Five years ago, a little Santa Cruz video on a bike web site debunked every skeptic's fear about the long-term durability of carbon fiber bicycle frames. Now we are doing the same for wheels. Santa Cruz Reserve wheels are built on the highest quality carbon rims on the market. Our confidence in the design and strength of our wheels is backed up by a lifetime warranty, just like our frames.
We never want to miss a ride, and when you travel to remote places, it's impossible to bring a backup for everything, or all the special tools for all the different parts. 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.
We spent a lot of time making sure the rims were strong enough, light enough, and durable enough, but we also spent a lot of time making sure that our master wheelbuilders here in Santa Cruz would approve while turning rims into high-quality wheels. The spoke holes are asymmetric, which isn't an innovation on its own, but it does make for a very strong wheel build because the spoke tension is equal on both the drive and non-drive sides, front and rear. We also drilled the holes at a bit of an angle to allow the nipple to sit straight against the rim, which prevents uneven force from being applied to the carbon, and makes lacing easier. Our favorite feature? External, easily-accessible nipples so you don't have to break the bead or get sealant on your shorts just to make a small adjustment.
We try to avoid proprietary designs in our bikes, so we were never going to use some double-threaded, straight pull spoke in our wheels. All of the wheels we spec on our bikes are built using standard J-bend spokes (DT Competition Race), mechanically-locking nipples (Sapim Secure Lock), and either the venerable DT Swiss 350 or the much-loved Industry Nine Torch hub. If you break a spoke anywhere in the world, you'll probably be able to replace it with parts available at the local bike shop.
Lifetime. No gimmicks. Not limited. If you do actually manage to break our rim while out riding, we'll replace it for free. And probably high five you in the process! If it gets run over by a truck we'll help you out with a low cost accidental 'crash replacement', because life's too short to argue. We know riding time's too precious to keep you waiting, so we'll do our best to sort you out fast.