Reynolds describes the AR 41 X DB wheels as 'true all arounders', and that's an accurate description. The 21mm internal width will accept larger road tyres and gravel tyres with ease, they proved simple to set up tubeless, and the weight is reasonable for anything slower than racing.
You can get cheaper crossover wheels than this, but they're solidly built, so they're a good buy if you're going to be putting a lot of miles into your bike this year.
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The 40mm rim is more or less the standard do-anything depth these days, offering a bit of aerodynamic advantage at speed whilst not being so deep that rolling past a gate in a hedge on a windy day sends you careering into the oncoming traffic.
Reynolds doesn't make any specific aero claims for the AR 41 X save to say that the wider internal rim width of these wheels allows for rim shapes that 'vastly improve stability in crosswinds'.
I've ridden these wheels in some challenging conditions and I can confirm that they're pretty well behaved; you can still get a bit of a buffeting when it's really blowy out, but for most conditions they're pretty benign, certainly affecting handling less than a big frame bag does, for example.
That increased rim width is, as I said up top, 21mm internally. The official ETRTO chart suggests that the smallest tyre size that's recommended is a 35mm, but I've fitted 30mm Schwalbe G-Ones with no issues; Schwalbe says it's happy for its tyres down to 25mm to be fitted to a rim this wide and the advice from Reynolds is that 28-50mm tyres are fine, which is realistically about the range you're likely to want to fit for wheels like this, that you might press into road and off-road use.
I found they worked especially well with the 36mm Challenge Strada Bianca tyres I tested back in early 2021; that's a quick combination with enough air chamber to handle a bit of an off-tarmac excursion.
The AR 41 X DB is a wheelset designed to be used with tubeless tyres, and I didn't have any issues with any of the three tubeless tyres I tried. The extra rim width means there's a touch more space around the valve, which helps to get that problematic area seated.
Two of the sets of tyres went up with just a track pump and one needed the air booster to pop them on the rim. They come with tubeless tape installed, and I didn't suffer any leaks during extended testing.
The wheels spin on Reynolds' TR6 hubs, which are easy to pull apart and are well sealed; after a few thousand km of mixed riding there's no obvious dirt inside them and everything is running smoothly.
You can choose an HG, XDR or Campag freehub, and it's a three-pawl design which has been fine during testing, but you can get six-pawl and ratchet drive wheels elsewhere for less than the £1,500 ticket on these wheels, which offer either faster pickup, or better longevity, or both. Upgraded six-pawl freehubs are available for the AR 41 X for an extra £60. The 10-degree engagement isn't the quickest but it's never been an issue for the types of riding that they've been pressed into.
The wheels use a Center Lock design for disc fitment; no problems there either. The wheels come set up for 12mm thru-axles, with 15mm front end caps in the box. Quick release caps are available too, as an extra.
In between hub and rim are Sapim's CX Sprint spokes, which are the CX Ray's slightly beefier brother. They should build up into a slightly stiffer wheel, all other things being equal, and are a good choice here when 24 spokes are dealing with anything up to bikepacking loads on rough ground. It's not a low spoke count, but it's not high either. I found the wheels to be stiff enough for anything I threw them at; you're most likely to notice any lack of it when you're fitting thinner tyres, pumping them up nice and hard, and throwing the bike into fast corners, and I didn't find them wanting.
Once you've slung on some bigger, softer tyres for off-road use it's a lot harder to discern where things like stiffness and comfort originate: the wheels, or the tyres? When Stu reviewed the deeper AR 58/62 DB X wheels he noticed a bit of flex during testing, but I didn't have the same experience here. Generally, I found them a very likeable set of wheels. They're easy to set up, they're sturdy and they're reasonably light – good for bigger road tyres.
Slightly heavier spokes give a slightly heavier build. The claimed weight for these wheels is 1,565g and ours came in just over 1,600g, but with rim tape already fitted. That sounds just about spot on given that rim tape is usually about 20g extra per wheel. This isn't really a wheelset where you want to see super-low numbers here: durability is a more important concern for a set of wheels likely to get a bit of a beating at times.
As such, it's good to know that you get a limited lifetime warranty with these wheels. It's limited in the sense that it covers the rim for defects or damage from normal use; in the first two years the parts and build costs for a replacement rim are covered, after that it's just the replacement rim. If you stack your rim into a rock and smash it because of your own foolishness there's a crash replacement scheme too, which enables you to replace your totalled wheel at a discount.
