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If you are looking at aero wheels like the Reynolds Blacklabel Aero 65 DB, you should be all about going fast. You likely race and may even live to do so. But you certainly have speed as your top priority and there’s nothing else in your top 5.

You’re probably doing the whole aero thing – an aero bike, aero position, aero road helmet, racing kit, shaved legs, etc., etc. You don’t much care about things that don’t matter when it’s all about going fast for you. Things like comfort, climbing, even the occasional crosswind are distractions at best.

If that doesn’t describe what you are looking for, you’re in the wrong aisle (or wrong review).

If it does, come a little closer and let me tell you about this Blacklabel Aero 65 DB wheelset from Reynolds.

Reynolds Aero 65 DB

Bottom line, this is a stiff, fast wheelset. My fellow tester Miles, a P/1/2 crit and road racer who finishes top 10 in his age group at the US Masters Nationals reported that “once in a full sprint, these wheels just simply fly.”

Riding the Aero 65 DB wheelset enabled him to snap a bunch of sprint-oriented Strava KOMs and make his Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc go about as fast as he thinks it can.

Speed comes from a stiff wheelset that responds when you tell it to go with rims that cut through the air on smooth-rolling hubs. That’s the make-up of this wheelset.

The Blacklabel Aero 65 DB uses i9 hubs. They’re louder than most but engage quickly and roll easily. The rims have a V-shaped profile with internal spoke nipples that trades-off crosswind performance and easy spoke tensioning adjustment for straight-ahead lift.

Remember, it’s about the speed with this wheelset. If loud hubs and the need to keep both hands on the bars in the crosswinds isn’t for you, neither are these wheels. They also aren’t the most comfortable wheels at the 75-80psi that Miles rode them at or the 60psi that I did on Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL tires that mounted easily but took a few iterations to seal and hold air.

For these Reynolds wheels, it’s not just about going fast in a sprint or straight line. Both Miles and I experienced the momentum the Aero 65 DB gave us to quickly punch the kind of 100 meter climbs up to about 10% you’ll often find on circuit races. We were also impressed with how well their aerodynamics assisted on extended climbs up to a 5% grade.

Oh, and they corner very well at speed too. While crits and road races are only a dream in the age of Coronavirus when we tested these wheels, Miles reported he “was able to confidently whip through some corners at around 30mph” in his non-race testing.

I don’t often ride that fast even on a straight but, when I do, I felt the sensation of gliding along at such pace and with such ease that I could block out the stresses of life around me.

Reynolds Blacklabel Aero 65 DB

If you’re all about going fast and doing crits and rolling road races and time trials – and everything else be damned – you should consider the Reynolds Blacklabel Aero 65 DB. At USD$2100, it is also competitively priced among others in the aero wheelset category.

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You can read my evaluation of other wheelsets in this category in the post The Best Aero Bike Wheels. 


  • If nothing else, they make your Altum look totally Bada** !

  • Anthony Lazzaro

    Nice review. Did you experience any crosswind issue (more than expected at that depth)? How do they compare to the Enve 5.6 or the Bontrager Aeolus 6? Any possibility of you reviewing the Enve Foundation 65? They definitely do look cool!

    • Anthony, Thanks. Yes, they are below par for crosswinds compared to the ENVE 5.6 and Aeolus XXX 6 whose crosswind performance I wrote about and compared with other aero rim brake wheelsets in my review I’m working to get a hold of the Foundation 65 wheelset and have several other aero road disc wheelsets lined up to review later this spring and summer. Appreciate your patience. Steve

  • Great review! I have come to regard your non biased information and reviews at the top of the cycling knowledge food chain. Thanks for all your hard work ferreting out the truth and getting it to us in a way we can use.

    Not to pile on but there is a lot of interest in the new ENVE Foundation 45 and 65 wheels and now the Zipp 303S. Any chances you will be able to give us your thoughts on those? My personal inclination would be towards the ENVE (still made in the USA which is ever more important) and the 45s for general/non time trial non race use. Since the ENVE SES 4.5 AR DISC are your favorites for carbon disc wheels, what are the chances that the Foundation 45 capture enough of that goodness at a more accessible pricepoint?

