There are more carbon MTB wheel options available to buyers now than ever before, with entry level wheel set prices falling to levels that were unimaginable just a few years. To many buyers the word carbon is just a box to check along the way to a dream build, but look closely and it’s obvious not all wheel sets are created equally. The Reynolds Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro wheel set is the brand’s newest flagship boasting premium carbon rims, Industry Nine Hydra hubs, and quality construction that’s designed to go beyond just checking a box to deliver a great ride feel and reliable performance on the trail.
Reynolds Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro specs
Starting at the outer edges, the Reynolds Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro carbon rims utilize a hookless design that’s 32mm wide internally. The rim depth is 19mm which cuts a shallow profile, with asymmetrically drilled spoke holes designed to provide even tension. Inside, the rims are pre-taped and the concave center channel is nice and wide. There are a few small, visible air bubbles beneath the tape on my test wheels, far fewer than when I’ve attempted to tape my own rims.
Twenty eight Sapim CX-Ray alloy spokes are laced three cross on both the front and rear wheel, with external alloy nipples. At the center, the Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro wheels feature Industry 9 Hydra hubs, with their legendary 0.52° of freehub engagement. A set of quality valves are included, and buyers can choose either Boost or Super Boost hub spacing, and a SRAM XD or Shimano Microspline driver body. I tested the Boost version with a Microspline driver.
Reynolds Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro wheels are solid in pairs. My samples weigh 710g and 870g for the front and rear, respectively, for a total weight of 1580g. The brand offers a lifetime warranty on the wheels.
On the trail
After hundreds of miles of trail riding with the Reynolds Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro wheels, I’m left with a long list of things that didn’t happen. For starters, I didn’t experience a single burp or pinch flat running 12-15psi front and rear with mid-weight tires. The rim edges measure about 3mm wide which is apparently the right amount to avoid unnecessary pinches.
The Blacklabels haven’t needed truing or adjustment so far. Using a spoke tension meter I found all of the spoke tensions to be within about 10% of one another, and more importantly, the wheels continue to spin as straight as an arrow.
I haven’t cracked a rim, or so much as chipped anything despite running decently low tire pressure. I’ve definitely bottomed out on some square edges, and even with the tires off I can’t see any evidence of damage.
Perhaps my favorite “haven’t” is that I haven’t had to pump up my tires before every ride. I didn’t experience any slow leaks, easily going three or four rides without a noticeable loss in air pressure. The tire-to-rim connection is a solid one, offering a satisfying pop as the bead seats into place, and the tape is clearly holding fast.
Switching gears, there are three things the Blacklabel wheels do do that are worth mentioning, the first of which is how they work with mid-wide tires. With a 32mm internal rim width, these give tires a slightly wider contact patch compared to the 30-31mm rims many competing brands are still using. As a test I mounted a set of 2.4-inch tires on the Blacklabel rims and found they measure 61mm wide, which is spot on at 2.40in. The same tire on a 30mm rim measures 59mm or 2.32in. With most trail riders choosing tires in the 2.4-inch range, I found the 32mm rims unlock the true and full potential that comes with having the intended contact patch size.
While weight isn’t a big focus for a lot of trail riders these days, one area where extra weight is most noticeable is at the wheel where rotational weight affects everything from pedaling to handling. As a premium wheel set the Reynolds Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro wheels are lightweight, spinning up faster than heavier sets I’ve tested and giving the bike a playful and nimble feel.
Speaking of responsiveness, the Industry 9 Hydra hubs really help the wheels shine thanks to their near-instant engagement. I definitely appreciate this when it comes to slow, techy moves but it’s even more noticeable when starting from a stop and feeling power delivered to the wheels immediately. Combined with the lightweight rims, it almost feels like my fitness got a 5% improvement.
I tested these wheels on a hardtail to really get a sense for how they feel, and overall I would say the Blacklabels provide a nice balance between stiffness and comfort. Again, they are incredibly efficient for pedaling yet they don’t feel harsh at all like some carbon wheels I’ve tested. As a rider I’m generally pretty light on the bike, floating the wheels more than bashing them, so real trail bruisers may find these to be a little on the soft and overly responsive side.
Tubeless tire installs and replacements have been easy breezy, generally requiring just a regular floor pump.
With quality construction backed by a lifetime warranty, top-of-the line hubs, and a smart design spec the Reynolds Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro wheels are a premium pair that leaves little to be desired. While there are certainly less expensive carbon wheels (including Reynolds’ own TR series) it’s tough to match this level of performance and ride feel. I would recommend these to anyone looking to get the most out of their high-end trail bike build.
- Price: $2,299
- Available online from Reynolds.
- Optimal rim width for trail tires
- Fast engagement and acceleration
- Durable, quality construction
Pros and cons of the Reynolds Blacklabel 329 Trail Pro MTB wheels.
- Tubeless tape job had a few air bubbles from the factory
- Some spoke tension variation over time
- If you ride trail more like a DHer, these may not be stiff enough