So the warranty isn't quite in the same league as something like the Enve incident protection, where it'll rebuild your wheel for the cost of the labour pretty much no matter what you've done to it. And other companies producing cheaper wheels, such as Scribe Cycling, may not offer a lifetime warranty on the rim, but like Enve they'll rebuild your smashed-up carbon wheels, in Scribe's case just for the cost of the postage, and the overall level of cover for warranty claims is comparable, and in some aspects – free replacement bearings, for example – better.
Value and conclusion
At £1,500 the AR41X DB is the same price as Fulcrum's 36mm Drift Gravel wheelset – that's a bit wider (24mm internally) and a similar weight, with DT Swiss hubs and ratchet internals.
Scribe's Carbon Gravel Wide ++ wheelset isn't directly comparable as it's wider again, with a shallower rim, but at just £870 it's unbeatable value.
We've yet to test the Gravel Wide+ 700 CD, which is more similar in its shape, but we haven't been disappointed by any of its wheels yet.
> Buyer’s Guide: 58 of the best road bike and gravel bike wheels
Hunt's £899 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X is one of the benchmark wheels at the moment, although it's not quite as deep, and a little bit wider, than the AR 41 X.
The Reynolds range has seen a price hike in the past year; when we tested the AR 58/62 DB X wheelset the RRP was £1,350 and those wheels, like these, are now £1,500. They're not alone in this, and in a changing market it's difficult to know what the new normal is where value is concerned, but these feel just a touch pricey given the other options in the market. They're really good wheels, though, well made and easy to get along with.
Good quality all-purpose wheelset that will cope with pretty much any surface
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Make and model: Reynolds AR 41 X DB wheelset
Tell us what the wheel is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
From Reynolds: The Reynolds AR41 X DB disc brake carbon road bike wheels are true all arounders. The 41mm crosswind optimized rim profile offers aerodynamic benefits, while the overall construction shaves weight to keep them competitive on the climbs.
The 21mm wide tubeless ready channel accommodates a wide range of modern tires to help lower rolling resistance and smooth out the ride on rough roads.
* Wide, Tubeless Ready rim provides better fit for higher volume tyres that increase grip, lower rolling resistance and provide greater comfort
* Refined, wider rim shapes have been optimized for crosswind stability at a variety of yaw angles
* Features Sapim CX-Sprint spokes with alloy nipples
* Premium graphics offer ultra clean and subtle appearance
* Equipped with fast rolling and smooth Reynolds Allroad hubs which offer 10° of hub engagement
* Disc and rim brake specific models available
* Fitted with tubeless tape, and supplied with tubeless valves.
* Lifetime warranty
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Rim Material: Carbon Fibre.
Rim Size: 700c.
Rim Width: Internal 21mm, External 30mm.
Rim Depth: 41mm.
Hub: Reynolds TR6 - 10 degree engagement.
Spoke Count: 24 Front, 24 Rear.
Spokes: Sapim CX-Sprint bladed spokes.
Nipples: Alloy nipples.
Brake Interface: Disc Only, Centre Lock.
Front Axle Spacing: 12x100 & 15x100 (Included), QR 100 (Available Separately).
Rear Axle Spacing: 12x142 (Included), QR 135 & 12x135 (Available Separately).
Freehub: Shimano/SRAM 9-11spd, Campy or SRAM XD-R.
Wheelset Weight: 1565g.
Rate the wheel for quality of construction:
Very nicely built, stayed true through testing.
Rate the wheel for performance:
They feel solid, there's plenty of lateral stiffness and they're well behaved in the wind.
Rate the wheel for durability:
No issues during testing, internals are very well sealed.
Rate the wheel for weight
About what you'd expect from a 40mm-ish carbon rim.
Rate the wheel for value:
Other wheels from brands such as Fulcrum are similarly priced, but there are good carbon wheels for quite a lot less than this these days.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
No issues at all.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
I used three different tubeless tyres, which all went on fine.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
Come with rim tape fitted and it was fine. Valves are good quality.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. It's a solid all-rounder wheelset.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Solid build, well-sealed hubs, easy to set up tubeless, lifetime warranty.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
Freehub feels a bit low-spec for the money; lifetime warranty a touch limited in its scope.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's mid market: you can pay quite a lot more and quite a lot less for carbon gravel wheels. Princeton's Grit 4540 gravel wheels are over three grand, and Scribe's Gravel Wide+ 700 CD is well under four figures.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Maybe
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are good wheels, which I've put a lot of miles into and are as new. You'll not be disappointed with them.
Age: 49 Height: 189cm Weight: 92kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
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