Here’s the thing; developing anything is expensive. But developing things that need to be able to go fast is really expensive. So companies, if they’re smart, look at the best designs in the industry and work to make them incrementally better—saving themselves a boatload in R&D by standing on the shoulders of giants, so to speak. And Paul Lew just so happens to be one of those giants.
Most of us don’t tend to classify industry giants as risk takers. So when Reynolds released the Aero series in the midst of the toroidal rim shape boom, it was something of a shock to our sensibilities. After all, the Aero rim profile is very reminiscent of the standard “V-Notch” design. And it’s been common knowledge that the toroidal profile is superior to the V-notch, isn’t it?
Perhaps so, but the Aero rim shape is another leap forward in every way we can imagine. The 72/90 wheels from Reynolds are astoundingly good. The drag reduction from fitting these wheels feels like nothing short of cheating and their controllability in a cross wind is phenomenal for the depth. These are the purest expression of what a triathlon race wheel should be for anything shy of a full disc, which the 90 rear is potentially faster than, anyway. According to Reynolds, their Aero 90 is actually faster than the current Element Disc, which we think sums up how much of a step forward Reynolds has made with the release of the Aero line.
It has been 4 months since we first rode the wheels and as our time with them comes to a close, we’ve found ourselves staring accusatorily at the shipping boxes, as though it is their fault that we shall soon bid goodbye to the 72/90s. In truth, they came perilously close to joining the garage on a permanent basis, which speaks to how highly we regard them. It may be, however, that we respect what they represent; no compromises in the pursuit of speed, and a willingness get on with the business of making world-class wheelsets that don’t follow the curve, but define it.