    Thanks again, keep riding and keep up the good work!

    • Derek, Thanks for your kind feedback. Much appreciated. I’m working on getting in all of those wheelsets for testing. Can’t tell you when I’ll have reviews out but know that they and others like them are on my list of priorities. Steve

  • How would compare Reynold Attack rims (2017) in weight and climbing ability and price to what is out there today?

    • Terry, I never tested the Attack wheelset as Tour Magazine rated its break track as unsafe. As to specs and pricing, see the table in this review of lightweight climbing wheels.

  • Michael Lindsay

    Hello and thanks for all of your dedication to this content! I truly enjoy reading your articles. I wanted to ask what your thoughts are comparing these Aero65 wheels to the Reynolds AR 58/63 wheelset. The AR series has the more “blunt” shape that is so common on modern wheels, while the AERO series still uses the older pointed profile which I assume would be the same as the “NACA” profile that Hambini talks about, so I was wondering if there is any significant difference there. For background/perspective, I ride a 2019 Trek Madone SLR, and use it for every-day riding, and a couple of short-course triathlons per year.

    • Michael, Reynolds has long had these two aero shapes rims in their wheel lines. The Aero line is more race-oriented and uses the V-shape rim to give you more lift at the expense of getting pushed around more by crosswinds as compared to the blunt or more U-shaped rim in their mid-priced AR lines. I’ve only tested the shallower AR41 wheels and found their crosswind performance inferior to other wheels with U-shaped profiles. The other major difference beyond the obvious front wheelset depth (58 vs. 65) and a minor 70 gram claimed weight penalty for the AR 58/63 is the superior (though noisier) Industry Nine hub on the Aero 65. If you are riding an aero bike like the Madone, I’d think the Aero 65 DB would be more in keeping with maximizing the aero performance you get from that frame than the AR 58/63. Steve

      • Michael Lindsay

        Thanks for that! One follow-up question… when discussing “comfort” I know that is subjective and it’s mentioned as a potential penalty with the Reynolds Aero 65. With the Madone of course you have the ISO-Speed setting to help offset some of the road buzz that Aero bikes are infamous for, and so when I ride long distances from 80-100 miles, if I am using a 28mm tubeless tire with relatively low pressure, should I expect to see a significant comfort penalty vs the stock Bontrager Aeolus Comp 5’s which are aluminum with carbon fairings? I’m kinda thinking I probably wouldn’t notice much, if any difference in that area…

        • Michael, a few things. First, you’ll suffer an aero penalty putting 28C tires on most aero wheels. Second, your Bontrager Aeolus Comp 5 wheels are carbon through and through. Third, the iso speed decoupled can help you here though I wouldn’t depend on it. Fourth, if you aren’t riding tubeless, you are limiting your ability to get max comfort (and better rolling resistance) from whatever wheels you are using. Fifth, if you prefer to use tubed tires, lowering your pressure can improve your comfort and not hurt your performance unless you lower it so much that the handling starts to get mushy. And lastly, unless your heart is set on the Reynolds Aero 65DB or another set of wheels, you may want to hold off a month until we finish our comparative review of aero road disc wheels that I previewed in my post here. Steve

          • Michael Lindsay

            Thanks again. Actually the Aeolus Comp 5’s ARE aluminum with carbon fairing. I know because they’re on the bike now and I promise they are aluminum. Some might be fooled by the appearance however because on older versions of that weel the aluminum rim was left as the original color so you could see the transition from the metal brake track to the carbon fairing. The newer ones now have a black aluminum wheel so from a distance it does look like full carbon, however, it is not. It’s just a cosmetic paint job meant to make it look like all carbon. Now, the Aeolus PRO 5, which is the next step up from those, IS full carbon. That might be the ones you are thinking of…

  • Steve, just bought a set of these wheels and was curious about your low psi. Typically, I run 105psi in my Easton EA90SL wheelset and they are so much more comfortable than the same wheelset with clincher tires @ 120psi. Was going to start off with the same psi for the Reynolds but you’ve given me second thought as I know a lower psi will be much easier on the wheels as well. I’m running Vittoria Graphene 2.0 tires. How much do you weigh?

