Some days, we wonder why there aren't more super-light XC wheels on the market. Then we ponder the complexity of building wheels that are both tough enough for off-road use and still supremely light, and we're glad that a company that's as fixated on carbon as Reynolds is on the job. They're Mountain XC Carbon Wheelset takes advantage of their carbon-fiber know-how to do just that -- be really light and really tough at the same time.

Since the rims are the most critical components of high performance wheels, this one is 19.5mm deep and uses high-modulus carbon-fiber to come in at a claimed 290g. And to better work with the realities of mountain biking, Reynolds uses traditional exposed alloy nipples. They're certainly easier to true on the trail. They come with a Reynolds tubeless-ready rim strip that allows you to choose between using tubed and tubeless tires.

The rims are laced to Reynolds hubs. Both wheels have 24 straight-pull spokes. The front has cross-two on the left side and radial on the right, so it's strong enough to withstand heavy braking, but still saves some weight. The rear is cross-two on both sides to better resist the forces of heavy braking and hard accelerations when you mash on the pedals.

The front hub has a 100g claimed weight, with a carbon-fiber center section affixed to two aluminum flanges. The hub works both as a traditional quick-release and as a 15mm thru-axle. All you have to do is change the end caps, both of which are supplied with the wheel.

The all-aluminum rear hub is also a transformer. It comes setup as a 135mm quick-release hub. With a 17mm cone wrench, you can convert it to either a 12 x 135mm thru-axle or a 12 x 142mm thru-axle. All the axles are supplied with the wheels.

While the wheels should be plenty tough, 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 Mountain XC Carbon Wheelset comes with a set of tubeless-ready valves for tubeless tires. Only use plastic tire levers with carbon-fiber rims; Reynolds specifically discourages the use of metal tire levers. The wheels are for disc brakes only and come with mounts for six-bolt rotors.

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Unanswered Question

Can you confirm that the Reynolds MTN XC...

Can you confirm that the Reynolds MTN XC Carbon Wheelset uses the DT Swiss 240 hub? I hope to use my current DT Swiss thru-bolt (not thru-axle) setup on the rear wheel. Thanks.