REYNOLDS ATR 700 WHEEL TEST

Solid performance and value in the round

Not to be confused with the British-based Reynolds tubing brand, the American-based Reynolds wheel brand (located in Utah) has been chipping away at the hyper-competitive carbon wheel market in pursuit of gaining name recognition as purveyors of reliable, quality-made wheels that are priced fairly. 

Pushing the limits of what we expect from road wheels, the ATR 700s are designed to keep going even when the smooth pavement doesn’t. Reynolds’ newest incarnation of their All-Terrain Road (ATR) wheel includes some key improvements. 

THE TECH

Back in 2016 we ran a pair of the original ATR 700s that were light, wide and pretty bulletproof after having proved themselves capable when used to race at Unbound (then Dirty Kanza). 

With that previous groundwork laid, Reynolds reintroduced the ATR 700 as an even wider wheel designed to be more aerodynamic and provide better tracking over all surfaces with increased stability. In order to optimize vertical compliance for comfort, lateral stiffness for pedaling efficiency, and to enhance durability in areas around the spoke holes and bead hooks, the wheels are built using Reynolds’ proprietary carbon layup schedule. Reynolds widened the rims to a whopping 23mm internal and 32mm external width for reduced sidewall deformation while running wider tires. 

The ATR rims are wrapped around Reynolds’ own Allroads Disc center-lock hubs with 24 front and rear spokes with 12mm thru-axles. One thing the previous models were lacking was aero optimization, so Reynolds increased the rim depth to the sweet spot of 40mm with a contemporary blunt-nose profile. 

THE RIDE 

The first thing we noticed with the Reynolds hoops came to us on an initial ride when we set off to climb a steep fire road. With the first few pedal strokes, we came away impressed with the quick hub engagement, which is especially helpful on steep, slippery surfaces. Not only did the ATRs climb well, they descended better than we anticipated. The increased traction provided by the wide rims inspired us to keep leaning through corners we usually let up on. 

On one particularly loose and dusty descent, the ATRs reduced the vibrations on our typically rattly aluminum test rig. This was when the ability to run wide tires was most appreciated. During a more performance-oriented, paved ride, the Reynolds held their own. We moved around in our weeknight crit training ride like we were on a stiffer, aero wheel, not a set of multi-surface, do-all wheels. 

THE VERDICT 

In the end, these $1450 tubeless wheels stayed on our bike longer than most high-priced options. Owing to the increased popularity of multi-purpose riding, the versatility offered by the ATRs was impressive, and we felt just as confident riding with them off-road as we did in a race-type situation. Just as impressive was seeing Reynolds improve the design of an already proven wheel while keeping the cost down.

PUNCH LINES

  • Good price/quality ratio
  • Deeper rims, thru-axles, and tubeless
  • On- and off-road confidence

STATS

Price: $1450
Weight: 1612 grams
www.hayesbicycle.com

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