Has Reynolds reinvented the wheel with its new 307 and 309 downhill and enduro models?

Pivot Factory rider on the new Reynolds gravity wheels
Pivot Factory Racing has tested the new wheels in DH and Enduro racing (Image credit: Reynolds)

Reynolds gravity wheels have become somewhat of a gold standard in the best mountain bike wheels market, and are hailed by some of the best downhill mountain bike racers due to their nearly indestructible nature and proven race-winning performance. Such praise has been earned through numerous victories at the world’s highest level with Reynolds wheelsets competing and winning in EWS and UCI DH seasons. 

Reynolds has now just announced the launch of the Reynolds 307 and 309 Gravity wheel collection, which promises to deliver exceptional performance without compromising on the renowned Reynolds durability.

The new wheelsets come in 29-inch, dubbed 309, and 27.5-inch, 307, across a variety build options – BL Enduro Pro, BL Enduro Expert, TR Enduro and BL Downhill Expert.

In creating the new collection, the brand has worked closely with the world’s leading mountain bikers in both DH and enduro, which they say has proved integral not only to identify areas where performance could be improved but also to test the wheels at the absolute highest level.

Reynolds branding on a carbon wheel

The rim design is shallower and slightly wider (Image credit: Reynolds)

While conventional mindsets would be looking for stiffer wheels, the development input and testing feedback from leading athletes including Bernard Kerr and his Pivot Factory Racing team highlighted that added compliance to the wheelsets would increase tracking and control, translating to better handling and faster overall performance. The Pivot Factory Racing team tested and competed on the new rims for an entire season of UCI DH World Cup racing. The results would speak for themselves with overall team success, Bernard Kerr having the best season of his career and a World Champion's jersey for Jenna Hastings. It would serve as all the proof necessary that the added compliance was the correct design direction and that the new Reynolds gravity wheels were ready for launch. 

Reynolds wheel showing the branding

The asymmetric nature of the rim profile on the 307 and 309 is said to give a better transfer of power (Image credit: Reynolds)

The groundbreaking revelation in performance through compliance has resulted in a different rim design when compared to previous versions. The rim design of the new BL 307 / BL 309 is visibly different, even to the naked eye, as it is shallower and slightly wider. The new profile is 5.5mm shallower, going from 26mm in the previous version to a vastly shorter 20.5mm which also aids in vertical compliance to the tune of nearly 40 percent in the IDM/Black Label version (30 percent in the TR version). The 30mm wide internal channel (37mm external) makes for a better tire interface and adds additional compliance through better overall tire performance. The new, low-profile rim design is also slightly asymmetric which Reynolds says allows for more equal spoke tensions, and an extremely robust and reliable wheel build. 

Rider on a mountain bike getting big air

The new Reynolds wheels have been tested at the highest level (Image credit: Reynolds)

The asymmetric nature of the rim profile on the 307 and 309 is said to give a better transfer of power, and the Pro version of these wheelsets uses the Reynolds-designed, Industry Nine produced, Black Label Hydra hubs that are fully CNC machined and offer an instantaneous 0.52-degree engagement for immediate power delivery. The Expert and TR level wheels transfer power precisely as well using Ringle Super Bubba X and Bubba hubs. 

As important as the added compliance is for making better handling and a more efficient wheelset, Reynolds adds that it means little if the wheel is not reliable. So another requirement in the development of the new wheels was to improve reliability. The all-new BL 307/309 wheels combine the highest-quality carbon fibers, a unique resin with exceptional impact dispersing characteristics and meticulously studied layup and orientation of the two to deliver, what they say is the fastest wheel solution in DH and enduro but with industry-leading impact resistance and durability. 

Close up of a Ringle hubs

Expert and TR versions use Ringle Super Bubba X and Bubba hubs (Image credit: Reynolds)

Available in both 29 and 27.5-inch versions and also separate models for enduro or DH competition. The enduro wheels receive a 28-hole build to further increase compliance and lower weight. Reynolds says the 28-hole build is more forgiving and necessary for the longer descents and lighter as the enduro rider must overcome the rigors of long climbs as well. The DH version on the other hand gets a 32-hole build as the downhill athlete giving a slightly stiffer, more precise performance, with less emphasis on overall weight. 

Pricing for the 307 and 309 wheelsets are as follows, in either DH or enduro options the top of the range Pro versions come with a serious price tag at $2,299.99 / £2,200.00 / €2,330.00. Expert at $1,899.99 / £1,800.00 / €1,930.00 and the TR at $1,449.99 / £1,350.00 / €1,470.00. For more information head to hayesbicycle.com.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm