2013 Reynolds Attack first ride review…

IMG_4716 (2)Paddy from Reynolds UK has been kind enough to lend me a set of demo 2013 Reynolds Attack wheels for a review of my Stoemper Taylor with RoadcyclingUK. But obviously before I delivered the bike, I had to try the wheels out for myself and here’s a first impressions post. Hopefully, once the bike comes back in a few weeks time I’ll get a chance to ride them a little more before I give them back and if so, I’ll write some further thoughts.

The Reynolds Attack are 32mm deep full carbon clincher and are the cheapest (most affordable?) full carbon clincher in the Reynolds range. In the UK they retail for £1,099 but there are currently some chunky discounts available on the last 2012 wheels.

Whilst the rim has stayed the same in 2013, the hubs and spokes have switched to straight pull rather than j bend and this has dropped the weight of a set about 30grammes to 1400gms a set. The spoke nipples are internal to the rim, so if you need to true them, you’ll have to remove the tyre and tube first. This may bother some people, but really, taking a tyre and a tube off is a 2 minute job.IMG_4693

Reynolds also have the more expensive Thirty Two wheelset at the same depth (the model name is a giveaway there). Some of the differences between the two is that the Thirty Two has a higher modulus carbon rim, made from longer, hand selected sections of carbon. The Thirty Two also features a high quality DT Swiss hub (240 shell with 190 internals) and Reynolds Swirl Lip Generator (SLG) which smooths the air flows between the rim and the spokes and giving high aerodynamic performance. Finally the Thirty Two’s are 70gms lighter at 1330 a pair. They’re also a lot dearer at £1,999 compared to £1,099. There are definitely some tangible differences between the two for the price gap but it’s something you’d have to decide for yourself (assuming you have the funds to choose).IMG_4701

A couple of other points to note. Firstly, Reynolds also offer a two year warranty programme called the Reynolds Assistance programme to give you some more piece of mind in buying the wheels in case it’s of interest: http://www.reynoldscycling.com/index.php?p_resource=support_assurance

The second point is about rim widths. Many carbon wheel manufacturers are now moving to wider rimmed wheels, very wide in some cases. However, wide rims don’t fit or work well with every bike – so you need to work out if they suit yours. Some manufacturers have tested both new wide rims and more traditional rims like the Reynolds and have found the Reynolds faster, simply because their narrower width works better with their frames. Do bear this in mind before you spent a lot of money on your next set of wheels.IMG_4703

I know two people in the industry who’ve spent a lot of time on the Reynolds Attack, in fairness, one is Paddy from Reynolds but it’s interesting that out of the whole range he gets to play with, the wheels he rides most are the Attacks. The other person I know owns a bike shop and rides a Colnago C59, also chooses the Attacks as his main wheelset and they’ve had good reviews elsewhere (e.g. http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/components/wheel-sets/product/review-reynolds–attack-wheelset-27936). One of the nice things about the 32mm depth is that, it’s not making a huge aero statement like deeper carbon wheels can. It’s more subtle but still makes a statement and gives you the carbon wheel look. Certainly on my Stoemper I think they look about the perfect depth, where the 46mm depth of the Assault of Forty Six, whilst they look great on my NeilPryde, I don’t think would have been right on the Stoemper (http://girodilento.com/reynolds-forty-six-clincher-wheelset-review-or-how-i-learned-to-love-cheating/)

I’ve been riding most a set of Campagnolo Neutron Ultras with Continental GP 4 Seasons (25mm) on my Stoemper – probably about 1,000km on that combination (tyre review soon). I’ve recently also ridden the bike with a set of 2012 Easton EA90 SLX clinchers (at Flanders).IMG_4709

I only managed a 35km ride on the Attacks so far but was pleasantly surprised by a few things. Firstly, they look absolutely fantastic on my bike, really fantastic (to me anyway). Secondly, they’re noticeably more comfortable than my alloy clincher wheels and the Neutron Ultras are supposed to be one of the more comfortable wheels in the Campagnolo range. They pick up speed well, acceleration seems good and they hold speed well. The ride quality is very nice. I was using my new Schwalbe Durano S 23mm tyres and the first impressions for these are very good too.

In a first impression, they definitely felt a bit faster than my alloy clinchers – but it could be a honeymoon effect. I’d need more time to decide for sure. On my Stoemper, they definitely felt more comfortable than the Reynolds Forty Six had felt on my NeilPryde but not as fast. It was the first real ride I’d managed since getting back from Flanders and catching a cold – getting a couple of personal bests was very nice and the wheels could have been a factor. The Attack may be an old school rim shape now but aerodynamically they felt like a step up from a standard box section alloy rim.IMG_4694

The first ride was dry and the braking was very good. The Reynolds CT brake track has been around for a couple of years now and in conjunction with the Reynolds Cryo-Blue brake pads worked very well. Paddy has told me that since the new brake surface was released, they’ve not warrantied a single rim in the UK, which is also good to know, as it’s something people buying carbon clinchers for the first time often worry about.

In summary, my first impressions are very positive. Impressive enough to make me look at my credit card balance to see how much space there is left to spend. Hopefully I’ll get to spend some more time on them before too much longer. It’ll also be interesting to see what RoadcyclingUK think of the wheels in their review (and the bike of course!).

You can find out more here: http://www.reynoldscycling.com/index.php?p_resource=items_wheels_item&p_itm_pk=669

Thanks for reading and to Reynolds UK for the loan of the wheels.

My full review and conclusions on these wheels have now been posted here: http://girodilento.com/reynolds-attack-wheel-review/