HomeCyclingReserve 40|44 Street Wheels: Snug, Excessive-Efficiency All-’Rounders

Reserve 40|44 Street Wheels: Snug, Excessive-Efficiency All-’Rounders

Earlier this week, Reserve rolled out their all-new 40|44 GR gravel wheels, including to the model’s rising choice of choices for all sorts of driving. Whereas that information is deserving of the highlight, it simply so occurs that I’ve been placing a set of Reserve’s barely narrower however equally named 40|44 Street Wheels by means of their paces for the previous a number of months.

Reserve started in 2014 because the wheel division of Santa Cruz Bicycles, and initially targeted on creating rims for off-road driving and MTB. Leveraging the carbon fiber design sources of Santa Cruz enabled Reserve to shortly carve out a small however agency foothold within the wheel market. Reserve was additionally one of many first to supply a lifetime guarantee on carbon rims, as stays the case at the moment. This guarantee program served to not solely add confidence in carbon rims and make them a greater worth, nevertheless it compelled many different producers to again their carbon rims in the identical approach.

Extra just lately, Reserve started supplying wheels to Workforce Visma-Lease a Bike (previously Jumbo-Visma), which has been dominant in each the ladies’s and males’s skilled pelotons, together with a sweep of the final classifications jerseys in all three males’s skilled grand excursions in 2023, together with the Tour de France. This relationship has led to the event of a full line of highway rims and wheels that supply glorious experience high quality, rolling effectivity, and aero efficiency, all at aggressive pricing. 

Glamous shot of the Reserve 40|44 road wheels leaning against each other with tires mounted.
Reserve’s 40|44 highway wheels have stealthy seems, minimal branding, high quality DT 350 hubs, and include a lifetime guarantee. (photograph/Ben Guernsey)

The workhorse of the vary is the 40|44, which Reserve guarantees will ship “all-day functionality with aerodynamic sensibilities”. Though they’re a race-ready wheel in lots of respects, the 40|44 are the wheels on which Visma-Lease a Bike’s skilled riders do most of their coaching, making them essentially the most related choice for most riders

Specs and Construct

Because the title denotes, the 40|44 are a mixed-depth wheelset, utilizing a entrance rim that’s 40mm deep, paired with a 44mm rear counterpart. The blended depths replicate the truth that entrance and rear rims are topic to totally different calls for. Up entrance, typically turbulent air is buffeting a lighter wheel that’s bearing much less of the rider’s weight and is free to rotate together with the fork. The shallower 40mm rim permits higher stability by presenting much less floor space. The taller 44mm rear rim makes for a barely stiffer wheel construct, for extra responsive acceleration. Bearing extra of the rider’s weight, shielded from the wind by the rider’s decrease physique and locked into the rear triangle of the bike, the rear wheel is far much less of a legal responsibility in blustery situations, so there’s no draw back to the elevated depth. 

Not solely are the depths optimized for the disparate calls for positioned on every wheel, however the widths are additionally differentiated, with the entrance measuring 25.5mm internally and 33mm externally, and the rear 25 and 31mm, respectively. These width figures imply that the 40|44 are designed to work with tires no smaller than 28mm, and as giant as 40mm, to allow them to be used not just for pure highway driving however all-road and gravel as properly. 

The DT Swiss 350 hub on the Reserve 40|44 road bike wheels
The DT Swiss 350 hubs are dependable and straightforward to service with 10° engagement. You even have the choice to improve to DT 240 or DT 180 should you select. (photograph/Bennett Shane)

Our take a look at set was constructed with DT Swiss 350 Straightpull hubs, weighed in at 1534g, and retails for $1799 US. Clients can improve to DT 240 construct at 1445g and $2199, or DT 180 construct at 1385g and $2499. The 24-hole rims can be bought in your customized wheel construct for $650/ea (395g-front, 430g-rear, claimed). 

The DT Swiss 350 packs an enormous quantity of efficiency, reliability, and serviceability into the 40|44. The 350 hubs have a centerlock brake rotor interface, 36-tooth star ratchet for 10° engagement, and you’ve got the choice to buy them with both Shimano HG-EV or SRAM XDR freehubs which ought to cowl most riders’ drivetrain compatibility wants. The 240 and 180 hubs shave weight and may save a watt or two right here and there, however should you’re an fanatic who’s paying in your wheels, hubs merely must ship smooth-rolling reliability and good cassette engagement, each of which the 350 has lined. Until you’re actually counting grams, the cash saved on hubs is probably higher spent on a number of good units of tires, or a biking vacation.

