Reynolds knows the best way to make fatbikes more fun — drop 3 lbs. of rotating weight. That’s right, those tanky, gyroscope-inducing fatbike wheels of yours can be swapped out for a lightweight, fast set of big, fat hoops. After a few weeks of spinning and a 1-2 finish at the recent Fatbike World Championships, the new Reynolds Dean wheels are ready to transform your ride.
Reynolds Dean Carbon Fatbike Wheels Features:
- Full MR5 carbon rim design
- Tubeless-ready hookless bead design
- 80mm outer and 76mm inner width
- 32 spokes front/rear
- Industry Nine hubs with XD driver body (Shimano 10/11 speed available)
- Weight: 2150 grams (claimed)
- MSRP: $2650
Less fat = more fun
Fat bikes are great fun when the snow conditions are just right. Some people also enjoy them on dirt, but I still have yet to find one that will replace my daily driver. The biggest complaint everyone has about fat bikes is the excessive wheel weight. With aluminum rims, they do all kinds of things to reduce the weight with cutouts being the best diet — until Reynolds came along and added their new tubeless carbon Dean wheelset.
I embarked on the Dean’s for a few weeks this winter just prior to their official release. My time on them was exclusively on snow of all varieties — just no significant dirt time. So, consider this a snow-specific review of these wheels.
The Dean’s feature all the goodness that Reynolds is known for, but in an extra wide package. At 80mm wide, these rims are well-suited for fatbike tires from 4-5 inches. My test bike, the Scott Big Ed, was equipped with a combination of 4.8’s set up tubeless. While I didn’t set them up myself, I was told first-hand how easy the process was. Others have also confirmed that it can be done with only a floor pump. I’m sure the Bontrager TLR Flash Charger would come in handy.
The tubeless setup allowed me to ride the Dean’s with a mere 5-6 psi. on the snow. This provided amazing traction under most conditions — except for loose, slop where no manner of traction can save you. Traction aside, the cushioned ride made the RockShox Bluto RL all but ineffective since it rarely engaged. So, as you consider upgrades to your fatbike, a set of wheels may prove more worthwhile than a suspension fork — just a thought.
Something that dogs fatbike wheels is the gyrscoping effect on turns. Under the worst circumstances, this results in severe understeer with an inability to get the bike to respond. While there’s no getting around the fact that there’s a ton of meat rotating underfoot, the Reynolds Dean’s certainly reduce that to a minimum. By dropping 3 lbs. of rotating mass, you’ll transform your fatbike into a much more civil beast.
The Industry Nine hubs offer fantastic performance with quick engagement. And, lateral stiffness across-the-board is superb. When I found a few miles of sinuous snow packed singletrack, the wheels just rolled from turn-to-turn with precision.
- Running 6 psi. makes for a cushioned ride
- Drops 3 lbs. of rolling weight
- Reduces gyroscope-effect
- Easy tubeless setup
- Really transforms your fatbike
- Excellent ride quality
- Huge investment for a quiver bike
The Bottom Line: Reynolds Dean Wheelset
Fatbikes can be glorious when the snow is just right. But, with the Reynolds Dean wheelset, the sweet spot can be expanded beyond hero snow to less ideal conditions. Running extremely low pressures, the Dean’s deliver a cushioned ride and traction aplenty.
Buy Now: Available at ReynoldsCycling.com
If you are serious about fatbike performance and have the coin to drop on these awesome hoops, you won't regret it. They are wicked-fast, can be run at ultra-low pressures and reward aggressive riders with predictable handling.