The Reserve 30 | SL is a carbon wheelset from Santa Cruz’s wheel brand Reserve, designed for trail riding. Weighing 1680 g, these wheels are known for their high quality and come with a lifetime guarantee, with no rider weight limit.
The wheelset features a 30mm wide shallow and asymmetrical rim profile, recommended for tyre sizes ranging from 2.2-2.5 inches. The wheelset also has externally reinforced spoke beds for 28 spokes, minimal branding, and the popular Reserve Fillmore Valves.
While these premium wheels face tough competition in the market, their success depends on achieving a balance between weight, strength, feel, and durability for their intended usage. As a result, pricing is best summarised as ‘wow, yikes!’ The Reserve 30 SL wheels start at $2299 with DT Swiss 350 hubs, $2799 with I9 1/1 hubs (our test pair), or $3399 for I9 Hydra hubs.
We look forward to testing these Gucci hoops on Mick’s new Santa Cruz Tallboy and comparing them to other wheelsets like the Roval Control SL and Crank Brothers Synthesis E11, which sit on either side of the Reserve’s with slightly different weight ranges. During our testing, we’ll be experimenting with the sound of the hubs by finding a balance between freehub grease and oil. Additionally, we’ll test their performance on rocky trails without any tyre inserts.
Our initial impressions of the wheels are excellent. They have a nicely damped feel, yet they still feel lively and responsive, quiet and direct; the freehub is a little loud though. The tubeless valves make for easy tubeless tyre inflation, and we appreciate their subtle design with minimal logos. Overall, we are impressed with the Reserve 30 | SL and look forward to putting them through their paces in more testing. So far, so good!