Hands on: Reserve 30 HD carbon wheels are more burly with better ride, 27.5 or 29″

Tips & Reviews

Better ride? More bomb-proof? Why not both? That seems to be the thought behind Reserve’s latest carbon hoops, the 30 HD. You may recall that Reserve recently added the 30 SL to the lineup. Compared to the existing Reserve 30, the 30 SL got a revised rim profile that increased both compliance and lateral stiffness.

Now, they’re adding the 30 HD which takes that same new profile along with some extra material to make it the choice for the more abusive mountain bike crowd.

Reserve 30 HD rim profile tubeless bead

Reserve 30 HD rim profile

New rim profile

Like the 30 SL, the 30 HD gets a new rim profile that is all-new both in and out. Inside, a redesigned rim bed has been shaped to make it easier to seat tubeless tires. Looking at the rim bed in person, it’s an interesting design with an asymmetrical channel with offset spoke holes and bead bump on the side closest to the spoke holes. The other side has more of a bead ‘hump’.

The offset rim design also means that the rim profile is flipped front to rear. That’s important to remember if you’re building wheels from scratch.

Reserve 30 HD rim reinforcement

Reserve 30 HD carbon rims vs Reserve 30

Reserve 30 HD rim left, Reserve 30 right.

The outside of the rim has also been redesigned to offer improved impact strength at the spoke holes. The original Reserve 30s had externally reinforced spoke holes as well, but the new rims feature a larger, more squared reinforcement which should make the rims incredibly robust.

super durable Reserve 30 carbon rim survived broken spoke

The original Reserve 30 rim proved to be exceptionally durable (the spoke, not so much).

Proven durability

I say that because my experience with the Reserve 30s proved that they were already extremely durable. On one of my most recent rides this fall, there were tons of sticks down from recent storms and a large one must have bounced up into my rear wheel. I remember feeling like I hit something, and the bike shuddered, but I didn’t see any obvious reason for the impact so I shrugged it off since we were having way too much fun on a nearly perfect fall day.

It wasn’t until the next ride when I was doing my pre-ride checks that I noticed I had completely broken a spoke above the nipple—probably from a large stick. The nipple had fallen into the rim, but the wheel was still mostly true and I finished the ride that day with a missing spoke. After replacing the spoke, the wheels are as good as new without any damage to the rim or the spoke hole.

To me, that’s an impressive mark of durability. And that was the original Reserve 30. If the Reserve 30 HD rims are even more durable? They’ll be nearly indestructible.

Reserve 30 HD carbon wheelset

What’s the difference between the Reserve 30 SL & 30 HD?

Both the Reserve 30 SL and HD use the same new rim profile which is 30mm wide internally, and specifically designed for 2.2-2.5″ tires. So what’s the difference? It all seems to come down to materials, with the HD using more overall carbon which results in a modest weight penalty of 40g per rim. Claimed weights are 440g for the 30 SL and 480g for the 30 HD. Both are said to benefit from increased vertical compliance and lateral rigidity.

Does the Reserve 30 HD come in 27.5″? Are they e-bike compatible?

There is one other key difference though—the 30 HD is available in both 29″ and 27.5″ rims. The SL is 29″ only, which makes the HD the choice for MX setups or full 27.5″ bikes.

If you’re looking for a rim for an e-bike, you’re in luck. The Reserve 30 HD are e-bike compatible (just like the current Reserve 30). The Reserve DH front and rear are also e-bike compatible.

How does the Reserve 30 HD compare to the rest of the lineup?

The 28|XC is designed for World Cup XC riding and Racing (think Blur and Blur LT).

  • 28|XC
  • Designed For: XC Riding and Racing
  • Inner Width: 28mm
  • Sizes Available: 29 only
  • Recommended Tire Dims: 2.2 to 2.5
  • Spoke Count: 24
  • Rim Weight: 385 grams
  • Weight: 1321 grams with DT 180 hubs

The 30|SL is designed for trail riding and light enduro (think Hightower).

