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Reynolds' G700 wheelset is a gravel design through and through, with a wide rim to suit large volume tyres and the ability to shun all the knocks and bangs that your local trails can throw at them. Their weight is decent too, allowing for good performance without sacrificing stiffness or durability.
I've tested many wheelsets recently that are designed as crossover wheels, capable of being used on the road with thin rubber of 25/28mm right up to 50mm gravel tyres. According to Upgrade (Reynolds' UK distributor), the G700s are for tyres from 35mm in width upwards, so there is nothing 'all-road' about them. These are for adventures away from any paved surface.
The rims are carbon fibre, with a depth of 26mm, while the width is 30mm externally with an internal channel 25mm wide. That's about the norm these days for gravel hoops.
The cross-section is asymmetrical, shifting the spoking off-centre to increase the angle of the dishing on the side of the wheel caused by the width of the freehub on the rear, and the disc brake on the front.
The rims are hookless, a technology we've seen steadily gaining traction in gravel wheels, and even road in some places.
Many manufacturers say that you can only run tubeless tyres on hookless rims because of them having a stiffer bead than a traditional clincher tyre, causing the latter to pop off a hookless rim at pressure.
In fact, most manufacturers recommend an upper tyre pressure of 75psi on hookless rims.
Neither of these is a huge hassle for most gravel riders as they're likely to be running their tyres at half that maximum pressure, and running them tubeless anyway. If you're not, you'll need to factor in the cost of tubeless tyres and sealant. Luckily, Reynolds does supply you with the tubeless tape and valves.
Fitting tyres was a simple affair. Trying two sets, one 38mm and one 45mm, in a tubeless setup, both were easy to fit just with thumb pressure and they pinged up against the rim and sealed with just the use of a powerful track pump.
The hubs are Reynolds' Ringle SRX Road DB which have a CNC machined body and use a 3-pawl system in the freehub, giving engagement within 12 degrees; that's not as quick as some, but far from sloppy when it comes to a standing start.
A Shimano HG freehub comes fitted as standard, but you also get a SRAM XDR offering in the box.
Brake rotors are fitted using the Center Lock design.
Reynolds' website says that a Campagnolo N3W option is available for those of you running Ekar.
Attaching those hubs to the rims are 24 Sapim Sprint spokes for both the front and rear wheel, with brass nipples.
These wheels are likely to see plenty of wet weather and if you have to ride on the road to join up the gravel sections that means exposure to salt in the winter. That can corrode and kill aluminium nipples, so I'm glad to see brass used here.
So, that's the spec. How's the performance?
Very good, is the answer.
For riding on the rough stuff, the G700s are a quality wheelset. At 1,520g (including rim tape) on our scales, they are a good weight and that is reflected in how they ride.
They feel quick off the mark and, more importantly on a gravel ride, make it easy to maintain pace on undulating routes and never feel laggy on steep climbs.
Creating a relatively light wheelset hasn't caused any issues with overall stiffness as they felt really tight when hammering the bike up the climbs out of the saddle, or when riding loaded up.
Ride feel is heavily dictated by tyre pressures, but with the rubber pumped up hard the G700s feel good without any harshness, even over rippled or rough surfaces.
Durability is very good, too; this is a solid set of wheels.
The test period was pretty dry which meant my main route over Salisbury Plain was heavily rutted and rough through the chalk sections, and there are a lot of large rocks on the gravel sections just lying in wait to ruin a ride.
I covered about 500km over this loop and the G700s remained true and tight throughout; in fact apart from a bit of dust they went back to Upgrade looking and feeling exactly the same as they had when they turned up.
The Reynolds are competitively priced, too, at £1,350, and I think that reflects their overall build quality. The wheels are built in Reynolds' own factory, and the original owner receives a lifetime warranty.
Compare that with the Corima G30.5 Carbon Gravel wheelset I tested a couple of years ago, which also had an excellent ride quality: the Corimas also use a hookless rim and the weight of our test set was just over 1,570g, but they cost £2,010.
There are cheaper options to consider, though. At the same time as I was riding around on the G700s I was testing the Halo Carbaura XCD Carbon Gravel wheelset for our sister site off.road.cc (full review up soon), which have a similar specification to the Reynolds. With a 26mm internal width, albeit a hooked one, and a 35mm depth, they have a great ride feel; they are about 200g heavier, but that is offset by the price of £949.96.
Scribe's Carbon Gravel Wide++ have a 25mm internal rim width and weigh just 1,370g. It's quite the package for just £870.
Overall, this is a solid wheelset that you can trust for those long adventures on rough surfaces or when loaded up, but they are also still light enough to not hamper acceleration, sprinting or climbing performance when you want to go out for a blast.
Solid wheelset with excellent build quality that performs well on those twisty gravel trails
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Reynolds G700 wheels
Size tested: 700C
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?
Reynolds says, "Traction and comfort on any terrain, Reynolds G700 will handle it all. Featuring a 25mm wide hookless and tubeless channel that matches perfectly with modern bigger gravel tires in both 700c and 650b sizes. Assembled around the new Ringle SRX gravel hub the G700 and G650 floats over gravel, roots, and even pavement if you must. Built for the way you ride."
A well balanced set of gravel wheels that do speed and durability.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
*Rim Width: 25mm
*Rim Depth: 26mm
*Spokes: F24 | R24 Sapim Sprint
*Spoke Pattern: Front 3x | Rear 3x
*Technology: CR3 TSS
*Hubs: Reynolds/Ringle SRX Road DB
*Rear Hub Spacing: 142x12 through-axle
*Front Hub Spacing: 12x100 through-axle (12x100 available)
*Freehub Body: Shimano HG, SRAM XDR included
*Campagnolo N3W available
*Brake Interface: Centerlock
*Nipple: External Brass
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
They stayed true throughout the test period.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Fitting various gravel tyres tubeless caused no issues.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The extras are good quality and it is good to see both SRAM and Shimano freehubs included in the box.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They can stand the daily challenges of riding away from the road while performing well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Comfortable ride feel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
Hookless rim limits you to tubeless tyres.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are more expensive than the likes of Scribe with its direct to consumer sales model, and the Halos mentioned in the review are slightly cheaper as well. A similarly designed set of Corimas are much more pricey, though.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They aren't the cheapest or lightest gravel wheels on the market, but they are very well built and still offer the performance expected of an all-round gravel wheelset at this kind of money. Overall, I'd say they're very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!