Santa Cruz Bicycles - New Reserve 650 & 700c

New Reserve 700c & 650b


Reserve Carbon Wheels - 700c & 650b

March 15 — 2019 | Santa Cruz, CA

Show up at a gravel event, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were transported back into the late 1980s. Gravel riding offers a bit of roll-your-own style, but these types of races and rides favor light weight over bump absorption, so most opt to leave the suspension at home.

This resurgence of rigid bike riding has borne a variety of ways to reduce the chatter and impact of these less-than-smooth surfaces. Whether it’s an undamped carbon leaf spring, a shortened version of a telescopic suspension fork, or simply stuffing the biggest tire possible into a bike frame, everyone’s looking to take the edge off. That’s what we set out to solve with the Reserve 700c and 650b rims.

Getting into the gravel on the new Reserve 650b wheels.

The 650b rim (which is the same as 27.5” if the alphanumeric soup has you a bit spun) profile looks more like our other Reserve offerings, largely because the needs of a 2.0” tire and a 2.3” tire aren’t as dramatically different as those of a 30mm tire. It’s still a fairly low-profile, 24-hole rim that’s been tuned the same way as the 700c rim, and at 25mm wide, it’ll work with tires from 40mm wide to about 53mm wide, or 2.1 inches. 

Want to see a set of Reserves in person? Find a shop near you.

The Reserve 700c, in particular, required special attention to ride tuning and layup, because there’s less air volume (read: cushion) in these tires. Most wheels in this category are deep-section, aerodynamically-optimized, and harsh-riding. We looked to the rims used in the notoriously-rough Spring Classics races for inspiration, and settled on a profile that looks and rides a lot more like a box-section aluminum rim, but with the strength of our carbon rims, which allowed us to drop the spoke count to 24. The spoke drillings are offset, just like the other Reserve rims, to equalize bracing angles and spoke tension on each side of the hub.

In another first for us, the 700c rim has a bead hook that looks a bit like a UST rim, which provides some added burp-resistance when you’re running low pressures with narrow tires. The Reserve 700c is 22mm wide, and will play nicely with tires between 30 and 45mm.

Both wheelsets use Sapim CX Ray bladed spokes for a bit of extra compliance (and a tiny bit of aerodynamic gain!), and are available with DT Swiss’ venerable 350 hubs, or with Industry 9’s Torch Road hubs.

Key Features:

  • 700c x 22mm; 650b x 25mm
  • Built with Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes
  • Optimized for ride feel and compliance on rough surfaces
  • Available with DT Swiss 350 or Industry 9 Torch Road hubs
  • 700c rim features a slight bead hook to reduce burping at low pressures
  • 650b rim is hookless
  • Lifetime warranty

Reserve 22 700c

Reserve 25 650b


Internal Width


External Width



Asym Offset



Spoke Count






Sapim CX-Ray

Sapim CX-Ray

Rec Tire Width




See pricing, weights, and the rest of the Reserve Carbon wheels range >

Reserve 650b rims laced to Industry Nine hubs.


On with the Questions

  • Q. Can individual front and/or rear wheels be purchased separately?

A. Yes. Sometimes weird things happen. Wheel flew off your roof rack never to be seen again? We don't want to make you have to buy two wheels when you just need one. Just let your dealer know which wheel you need and we'll get one out to them.

  • Q. How do I buy a set of Reserves aftermarket?

A. You can purchase Reserve carbon wheels for any modern mountain bike in your garage. The best way to find a set of Reserves near you is to use our retail locator to find a Santa Cruz retailer near you. They can help you sort out size, width, and hub options and order a set of Reserves. 

  • Q. What is the engagement amount of the stock hubs you spec on your Reserve Wheels?

A.  Our I9 Torch hub has 60 points of engagement and our DT350 hub has 54 points of engagement.

  • Q. What kind of components do you use to build Reserve wheels?

A. We've always taken great pains to use readily-available, standard parts on our bikes, and our rims are no different. J-bend spokes, mechanical-lock nipples (that you can access without taking the tire and rim strip off), and hubs from DT Swiss and Industry Nine make building good wheels easier for us, and maintaining the wheels or finding spares a lot easier for you. Learn more here.

  • Q. What parts of the wheel are warrantied by Santa Cruz?

A. Santa Cruz warranties the components we manufacturer - Rims. For a hub specific warranty issue you would want to work with the hub manufacturer (I9, Chris King, or DT Swiss) for warranty assistance. Your dealer should be able to help you with this. 

  • Q. What's with the raised square-shaped area around the spokes?

A. That's material right where you need it. With information from testing in our carbon lab in hand, we set about determining how we might design a rim to mitigate those failures, and part of the result is the square-shaped reinforcements you can see around the spoke holes. You can read more about that here.

  • Q. Do you offer wheels for my 135mm QR bike or 100x15mm through-axle fork?

A. We only offer Reserve 22 and Reserve 25 650b wheels with 142x12 rear and 100x12 front hubs. Both the Industry Nine and DT 350 have easily swapped endcaps to convert these to 100x15 or 135mm QR if you need that for your bike. Just speak with your dealer, and they will help you out!

  • Q. Do you sell rim-only?

A. Yes, we do! We want to support people's zany hub and spoke desires, so we do sell rim-only. Rim-only includes tape, valves, and our colored decal sheet.

  • Q. I see these rims are 24h.Do you also offer 28h or 32h? 

A. Nope, 24h only. We find this to offer the best ride quality. For carbon wheels- more is not always better... We spec a pretty light spoke (Sapim CX-Ray), which works great for 95% of riders. If you're in the largest 5% of folks, or just prefer a REALLY stiff wheel- you can build them up with a slightly beefier spoke.  

  • Q. Should I put the Reserve 25 650b or Reserve 22 on my mountain bike?

A. These rims were designed specifically for the demands of gravel/CX/road riding. We don't recommend them for use on your mountain bike. We have lots of options for those!

  • Q. I see you offer wheels with XDr freehub body. Can I use that with a normal XD mountain bike cassette?        

A. Yes, you just need to use the included spacer. Install it on the freehub body before putting your cassette on, and you're good to go. The only XDr cassettes at the moment are the newly introduced SRAM AXS cassettes (10-33 and smaller). With those, do not use the spacer.

  • Q. What size tires do you recommend for the Reserve 22?

A. These wheels are designed for 30-45mm tires

  • Q. What size tires do you recommend for the Reserve 25 650b?

A. These wheels are designed for 47-57mm tires (1.8-2.2 inches)

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