  • 30|SL
  • Designed For: Trail Riding
  • Inner Width: 30mm
  • Sizes Available: 29 only
  • Recommended Tire Dims: 2.2 to 2.5
  • Spoke Count: 28
  • Rim Weight: 440 grams
  • Weight: 1750 grams with I9 Hydra hubs

The 30|HD is designed for aggressive trail riding and enduro racing (think Megatower).

  • 30|HD Designed For: Trail Riding
  • Inner Width: 30mm
  • Sizes Available: 27.5 and 29
  • Recommended Tire Dims: 2.2 to 2.5
  • Spoke Count: 28
  • Rim Weight: 480 grams
  • Weight: 1800 grams with I9 Hydra hubs

Reserve 30 HD carbon rims with tubeless valves

Reserve 30 HD rims with brass tubeless valve vs Fillmore tubeless valve

Tubeless Valves

Out of the box, our sample included a pair of standard brass tubeless valves. These are perfect to get yourself rolling, but we wanted to take the opportunity to test out the new Reserve Fillmore valves which should be an available upgrade for the wheels. At some point in the future, the Fillmore valves will become standard on Reserver wheels.

You do have to be a bit more careful first threading the valve cap onto what would be the tip of the presta valve and then threading it onto the valve stem, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a cinch. It hasn’t been long enough to comment on the valve’s ability to stay clog-free, but I can say that air pressure adjustments are much faster with the Fillmores. You can tell there is more airflow through the valve in both directions which made seating the tires easier as well.

Reserve 30 HD carbon rims with SChwable tires

Reserve 30 HD Tubeless Setup

True to Reserve’s claims, the tubeless setup on the 30 HD was very easy. I was able to mount the tires without any tools, and they were then easily seated with a floor pump or compressor. I never had any issues seating the tires on the original Reserve 30s, but the new 30 HDs were at least as easy if not easier. Honestly, in terms of modern tubeless setup, the experience with the Reserves is what I’ve come to expect from the best. Install tires without tools, add sealant, inflate, pop, pop, done.

With a pair of Schwalbe tires mounted, tire sizing was spot on. The 2.35″ tire measured just over at 2.36, and the 2.4 measured 2.404. The 30mm rim width gives the tires the ability to properly fill out and results in a stable footprint.

Reserve 30 HD wheelset actual weight

Reserve 30 HD carbon wheel actual weight

On our scale with Reserve Fillmore valves and fully taped, our Reserve 30 HD 29″ wheelset with I9 1/1 hubs and a Microspline freehub came in at 856g for the front and 999g for the rear. With a claimed weight of 1,800g for a Hydra wheelset, likely without tape and valves, this total of 1,855g seems pretty accurate.

Reserve 30 HD First Impressions

Reserve 30 vs Reserve 30 HD carbon wheels

Between Covid and the weather, conditions haven’t been great of testing. But I have managed enough rides that I can confidently say that the new HD 30 rims offer a noticeably smoother ride than the original 30s. I built the original 30s myself to some XTR hubs for that launch, and overall the originals have been great—but I could never shake the feeling that their ride was a little harsh.

The new 30 HD changes that. I’ve tried them on different bikes with multiple tires (including the same tires I was running on the originals), and different pressures and that smoother feeling never went away. Conditions haven’t been ideal for testing lateral rigidity (unless you count skidding down icy, off-camber sections), but I’m assuming that as things warm up, the new Reserve 30 HDs will not disappoint there, either. For what it’s worth, Reserve says that the stiffness of the 30 HD should closely match the 30.

Reserve 30 HD carbon rims with SChwable tires

Reserve 30 HD Pricing, warranty, and Options

Industry Nine 1/1 hubs

Reserve wheel bags

Available with Industry Nine Hydra or 1/1 six bolt hubs, pricing for the Reserve 30 HD wheels starts at $1,799 for the 1/1 build. Hubs are available with Shimano Microspline or SRAM XD compatible freehubs. Rims will be available separately for $649 each.

Like all Reserve wheels, these come with one of the best warranties in the business. Their Lifetime warranty means if you actually break one while riding it, they’ll replace it for free.


Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.