Today I am going to look at the question that every mtb biker has to face at some point; to carbon or not to carbon - wheels that is!
About 6 months ago I bought a new bike, the Pivot Trail 429. And when I was spacing it out, I came to the wheels and had to make a choice, carbon or aluminum. The carbon wheels added a bit to the price, a lot actually, and I had never ridden on carbon wheels before. But I said to heck with it, threw caution to the wind and had them put on the bike.
So I thought it would be fun to look back, and answer the question: Would I pick the Reynolds Blacklabel wheels with Industry Nine Hydra hubs again after riding these wheels for the last 6 months and about 600 miles.
If you want to check out the video version of this story you can find it here: REYNOLDS BLACKLABEL CARBON WHEELS/RIMS: LONG TERM REVIEW OF MY PIVOT TRAIL 429 BUILD PART 2
- The looks. These wheels lean to the subtle side, with super low-key decals and a raw carbon finish that just looks amazing in the sun. Nothing too flashy, they just look like high quality wheels.
- The performance. They are fast. The way these wheels get up to speed is amazing. The hubs allow that speed to continue with high quality bearings and tons of engagement points for a super precise pedaling feel.
- The speed. I love how fast these feel. I was reminded by someone that light wheels have less mass, with less inertia and therefore carry less speed. I’m not sure about that, but I can say that this setup feels incredible, whether it’s the wheels, tires, hubs, or even the whole darn bike. I love it. All of it.
- The sound. I saved this for last, because this is honestly my favorite part. These Industry Nine hubs are so amazingly noisy! It sounds like you have a herd of angry bees following you around and every time you stop pedaling. It’s the most wonderful thing. I also learned if you love the performance and all the other good things about these wheels but all that noise isn’t for you that you can add some free hub grease on each of the paws to turn them dead silent. (Thanks to vogelm1 for that tip!)
- The decals aren’t staying on so well. Some are peeling off already. I know this is a stretch, but these wheels are so good this is really my only complaint.
So after having lived with these wheels for the last 6 months and 600 miles would I pick them again today? Hell yeah! I love these things so much. They put a smile on my face everytime I ride. And that’s all I can hope for from anything I buy. I totally recommend them!
I’m going to wrap it there, check out the vid if you want more. But that’s all for now.
Thanks and see you out on the trail.