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$1,599, Lifetime Warranty and Built For Modern Trail Riding - Reserve 30|SL Carbon Wheelset 2

Wide and low - that’s the way Reserve likes their rim profile.

$1,599, Lifetime Warranty and Built For Modern Trail Riding - Reserve 30|SL Carbon Wheelset

Following the release of their light-weight 28|XC wheelset launched last month, Reserve Wheels returns with their all new 30|SL wheelset built for hard charging trail riders. The rims use a wider, lower profile approach which is aimed at improving both lateral rigidity and vertical compliance. A step-in internal rim bead helps ease tubeless tire installation while doubling as bead retention at lower pressures. But don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. Despite sharing the same 30mm internal width as Reserve's existing 30|30 wheels, the 30|SL is a much lighter rim that has been designed with specific ride dynamics suited for trail riding.  

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Specifications

  • Designed for trail riding
  • Sizes available: 29-inch only
  • Recommended tire width: 2.2- to 2.5-inch
  • Spoke count: 28
  • Internal width: 30mm
  • Internal depth: 19mm
  • Hub spacing: Boost 110 / 148mm
  • Hub options: DT Swiss 350 ($1,599), i9 Hydra hubs ($1,899), Centerlock or 6 bolt, XD or Microspline
  • 1750 grams - i9 Hydra hubs with valves and rim tape
  • 1770 grams - DT Swiss 350 Hubs with valves and rim tape
  • 440 grams - rim only ($599)
  • Asymmetrical spoke design
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Prices start at $1,599 USD
  • Available: August, 2021
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With modern mountain bike tires developed around wider rim profiles, we’ve come to expect rims with an internal width of 30mm. In fact we’d say that this width has become the accepted norm best suited for most disciplines of mountain biking with XC and fat biking as the exceptions, of course. The new Reserve 30|SL wheels take this popular internal width and pair it with a shallower 19mm internal depth. Reserve’s goal was to find a comfortable level of both stiffness and compliance. For anyone who’s ridden or researched carbon wheels, it’s not just about saving a few grams of rotational weight, but making sure the carbon construction isn’t too rigid or responsive. First applied on their XC|28 wheels, Reserve has been able to provide some vertical compliance with this shallow depth while retaining lateral stiffness thanks to the 30mm internal width. On paper, this means the Reserve 30|SL wheels give 2.2- to 2.5-inch tires a wider base to sit into, mitigating tire roll on the rim.  At the same time, the shallow rim profile allows for some flex when forces from the trail come smashing into your bike and your bones, improving comfort and traction. These are great features enhancing ride characteristics of aggressive trail riding on today's capable bikes. 

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Outside of ride quality and trail feel, Reserve is extremely confident in the wheels they produce, offering a lifetime, unlimited warranty on 30|SL wheels. No questions asked and no rider weight limit stipulation — a pretty awesome benefit to consider when choosing your next carbon wheelset since, unlike aluminum, carbon doesn't bend under pressure.

Reserve 30|SL Wheelset Options

The 30|SL wheelsets are offered with two hub variations: DT Swiss 350 builds that weigh 1770 grams or i9 Hydra builds weighing 1750 grams. Hub configurations are offered in either 6-bolt or Center Lock rotor mounts with XD or Microspine drivers. For those looking to lace rims to their own hubs, a single rim weighs 440 grams and retails for $599 USD. It can be used front or rear due to the asymmetrical spoke hole design. Very competitive weights all around put the 30|SL at the lighter end of the carbon trail wheel market. A 30|SL wheelset will run $1,599 USD with DT Swiss 350 hubs or $1,899 USD with i9 Hydra hubs.  

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Differences Between Reserve 30|SL and 30|30

The 30|SL might share an internal width with Reserve’s existing 30|30 but each are geared towards different types of riding. Downhill and enduro riders looking for the most solid, stiff wheels offered from Reserve will want to stick with the 30|30 to compliment their abusive needs. Best suited for trail riders, the 30|SL has more flex and compliance, offering a more damped ride for increased comfort in the saddle. Another big difference separating the 30|SL from the 30|30 is the use of a step-in internal rim bead. Also used on their 28|XC rims, this small lip where the side of the rim and nipple well meet helps lock tire beads to the rim for increased side wall support and easier tubeless installation. This was a noticeable feature we really enjoyed during both tire changes and leaning into corners. Lastly, the 30|SL will only be offered in a 29-inch diameter as Reserve sees bikes best suited for these wheels almost exclusively offered with only 29-inch wheels. 

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Initial First-Ride Impressions

We have been jumping blindly into rock gardens and running into curbs at full speed for a few weeks now, and so far the Reserve 30|SL wheels have laughed at our abuse. Quite impressed by their resilience we are intrigued by yet another trail focused wheelset hitting the market. With this in mind, we’ve decided to hold off on a full review for now and are conducting a comparison test with the Reserve 30|SL wheels going up against another carbon wheelset. Keep your eyes peeled for a deep dive into how these wheels compare and perform, but for now here are some initial trail-side notes.

Riding through a variety of rough terrain has proven well-damped and comfortable with the 30|SL wheels.  The wide yet shallow rim profile has performed well, and without saying too much, the claimed marketing benefits seem to stand true. Our test wheelset did come with the more expensive, i9 Hydra hubs. While they do bump the price tag up a few hundred dollars, the added points of engagement and mind-numbing buzz (a good thing our eyes) is worth the added expense in our books. Another noteworthy tid-bit is we’ve consistently run 20-25 psi in our tires and have not experienced any tire burps. Internal bead lip who?!

With any carbon wheelset comes the discussion of improved rotational weight and speed. So far we’ve squashed multiple personal records on Strava riding flatter, high-speed carving trails that we frequent for trail bike testing. The only changing factor has been the 30|SL wheels giving us a jump in average speed by a few miles per hour. There is no question these wheels haul ass. 

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What's The Bottom Line?

For now, we will wait to roll out our final conclusion until our wheelset comparison article goes live, but we are confident saying that Reserve has again launched a successful wheelset designed with a specific discipline in mind. For riders looking to equip their 120-140mm bike with light, durable and compliant carbon wheels, the Reserve 30|SL wheelset will not disappoint. Matched with a reasonable price tag and lifetime warranty, these wheels should be on your radar if you plan to smash some descents during your all-day pedal adventures.    

More information about the Reserve 30|SL wheelset can be found at reservewheels.com.

View key specs, compare products, and rate the Reserve 30|SL in the Vital MTB Product Guide.


About The Reviewer

Jason Schroeder - Age: 26 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Height: 6' (1.8m) // Weight: 165-pounds (74.8kg)

A once-upon-a-time World Cup downhill racer turned desk jockey, Jason has spent years within the bicycle industry from both sides of the tape. A fan of all-day adventures in the saddle or flowing around a bowl at the skatepark, he doesn't discriminate from any form of two-wheel riding. Originally a SoCal native now residing in Boise, Idaho, you can find Jason camped out in his van most weekends at any given trailhead in the greater Pacific Northwest. 

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