Reserve’s highly-touted Fillmore valves are included, and the wheels are delivered with tubeless tape put in. We respect pre-taped wheels, particularly when the tape job is clear and sticking properly, which isn’t at all times the case. The Fillmore valve is an award-winning and patented design that delivers excessive airflow for simpler tubeless setup and eliminates the normal, delicate, clog-prone valve core. These valves retail for $50, and after establishing the 40|44 and driving them for over a thousand miles, I definitely want they had been put in on all of my tubeless wheels. 

The Reserve 40|44 road wheels mounted with the Schwlabe Pro One TLE 30c tires

Reserve 40|44 Street Wheels Assessment

I’ve ridden plenty of totally different wheels through the years and particularly up to now few months, however this was my first time driving any of Reserve’s wheels. My expectations had been excessive given their value and the truth that they’re being utilized by world tour profitable riders, and I wasn’t upset.

I set the 40|44 up with Schwalbe Professional One 30c tires, and the profile of the entrance tire was confidence-inspiring, an ideal dome that transitioned easily into the rim on the edges. Inflated to 65 PSI, the entrance tire measured at 30.5mm and the rear 29.7mm. 

Aesthetically, the 40|44 places off a subdued, stylish confidence. The matte paint utilized to the edges is a darkish grey tone, and together with the minimal branding, creates an industrial look that showcases the rim’s elegant profile as a substitute of the model’s graphic design prowess. 

Riding with the Reserve 40|44 road bike wheels
Mixing spectacular consolation, mid-depth aero rims, and a decent weight, the Reserve 40|44 are a superb all-around for any rider. (photograph/Ben Guernsey)

On the highway, the Reserve 40|44 instantly offered me with a buttery {smooth} experience high quality that felt like a small quantity of suspension constructed into the bike. They didn’t really feel twitchy and hyper-reactive like many different mid-depth carbon wheels can. As a substitute, they’ve an assured, calm however inspiring experience that converts regular, deliberate energy right into a rhythmic, environment friendly momentum. The 40 and 44mm dim depths additionally hit that candy spot between a slight aero benefit and rider consolation. These certainly really feel like wheels for driving all day, on any highway you need. 

Climbing efficiency with 30c tires was strong, if not revelatory. The 40|44 are environment friendly by the use of smoothness and power, greater than outright explosiveness. In different phrases, pure climbers who wish to repeatedly change tempo to drop mates of rivals would want to put in light-weight 28c tires with a purpose to obtain their most well-liked really feel from the 40|44, and even then there are definitely higher (learn: lighter) climbing-specific choices. However, for individuals who wish to settle in and climb at a gentle but fast tempo, the 40|44 hums uphill properly and doesn’t disappoint.  

Descending while riding the Reserve 40|44 road wheels
The graceful, comfy experience interprets properly on the descents with glorious stability and calm, assured dealing with. (photograph/Ben Guernsey)

That feeling of power I famous is partly as a consequence of using straight-pull Sapim spokes. Straight-pull spokes permit for prime spoke stress, which creates loads of responsiveness throughout accelerations and lateral stiffness throughout aggressive maneuvering. And regardless of their stout really feel, they’re impressively calm and predictable when cornering and maneuvering, muting suggestions properly however to not the purpose that dealing with feels imprecise or sluggish. 

Who’re the Reserve 40|44 for? Whereas I discover this query a bit perfunctory, I’ll say that the 40|44 will work splendidly for nearly anyone, throughout an enormous spectrum of driving. What does that imply? Properly, it implies that the one conditions the place the 40|44 may really feel barely “meh” are excessive conditions throughout the context of highway driving when both gravity or air resistance pose formidable opposition. 

These aren’t the lightest and most spicy wheels ever made for lengthy and steep climbs, they usually aren’t going to really feel like turbo boosters while you’re smashing large watts above 30mph. Are they nonetheless respectable in these conditions? Completely. Whereas different wheels may provide extra inspiring efficiency in a single single space, additionally they include some limitations, be it tire or drivetrain compatibility, elevated hub upkeep, or mediocre efficiency on the reverse finish of the spectrum. 

Climbing on the Reserve 40|44 road wheels
What they may lack in specificity, they make up for in versatility and luxury, making the Reserve 40|44 an ideal all-arounder. (photograph/Ben Guernsey)

Take into consideration how a 60mm wheel feels while you transition from a 30mph flat to a pitchy climb on a beat-up highway, or the best way a 1300-gram wheel feels while you’re making an attempt to push 45mph down a gradual descent after you simply lit up a climb. When you don’t know, I can let you know, it’s not nice in both case. The Reserve 40|44 not solely manages to keep away from these compromises, however can be a pleasure to experience at any tempo, and on any floor, for any distance. At $1,799 US, the Reserve 40|44 aren’t precisely low-cost however they aren’t wildly costly both. Issue within the lifetime guarantee and these are a superb improve for anybody searching for a cushty, versatile all-arounder that you simply’ll be driving for a very long time.


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