We spent some time with Rob Aguero of Reynolds Cycling at Interbike and came away with some very interesting bits of information about the UCI, disc brakes, the 2014 lineup, and beyond.
Up first is the news that Paul Lew, Reynolds’ Director of Technology and Innovation, has been voted to the UCI vice-chair of the wheel committee. Furthermore, in the next “year or so” wheels deeper than 65mm will be illegal for mass start. According to Reynolds, the depth is somewhat arbitrary and may change in later years, but for the next race season, this will be the rule. The concern here is over rider safety—especially in mass descents—since the center of pressure from deeper wheels creates too many problems in a crosswind.
Reynolds has no plans for disc brakes beyond the Attack and the Assault, as they do not believe it provides enough of a benefit to the rider. The Assault disc, however, has been completely redesigned using a beefier hub, larger number of spokes and no brake track whatsoever on the rim. Currently available in a clincher, tubular should be in stores about March. As for the wider expansion of disc brakes, Reynolds position is that if you want stopping power, go with a hydraulic rim brake on a time-trial bike.
SLG – swirl lip generation – is not nearly as effective on anything smaller than approximately a 30mm rim versus the deeper rim profiles it has been utilized on thus far. In keeping with this, there is a trickle-down for the SLG from the RZR to the Attack, Assault, and Strike for the 2014 lineup, as well as a width change at the brake track from 23mm to 25mm to allow riders to equip wider tires.
Reynolds has also realized not-so-insignificant weight savings to the tune of 23g per wheel on the Aero 90 by using a new process for applying graphics onto their wheelsets called “inkjet.” During this process the graphics are sprayed onto the wheel itself using a “durable, non-scratch, heavy duty paint” rather than using mylar decals, which is the current standard. While 23g isn’t necessarily huge by any standards, every gram saved on rotating weight is energy left for the next sprint zone.
The Element Disc will be getting an upgrade, though Reynolds is somewhat cryptic on details at this juncture including any timeframe. We know it will be wider, but Reynolds would not elaborate on even that or any other details. Part of this is due to the success of the current Element: it is still backordered seven weeks as of Interbike. What may be of more interest to readers is that the new Aero 90 and RZR 92 rear wheels are actually faster than the current Element, though expect that to change dramatically with the next revision.
Reynolds will not be making 650c wheels. The market, according to them, is vanishing with the additional options to frame geometry and the ability of smaller riders, such as Rinne Carfrae, to ride on 700c wheels.