Reynolds has been crafting carbon hoops since as long as I can remember. In fact, on the road side, they were the first to introduce a carbon clincher wheelset to the market well over 10 years ago. That technology has now bled over into every pair of wheels they produce — both carbon and alloy.
While at Interbike, I got the lowdown on several wheelsets — including the new Blacklabel 29 XC hoops. Intended to be durable XC race wheels, the Blacklabel 29 XC’s tip the scales at a scant 1400 grams. These are meant to spin up fast and maintain momentum over all terrain.
They are not compatible with 6-bolt rotors, so you’ve either got to be a Shimano brake devotee or run adapters. Considering the fanbase of Shimano’s XT and XTR brakes, this is not a huge loss for many riders in the market for a fast set of wheels, but it does make running the new SRAM Guide brakes a bit more challenging.
The sidewalls also curve inward to provide the bead and add durability. Check out the rim profile here.
If you prefer something a little more burly, the Blacklabel 29 TR may be the trick with a wider 29 outer and 21 mm inner width at a still light 1500 grams per set.
Blacklabel 29 XC Features:
- Weight: 1400g
- External width: 26 mm
- Internal width: 19 mm
- Rim Depth: 24 mm
- Spokes: 28 front / 28 rear
- Spoke Pattern: Front: 3X Rear Non Drive: 3X
- Nipples: Black anodized alloy
- Hub: DT 240S Straight-Pull
- Rotors: Center Lock only
- Drivetrain: 10/11-speed, XD Driver available
- Price: $2400
The Bottom Line
These aren’t the cheapest XC 29er wheels on the market, but they are among the lightest — if not the lightest. Some wheels offer a wider inner bead for a straighter sidewall, but the rim profile is on par with most wheels in this class. If you want these wheels, you also really need to be a Center Lock devotee as they aren’t offered in a 6-bolt design.