REYNOLDS AERO 65 DB – STIFF, FAST GLIDERS
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.
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.
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.
You can get it through this link to Competitive Cyclist, one of my top-ranked stores, and at others I recommend for their low prices and high customer satisfaction ratings by clicking on this pre-sorted link to Knows Shop.
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You can read my evaluation of other wheelsets in this category in the post The Best Aero Bike Wheels.
First published on May 5, 2020. Date of the most recent major update shown at the top of the post.