  • How good is this wheelset compared to zipp 404 nsw interm of stiffness and aerodynamics ?

  • Nice review. Although, I am pretty sure it’s always a good idea to keep both hand on the bars in crosswinds, at least if other riders are nearby/behind you:) I am curious, are the graphics painted or decals that could be removed for increased stealthiness? Oh and for anyone reading this. I can testify that i9 hubs sound insane. I worked in an open office with a guy who had their wheels and I new everyday exactly when he showed up and left, even though we were in completely different departments of the company. I think eventually someone got annoyed and asked him to lift his rear wheel off the ground when he wheeled his bike through. Thanks.

    • Bennett, Trouble with crosswinds is you often don’t know when the gust is coming. Going for a water bottle or a GU at just the wrong time can make for bad day. See Froome, Chris. As to the logos, I don’t think they are coming off. Funny story about your coworker. Steve

  • I recently upgraded from a pair of American Classic Argents to the Reynolds Aero 65’s and have no issues with cross winds. I think people expect a 65 mm wheel to experience cross wind issues, but I found no noticeable difference between the Argents at 30 mm depth, and more than twice the depth at 65 mm.

    I have also ridden the previous version of this wheel, the Aero 58’s for 7 years, and never had a cross wind issue with that wheel either. The Reynolds design is unlike any other wheel out there, as they come to a point at the tail end of the rim, and not a rounded surface, which is simply not as aerodynamic. These wheels are truly aero, they cut through the wind in all situations. Cross winds are just not an issue in my 7 years of riding this design.

    I will say that the 65’s are noticeably improved from the 58 version. They seem to stay at speed with less effort. They spin up quickly and are stiff like the 58’s. I find the bike surges down hills into scary territory over any sustained descent, even more than the 58’s.

    This wheel is a winner. I would not hesitate to recommend them for almost any application.

  • Hello Steve,

    This aero 65 by Reynolds is now found on great discounts on different outlets (2300-2500$)

    This is quite a discount compered to Enve 5.6, especially in Europe. (About 1/2)

    Ive read both reviews and although I understand the 5.6 is possibly better also as an all round set, i do get the impression that the Aero 65 is also good at accelerating, crits and many aspects.

    Would you think that given the discounts and pricing above that the Aero 65 is quote close In performance to a 5.6 for aero and most flat cycling and therefore a sensible choice especially cost vs reward?

    It is hard to see past the cost these days when discounts are offered.

    The other option would be Enve 65’s which can be found at some discount but not as discounted as the Reynolds.

    Which set would you rate highest between Enve foundation 65 and Reynolds 65?
    (I would expect Reynolds..)

    • Eric, For racing and flat terrain riding, yes the Reynolds will be a great choice and better than the ENVE 65. ENVE doesn’t make the 5.6 anymore so whatever you see in stores is older inventory. Still a great wheelset but they’ve gone to the ENVE 6.7 as more of their aero/TT model and the 4.5 as their all-arounder. That said, the Reynolds may be older inventory as well since they haven’t updated that wheelset in a while. A lot of wheelset makers are reducing prices on some products now because of the inventory situation. Steve.

  • Hello steve

    Grest thanks

    Actually the enve 5.6 is available at some outlets with ck hubs

    And the black aero 65 db is also available but at approx 50% of retail and of enve 5.6 and 4.5 so it makes the reynolds very attractive

    The appeal of the 5.6 and your earlier glorious reviews still makes the 5.6 very attractive as well even at nearly full price (2,300 vs 1300 for reynolds)

    Luxurious choices…

    And then there is the RSL 62 which appears very good!

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