat build-up is not a good thing at the brake track. For tubulars, heat build-up can lead to softening of the glue holding the tire to the rim and melting brake pads in the heat. The new CTg tracks are the result of a new resin system and a new laminate structure. In regular riding ...faster than the Thirty Two, but light enough for rolling race courses... conditions, it means the brake tracks operate up to 100 degrees cooler than the old tracks. In other words, braking will be better, more consistent, and you'll have little to fear from braking hard on long descents.
The rest of the wheel is equally high-performance. The rim is drilled for internal spoke nipples. This means the wheels are a bit faster and stronger, as the hidden aluminum nipples present less of an obstacle for the wind and the rim has smaller holes in it. The spokes are DT's bladed Aerolite, both front and rear. The Forty Six wheels use 20 radial spokes in front and 24 cross-2 drive and radial non-drive rear. DT also makes the hubs for Reynolds. These are the 240s model -- light, strong, smooth, and durable.
All Reynolds wheel owners can buy themselves some extra peace of mind by purchasing Reynolds' two-year damage protection plan. It's called RAP, short for Reynolds Assurance Plan. The insurance means you should have little fear that a crash will ruin your wheel investment. Find out more about it on the Reynolds Cycling site.
The Reynolds Forty Six Carbon Tubular Wheelset comes with either a Campagnolo or Shimano/SRAM compatible freehub body and includes a full set of Reynolds' Cryo Blue brake pads in versions to match each. Reynolds recommends only these pads as they were designed with the brake tracks; use of any other brake pads is not recommended and will void the warranty. Reynolds also includes their new ultra-light quick release skewers with the wheels.
Share your thoughts
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I love these wheels they ride like a caddy. One note is the hub is loud when not pedaling.