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The aerodynamic benefits of the Reynolds 72 Aero Carbon Wheelset are obvious, just by looking at it. When you consider that it was also designed by none other than Paul Lew, Mr. Aero himself, then you also start to make assumptions about the benefits derived from what you're not able to see, the subtle tweaks that Reynolds applies to ye olde aerodynamic theory to make what it calls the fastest wheels on the planet. The key to achieving this distinction is what the Utah-based manufacturer calls Dispersive Effect Termination (DET).
DET Begins at the rim bed with a maximum width of 26.2mm, which brings the rim up to the tire's width and creates a generous cradle to glue it to. There are myriad benefits to this design, included reduced turbulence, which causes drag, and increased lateral rigidity and comfort. The rim's deep dish is shaped in a NACA-profiled, tapered V-shape that ends with a sharp trailing edge. The Aero's shape smooths airflow over the wheel, and when that air passes the spoke face, it's easily reattached at the rear of the rim to reduce stall. DET also means that this stall-free sweet spot extends to 20 degrees of yaw — a full 7.5 degrees more than the competition.
It's rare to have a real-world circumstance of a straight-on 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. A lot of deep rims in this situation act as sails, pulling the bike sideways during sudden changes of direction in windy conditions — an effect that's far more noticeable when the rims get over 50 millimeters deep. You're choosing a deep rim because you want the aerodynamic benefits, but poor handling can make any speed gain come to nothing if you're thrown off the road or into another cyclist by sudden gusts.
While it's impossible to completely cure this ailment, Reynolds' rim-shaping DET distributes side forces (read: cross wind) so that the center of pressure is pushed beyond the center of mass. This means the pulling due to cross wind and the like is much less pronounced, and — while all deep rims are still affected by wind — the 72 Aero wheels are very predictable in how they respond, so you can ride confidently in windy conditions despite their huge depth.
Since it's kind of jargon-laden information, you may not be interested to know that DET's center of pressure maximizes the forward thrust vector (a quantity that has direction and magnitude) and the rim shape increases lift and decreases turbulent flow. But you'll definitely enjoy the forward thrust that all that jargon translates into on the bike. Essentially, this system works almost like a turbine, generating extra watts of propulsion from the wind. The legendary DT Swiss internals of the Reynolds hubs mean that those watts won't be wasted.
And now for braking, the bogeyman of carbon rims. The 72 Aero's braking is — wait for it — actually really solid. Reynolds addresses the poor braking of most carbon rims with the Cryogenic Glass Transition Braking System (CTg). CTg incorporates 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). When paired with Reynolds' polymer Cryo Blue brake pads, this laminate makes braking more predictable and less finicky on fast descents.
The Reynolds 72 Aero Carbon Tubular 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. The wheels also include a wheel bag, RC Race Skewers, and rim strips.
- Item #REY001R
- Q & A
Lighter than advertised
Comes in at 1398 gms without skewers and tires. That is climbing wheel territory for a 72 mm deep aero wheel. Impressive.