Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Mtbr Ultimate Guide to winter mountain biking, fat bikes, gear, apparel, lights and trainers. We are taking a deep dive into all manner of cold weather mountain bike gear, with round-ups and reviews of fat bikes, tires, wheels, apparel, trainers, lights and more. To see all the articles, head over to our Winter Guide Hub Page.
Sharp-eyed observers may have noticed something new at the front of the bunch at last month’s Fat Bike World Championships in Crested Butte, Colorado. Shod on the bikes of men’s elite first and second place finishers Robbie Squire and Taylor Sheldon was a new fat bike wheel from carbon hoop makers Reynolds.
Squire, who spends most of his time piloting road bikes as a member of the Holowesko-Citadel Racing team, won the inaugural unofficial world tile aboard a Pivot LES Fat equipped with the just released Dean fat bike wheel. Sheldon, who rides for Tokyo Joe’s, was next across the snowy finish line, spinning rapidly on a Scott Big Ed fat bike with the same lightweight Dean wheelset.
Afterward, Squire reported that his race rig tipped the scales at around 27 pounds, on the light side for these big wheeled bikes. “It had a lot to do with the Reynolds wheels and how easy it is to set them up tubeless,” reported Squire. “Tubeless is key. It cut three pounds off the bike at the wheels. That’s huge.”
Indeed, you can make an easy argument that lightweight carbon wheels are the ultimate upgrade for a fat bike, and the Dean will reside firmly in that lust-worthy category. Features include a tubeless and hookless double-wall carbon fiber rim that’s mated with an Industry Nine hub and XD 11-speed driver body or Shimano 10/11-speed. In between are 32 DT Swiss Competition spokes front and rear.
The Dean also boasts the same strength and durability standards Reynolds sets for all its Blacklabel wheels, and the fully tubeless rim channel allows for easy set up with a floor pump and creates a strong tire/rim interface allowing for burp free performance, critical at the low pressures required for fat biking. But this is not just a wintertime wheelset.
“The Dean can charge any mountain bike terrain, from dirt to rock to snow,” said Mike Dufner, CFO of Reynolds Cycling. “We’re excited to now offer a fatbike wheel upgrade, equipped with Reynolds’ industry-leading carbon fiber technology for huge weight savings and performance gains on the bike.”
Indeed, the Dean is being positioned as a true mountain bike wheel, suitable for any trail condition. The rim measures 85mm external/80mm internal with a depth of 28mm, providing riders a wide range of tire compatibility. The Dean is available in both 12×177 and 12x197mm rear-wheel spacing. The front hub features 15x150mm spacing, rotor attachment is 6-bolt, and complete wheelset weight is approximately 2150 grams. Pricing starts at $2650 for the wheelset.
We have a test set of these wheels in and will be posting a full review soon. In the meantime for more information visit www.reynoldscycling.com.